Latin American songstress Fernanda Cunha will play in Courtenay at the Avalanche Bar Feb. 27. Photo supplied.

Latin American songstress Fernanda Cunha will play in Courtenay at the Avalanche Bar Feb. 27. Photo supplied.

Latin American music featured at next Georgia Straight Jazz Society show

Fernanda Cunha coming to Courtenay

One of the most frequent requests the Georgia Straight Jazz Society gets is to book more Latin American music acts.

The challenge, of course, is finding the artists who can perform this challenging genre. For those Latin lovers, this is your week; Georgia Straight Jazz Society is bringing you the genuine article on Thursday, Feb. 27, when Brazilian singer Fernanda Cunha takes the Avalanche stage (275 8th St., Courtenay) at 7:30 p.m. Cuhna will be accompanied by Toronto’s Reg Schwager, one of Canada’s leading jazz guitarists, as part of their cross-Canada tour.

“I was brought up in a rich musical environment in Rio de Janeiro, where I began my career in 1997,” said Cunha. “Since then I’ve toured Brazil, Europe and North America, performing at prestigious international jazz festivals.”

Regular appearances at jazz festivals in Canada have helped to carve out a whole new fan base for Cunha’s post-bossa groove, and she repaid the compliment with her CD Brasil Canada, released in 2009.

In 2017, Cunha celebrated the 90th anniversary of legendary songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim with her CD Jobim 90.

Jobim was a world-renowned songwriter, composer and arranger who transformed the extroverted rhythms of the Brazilian samba into a piece of intimate music, the bossa nova (new trend), which became internationally popular in the ’60s.

Bossa nova’s fusion of understated samba pulse (quiet percussion and un-amplified guitars playing subtly complex rhythms) and gentle, breathy singing with the melodious and sophisticated harmonic progressions of cool jazz found a long-lasting niche in popular music.

Cunha’s regular accompanist Schwager was born in the Netherlands. His playing reflects a thorough understanding of the entire history of the bossa genre, from the pre-swing through the free jazz movements. He has attended workshops and classes with such Brazilian masters as Guinga, Dori Caymmi, Marcos Silva, Jovino Santos Neto, Paulo Sergio Santos and Hamilton de Holanda, mainly at the California-Brazil Camp. In 2015, Schwager collaborated with Cunha in writing two songs for her sixth CD, Olhos de Mar, and recorded her seventh album, Jobim 90, and the new CD Fernanda Cunha canta Filó Machado.

This will be a rare opportunity to sit back and enjoy an evening of exciting romantic Brazilian music with friends in the warm Thursday Night Jazz setting at the Avalanche Bar, which has become the envy of jazz venues nationally. Invite yourself and a friend to come on down and discover why this has happened.

Admission is just $10 for members, $12 for non-members. Plan on getting down early if you’re meeting friends and looking for the best seats: this will be a popular show.

Please select the calendar tab at to see the amazing line-up of great jazz bookings we have in store over the remainder of 2020.

Comox Valley Record