Country : Brazil / Canada (Quebec) / Syria / Turkey Label : Audiogram Genres and styles : Brazilian / Middle East / Maghreb Year : 2024

Monica Freire – Ilhada

· by Frédéric Cardin

It’s a musical comeback we’d almost given up hoping for. Our own Monica, who enchanted us in the early 2000s, had gone to her native Brazil to check on her roots for some fifteen years. But her real home is here. So much so that, having recently returned to Montreal, she was eagerly preparing a new opus that would demonstrate a certain degree of evolution after the excellent Bahiatronica (2005) and Na laje (2008). Know this: it’s a complete success! Ilhada is a mixed symphony for Brazil, but only possible in Montreal, where she found some fabulous Middle Eastern and African performers to create the astonishing soundscape she had in mind. Amidst the typically Brazilian rhythms and atmospheres are some of Montreal’s finest musicians: Nazih Borish on oud, Ayham Abou Ammar on vocals, Omar Abou-Afach on viola, Joseph Khoury, Ziya Tabassian and the legendary Vovô Saramanda on percussions, Mélissa Hié on balafon and Didem Başar on Turkish kanun. It’s a marriage that has absolutely nothing forced about it. It’s all very natural, as if these two worlds had always lived side by side.  There’s a certain simple, effective Bahiatronica energy, but of course with a maturity that couldn’t have been there in 2005. Now Monica is getting ready to tour the world with this colourful and beautiful band, so don’t miss your chance.

Thanks for coming back Monica, what would we be without you?

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