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Matuto to Perform at SOBs in NYC, Feb 9

The mix of bluegrass and forró, of Mehta and Mardi Gras, has proven to have real legs, taking the band from club dates in the Deep South to diplomacy-minded State Department tours across Eastern Europe and West Africa. A showcase in Copenhagen got the band a gig at one of the most staunchly traditional festivals in Recife, the Feast of St. John, Brazil's biggest forró event. The traditionalists get it: Matuto has distilled some of the spirit of the music, even as they have blended it with other sounds, and kept its steamy, sensual dance side intact.

"Matuto does what we do out of love," reflects Ross, "and our message is simple: Follow your passion, if it leads you to Brazil, or to Cajun, klezmer, or hip hop music, it doesn't matter. Just follow your bliss. Follow it and don't worry."

"We feel that way playing music together," Curto adds. "We can just look at each other and start laughing. There's a lot of humor and joy, even in the most serious moments."

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