A Brazilian ensemble, Paulo Padilha e Bando, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday at Stephens Auditorium and spend a few days meeting with bands from the area, including a workshop at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Ames Public Library.
The group’s visit to Ames is part of the Arts Midwest World Fest, a partnership between Stephens Auditorium and Arts Midwest.
“We are incredibly thrilled to be working with Paulo Padilha e Bando for our first in-person World Fest tour since February 2020,” said Torrie Allen, President and CEO of Arts Midwest, in a press release. “This work will deeply engage with Ames and the residents of Story County and allow us to reach a wide range of audiences with Paulo’s dynamic samba music and lively educational workshops.”
World Fest focuses on small and medium-sized communities in the Midwest and offers residents the opportunity to experience music, language and culture from other parts of the world.
“We have been waiting two years to welcome Paulo Padilha e Bando and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce them to our community during their short stay at Ames,” Tammy Koolbeck, executive director of Stephens Auditorium, said in the statement. “To be chosen to host the Midwest World Arts Festival is an honor. This partnership allows Stephens to bring music, language and culture from around the world to our community.
For two days Paulo Padilha e Bando will be in residence and working with music students from Iowa State Music Students. At Thursday’s concert, the Brazilian band will perform a song with Iowa State’s Lyrica, a high-pitched student group with a mission to learn the musical sounds and practices of other cultures and traditions.
“It has been our great privilege to work with Brazilian music through a relationship with Paulo Padilha during this semester,” said Jennifer Rodgers, assistant director of choral activities at Iowa State, in a press release. “With Paulo’s guidance, we learned traditional, classical and indigenous Brazilian music, experimented with samba and forro and learned to sing in Portuguese.”
Padilha and her group will also lead workshops at Gilbert Intermediate School and Green Hills Community. The Ames Public Library Workshop on Saturdays is free and open to the public.
The Ames Public Library Workshop on Saturdays is open to the public. The ensemble will perform music from Brazil and talk to participants about their traditional music, including samba music. The band members will also talk about their instruments and the culture of Brazil.
Interacting with students comes naturally to Padilha, who has over 25 years of experience as a music teacher. He specializes in rhythm and singing workshops. Born in Sao Paulo, Padilha mixes the traditional rhythms of his country, such as samba, forro and maracatu, with modern influences.
“We are very happy to be in the United States for the fourth time, to share our music and our culture and to exchange experiences with you,” Padilha said in the statement. “Popular music is one of Brazil’s most important treasures. Our music speaks of our urban life, as we try to find poetry, joy, swing and fun in everyday experiences.”
Tickets for Thursday’s concert are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and admission is free for Iowa State students. Due to the construction of a car park near Stephens, tickets can be purchased at the southeast or southwest gates of the tower on May 5 or can be purchased in advance from the Stephens website, www. center.iastate.edu.