This show reflects the intimate musical interplay between Benji Kaplan and Rita Figueiredo. Benji is a native New Yorker and Rita hails from São Paulo, Brazil, and their two musical worlds collide as one in this fascinating Brazilian/Jazz duo encounter. Rita's theatrical yet subtle voice blends perfectly with Benji's understated guitar and his colorful palette of poignant harmonies. Together the two venture through their original compositions reminiscent of Villa Lobos’, Gershwin, Cole Porter and Chico Buarque all rolled into one.
Benji Kaplan is one of the most exciting new vibrating forces on the contemporary Brazilian/Jazz and Chamber Music scene today. His music video, "A Gente se Manifesta," was featured in the March 2017 edition of Billboard Brazil. Benji has been heralded by the great contemporary Brazilian composer Guinga, as "the greatest composer of Brazilian music, coming from the United States, that I have heard...He is a genius."
Benji's 2016 Album, Uai Sô, featuring his guitar and vocals, has been highly acclaimed for its lyrical compositions, lush harmonies, and unorthodox arrangements for winds, strings and brass.
“Sophisticated yet sensuous.” - Jazz Weekly
“…what the whimsical Dr. Seuss might’ve composed, had he been a musician and ridiculously talented at it…the degree of intelligence sunk into the deepest corners of every beat and measure of this treasure tells us that no matter what his pursuit might otherwise have been, the result would’ve been simultaneously unearthly while uniquely terrain.” - Mark S. Tucker, Veritas Vampirus
"Benji Kaplan, whose performance infectiously realizes both great virtuosity and credible emotion and lyricism to the generously proportioned melody… this is actually a bigger deal than could ever be imagined or expressed in a five-hundred-or-so (word) review.” - World Music Report
“Benji Kaplan's Uai Sô is so unexpected that it cannot be pigeonholed. The music flows beautifully and oscillates between Brazilian song and new classical so rapidly as to truly meld together as one unprecedented newness." - Gapplegate Music Review
Rita Figueiredo is a multi-artist from São Paulo, Brazil, and is a true force to be reckoned with. In addition to being a well-established Animation/Illustration artist for over 20 years, she is a highly regarded composer, lyricist, and vocalist.
She was pre-selected for the 2013 Latin Grammys, competing in three categories: Artist Revelation, Best Singer Album, Composer and Best Brazilian Music, with 6 nominated tracks.
"Her album Brasilis is the birth registry of an uncommon artist, a skillful composer and irreverent interpreter. Rita Figueiredo surprises the listener by her good taste in creating her first album." - Ed Félix, Embrulador
"The first album of Rita Figueiredo, Brasilis is the portentous debut of a talented artist who has everything to subvert the logic of contemporary women's Brazilian popular music." - Tiago Ferreira, Na Mira do Groove
Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students with ID. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).
The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!