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Boca do Rio flows to town with a burst of creativity, soul, and undeniable beats. Born of the mixing of waters – Brazil and the San Francisco Bay. Boca do Rio creates musicá organicá – music that developed through the rhythm of living and working between the Americas.
The band started flowing when Kevin Welch and Alex Calatayud formed a musical partnership in late 1999 that would redefine Brazilian music in the Bay Area. The musical collaboration was founded in deep respect for past traditions, steeped in the sambas and choros (Brazilian ragtime of a bygone era) that echoed through the Brazilian favelas, while always evolving forward to create an organic sound that is decidedly modern and funky. Alex Calatayud (Entre Nos), a native of Brazil, and Scott Johnson, an East Bay native, join forces to bring a propelling and unique swing – a dinga! Larry De La Cruz (Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Werner) and Eduardo Amado (Cabo Verde) both hold the pocket and mine the harmonic depths for musical gems on this journey evolved of Boca’s and Beats. Kevin Welch (Vivendo de Pão) leads these adventurers through waters deep and swift. Dancing is a go-go!
Hosting Brazilian Tuesdays at the Elbo Room for nearly a decade with Vivendo de Pao, Kevin Welch --Boca’s founder, composer, guitarist, and vocalist -- has a rich personal and musical history that became entwined with Brazil during an extended ecological research trip in the Brazilian Amazon. In 1995, he started Vivendo de Pão, which became a mainstay on San Francisco’s club and festival scene, opening for touring acts like Gal Costa, Macy Gray, Poncho Sanchez, Sergio Mendes, and Los Van Van. Boca do Rio began as a trio offshoot of Vivendo in the late 1990s, and then expanded into the principal vehicle for Welch and Calatayud’s evolving creative vision, exploring the synergy between soul jazz and Brazilian roots music.
Alex Calatayud, a native son of Goiania, Brazil, ignites the fire and passion of his land and people. In his hands beat the pulse of a nation – his signature groove is a distilled drop of Brazil so pure and true that masters far and wide call on him for his unique swing. After living in California for 14 years, Alex developed a style that is a syncretic blend of the Americas – funky and fresh, heavy and deep.