If you like Tuck & Patti or Rodrigo y Gabriella, you’ll love Anna and Guy! This dynamic duo will bring you the best of Bossa Nova, Jazz and Samba, capturing the soul and sound of Brazil, as they tour the Mid North Coast. Anna and Guy will be visiting us in Tuncurry…
Hi Anna. This is your third tour to the Mid North Coast since 2015. What do you enjoy about touring this region?
I have always got a lot of love from audiences on the Mid North Coast. In 2015 I toured with my five-piece band, and the crowd was literally dancing in the street at 5 Church Street in Bellingen. At Port Macquarie’s Glasshouse, people came in the next day just to tell the staff how much they enjoyed the show. And in 2017, I toured with Guy Strazz and had memorable full houses at great venues like Wauchope Arts.
You are known for your love of Brazilian music – why is that?
The combination of syncopated African rhythms, melancholic yet uplifting melodies, poetic lyrics and jazzy harmonies are a winning combination, as far as I’m concerned. This music has such broad appeal – it seems to speak to the heart, whatever your age, and no matter what walk of life you are from.
Tell me about your collaboration with brilliant guitarist Guy Strazz.
Guy is an award-winning guitarist, composer and recording artist, who is well known for his albums and collaborations with artists as diverse as Slava Grigoryan, Ashok Roy, Dale Barlow, Matt McMahon and Vince Jones.
I first met Guy when I went to him for guitar lessons. It’s then we discovered our shared love for Brazilian music and Guy actually encouraged me to go to Brazil [You can learn more about Anna’s Brazilian music odyssey by listening to the ABC documentary – go to her website www.annasalleh.com for links / http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/earshot/bossa-nova-beyond-how-cult-film-inspired-my-musical-quest-to-rio/7672986]
After returning from Rio de Janeiro in 2010, I developed a show and a successful residency with my band at Sydney’s Foundry616 Jazz club. Over that time my musical relationship with Guy also developed, and I became drawn to the daring power and intimacy of the duo format. My guitar lessons with Guy laid the foundation for what has now become a really enjoyable creative partnership, and we have been performing and touring together now for a number of years.
What are some of the pieces you’ll both be performing in your show?
While Bossa Nova may have ended up being orchestrated for elevator music, its origins are much more minimalist and acoustic. In the duo format Guy and I can really do justice to that intimate sound of the original Bossa Nova – performed in both Portuguese and English. You’ll hear beautiful tunes like Black Orpheus (from the film of the same name), as well as lively rhythmic Sambas, including the Afro-samba Berimbau, playful Choro (an instrumental-based Rio de Janeiro music style that came before Samba), as well as a sprinkling of Jazz and gorgeous ballads. We also showcase some lovingly-crafted original songs and instrumentals.
What type of vibe or atmosphere do you feel you both manage to capture on stage?
The mix of repertoire in the show and the way we approach the music is guaranteed to entertain and engage the audience. Songs of joy, sorrow, irreverence and beauty take people on a satisfying journey through a kaleidoscope of different moods.
What do you think are your individual strengths as performers?
I think Guy puts it best: “Our rapport with the audience is based on the understanding and feeling of the music. Anna’s range of emotions is clearly a feature of the show, as are Guy’s multiple guitar skills and engaging solos.”
Your Mid North Coast tour will take in Kempsey, Bellingen and Tuncurry. What are you most looking forward to about these gigs?
We’re looking forward to staying with the locals and connecting with as many of you as possible – both on and off stage. And, of course we’d love to have full houses all the way – so see you at a show and tell your friends!
- Oddfellows Hot Club, Kempsey – Fri 7 Sept
- 5 Church St, Bellingen – Sat 8 Sept
- Tuncurry Memorial Hall – Sun 9 Sept (part of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Tuncurry Memorial Hall Renovate and Renew Fund.)
What’s next in the pipeline for you both, after you finish this tour?
Guy and I will continue to tour, evolving as we go, and hope to record an album later this year.
Where can we find out more about you both, or more details about upcoming shows?
The best way to find out more about us and our upcoming performances is to check us out online at www.sallehandstrazz.com – join our mailing list while you’re there! You can book tickets to our Tuncurry show here: www.trybooking.com/WTHH
Interview: Jo Robinson.
Pic: David Brazil.