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Sérgio & Odair And Their Family

A Brazilian Songbook

  • Type CD
  • Label GHA Records
  • UPC 5411707260584
  • Catalog number GHA 126058
  • Release date 01 October 2005
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About the album

Son of an Italian mother and a Lebanese father, Jorge Assad was born on April 19th 1924 in São João da Boa Vista, a small village in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. His father didn't allow the presence of any musical instrument at home but, without his knowing, little Jorge was listening from time to time to his mother playing the flute secretly. Later, a harmonica caught by the paternal intransigence ended its trajectory far in a field… However, music insists: the adolescent wins a cavaquinho (a kind of small guitar with four strings) at a raffle and he quickly teaches himself how to play the instrument. 

In 1947, Jorge marries Angelina de Oliveira, she is 17 years old and comes from Andradas, a small village in the state of Minas Gerais. From early childhood, she demonstrated great skills as a singer in church and school choirs. Her dream was to play the piano, but her family could not afford one. Instead, she cut out magazine drawings of the piano keyboard and pretended she was playing it.

Jorge Assad works as a watchmaker but music does remain his great passion. Jorge and Angelina join other musicians, amateurs like them, to form a chôro ensemble (traditional music from Rio de Janeiro). They play for a weekly show for a radio station in the small town of Mococa, where Sérgio (1952) and Odair (1956) were born. The two brothers learn Brazilian popular music by accompanying their father’s mandolin and, one day in 1967, the one of renowned Jacob do Bandolim with whom they play Naquele tempo by Pixinguinha during a television show presented by the singer Elizeth Cardoso. The exceptional talent of the boys induces Jorge Assad to search for them an appropriate teacher that he finds in the person of Monina Tavora (1921-2011), guitarist and lutenist, a former student of Andrés Segovia. Jorge Assad moves the whole family to Rio de Janeiro so that the two brothers can study under her guidance. After the Assad brothers started their career, Jorge Assad moves back with his wife, older son, and daughter Badi to São João da Boa Vista. There, he continues to work as a watchmaker until 1993, and - at the same time - as a guitar teacher for his daughter Badi as well as for numerous young guitar players frequenting assiduously their welcoming house at Joaquim Goulardins street.

The mandolin of Jorge Assad and the voice of Angelina Assad were part of the universe of Odair, Sérgio and Badi since their tender childhood, the magic of music naturally passed on to the subsequent generation. The year 2004 is marked by the realization of a dream which Sérgio and Odair have nourished in their heart for a long time, a reunion on stage of the multi-faceted musical talents of their family, that of their sister, Badi, of their children Clarice, Carolina, Rodrigo and Camille and – of course – of their parents! 

The first concerts given in Sao Paulo by the Assad Family, in January 2004, are greeted by a journalist as the ‘consecration of a life’, referring to the determinant behavior of father and grandfather, Jorge Assad, confident about the professional future of his offspring. A few months later, by the end of a tour in the USA, Jorge who is traveling out of Brazil for the first time, celebrates on a Californian stage his 80th birthday. Then, in October of the same year, he discovers Europe at the occasion of a new family tour: audiences in Brussels and Paris attend with emotion a concert where the three generations Assad unite once again and divide among them a century of Brazilian music. GHA records releases the live recording “A Brazilian Songbook” and the live DVD “A Moment of Pure Love” of the Assad Family concert at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles while the cultural channel of Belgian television, RTBF La deux, makes a documentary on the Assad Family featuring excerpts of the same concert. 

Jorge Assad passed away on May 28th 2011, mission accomplished. The year 2012 will be the first edition of the music festival “Semana Assad” (Assad week), an homage of the town Sao Joao da Boa Vista to an extraordinary family of musicians. 

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    Baião De Gude
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    Baião Malandro
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    The Being Between
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    Todo O Sentimento
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    Ad Lib
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    O Silêncio Das Estrelas
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    As Rosas Não Falam
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    Doce De Côco
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    Medley Of Sambas (Lamentos - Cai Dentro - Se Acado Vocé Chegasse - Linha de Passe - Morena de Angoloa o que vier eu traco)

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