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Review: SERGIO MENDES at Strathmore

Review: SERGIO MENDES at Strathmore

For one night only, the legendary Sergio Mendes took us on a musical journey.

The Music Center at Strathmore hosted luminary, Sergio Mendes, along with his band for a one night only event where we were taken on a "musical journey" - as Mendes put it - traveling back and forth through his most memorable times of music. Being a performer for 60 years is not an easy task, but Mendes continues to bring new life to the world of music and a smile to the audience the moment he steps on stage. The music he has created and reinvented over the years, incorporating his unique collaboration of Bossa Nova, Latin, and jazz music, is a distinct and moving characteristic of why generations continue to listen and play his music.

Mendes' creative genius is brilliantly translated by him and his multi-talented band into a wonderful concert that all ages can enjoy. Beginning with "Magalenha," the theater was instantly captivated by the exciting musical collaboration of Mendes, Gracinha Leporace (vocals), Katie Hampton (vocals), fellow Rochesterian Scott Mayo (saxophone, flute, keyboard, and vocals), Marcos dos Santos (percussion), André de Santana (bass), Leonardo Costa (drums), and Kleber Jorge (guitar).

One thing I noticed, besides how amazing this group was, is how much you can tell that Sergio admires and is appreciative of his band. If there was a vocal or instrumental solo, Sergio focused his attention - including fully turning his chair around - to witness his music live on through such gifted musicians. The connection that his music has brought to his band as well as the audience is truly something special.

As the show continued on, the energy seemed to grow. Every song ended with a rousing applause and then quickly turned to cheers and dancing as the next began. Whether you were hearing one of the songs for the first or fiftieth time, you couldn't help but be washed over with a wave of comfort and happiness because nothing is comparable to the musical stylings of Mendes.

With many different variations of Mendes' iconic music, it was hard to pick just one favorite part of the show. Some songs were very upbeat, while others were ballads, never straying from the unique flair of the show. An upbeat standout was the percussion solo, where Marcos dos Santos took the reins and displayed his stellar percussionist skills, with the band, including Sergio, following his lead. It was an impressive performance that left me wondering how he was able to play the way he did without missing a beat. On the ballad side, Mendes' wife, Gracinha Leporace, sang her heart out when she was given the microphone. Leaving the audience in awe with a clear belt and love for the music.

Every person on stage proved why they were there. I have never experienced a concert like this, and I don't think I will again, unless it was another Sergio Mendes performance! This show was lively and joyful, giving the audience what they wanted and more. Mendes is a true gift to music as his legacy continues to live on.

Running time: 90 minutes with no intermission.

Sergio Mendes performed for one night on September 29, 2022 at the Music Center at Strathmore, located at 5301 Tuckerman Ln, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

For more information about Strathmore, click here.

For more information on Sergio Mendes' tour, click here.



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