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Sounds of Summer ’14: Anita Coelho Brazilian Ensemble and Sarah McKenzie

Sounds of Summer ’14: Anita Coelho Brazilian Ensemble and Sarah McKenzie

Girl Power ruled the Kendall Square summer concert series this week with performances by The Anita Coelho Brazilian Ensemble and Sarah McKenzie. Two forces to be reckoned with, The Ensemble spiced up lunchtime with Latin American rhythms while Sarah McKenzie served up a tour de force of ‘siren’ jazz ala Billie Holiday.

Anita Coelho Brazilian Ensemble

Anita Coelho commanded the Kendall Concert series stage with supreme confidence, giving lunch breakers a true taste of Brazil. The Boston-based artist was backed by a bass-drum-guitar trio giving a full-bodied performance featuring contemporary arrangements of the Latin American sound—Samba and Bossa Nova.

Anita’s set list, comprised of numbers written by popular Brazilian composers, delighted concert goers. From covering the music of Bossa Nova pioneer Antônio Carlos Jobim—for example, a smooth rendition of Jobim’s timeless hit “The Girl from Impanema”—to tunes like “Primavera,” the Anita Cohelo Brazilian Ensemble breezed through the world of upbeat Latin music. Nothing like some música quente (hot tunes) delivered by a cantor poderoso (powerful singer) on a beautiful summer day.

Visit Anita’s Myspace page or follow her @ anita_coelho to learn more about upcoming shows at venues like Cambridge’s Regattabar and Ryles Jazz Club.

Sarah McKenzie

Australian native Sarah McKenzie provided a jazzy take for the summer series, delivering a beautiful performance of music inspired by the best known names in jazz.

Focused on crowd-pleasing, old-time favorites from artists like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah soothed the crowd while also taking time to show off her songwriting skills during the original song “Don’t Tempt Me” (also the name of her upcoming debut album.) Who’d believe that a talent like Sarah came close to abandoning music completely? Late in the show, Sarah shared an anecdote that a former “blues and rock n roll” teacher convinced her to stick with music when she was young and insecure. Now that’s girl power, and for the Kendall Square crowd, a great way to enjoy a sweet summertime performance.

To find out where you can catch Sarah this summer, check out her Facebook page for upcoming shows.