Soundbrush Records Presents
Brazilian Singer Nicole
Raízes / Roots
EKATERINOSLAV /NEW YORK / SÃO PAULO
Jewish Music reinvented as Brazilian Song
CD Release Show
Sat, June 27th 9:30 pm
85 Ave A
(btw 5th & 6th St)
in East Village, New York, NY 10009
212-777-11579:30pm $10 Advance/ $15 Door
Singer and songwriter Nicole reinterprets vintage and contemporary songs from the Jewish songbook re-imagined in a variety of Brazilian styles and rhythms and
with lyrics in Yiddish and Portuguese
Title: “RAIZES / ROOTS”
EKATERINOSLAV /NEW YORK / SÃO PAULO
A recording of Jewish Music reinvented as Brazilian Song
Label: SOUNDBRUSH SR1033
Artist Website: www.nicoleborger.com.br
Release Date: APRIL 27, 2015
UPC Code: 888295239851
Track listing, track times
1. Com Saúde (Abi Gezunt) 3:28
2. Passarinho (Shlof Mayn Feigele) 3:27
3. Quem Que Sobra (Ver Vet Blaybn) 3:55
4. Batatas (Bulbes) 2:15
5. No Escuro (In Der Fintster) 3:19
6. Ave Dourada (Goldene Pave) 4:22
Incidental/Additional by Shem Tov Levi
7. Chuva (Ven Der Regn Zipt in Droysn) 4:47
8. Dois Músicos (Yidl Mitn Fidl) 2:44
9. Talvez (Zol Zayn) 3:13
10. Ontem (S´Iz Nito Kein Nekhtn) 3:50
11. Cantando Por Um Mundo Melhor 4:40
(Singing For a Better World/Sholem Lid)
Traditional; adapted by Cooper/Gordon/Nicole
12. Nova Dança (Der Nayer Sher) 3:26
13. Bonus: Batatas (Bulbes) Remix 3:39
Musicians: Nicole vocals, Pablo Aslan acoustic bass, Cyro Baptista percussion, Rob Curto accordion, Paul Meyers nylon string guitar, Brandon Seabrook mandolin and electric guitars
Special Guests: Lorin Sklamberg vocals (Tracks 2, 12), Isra-Alien (Oren Neiman and Gilad Ben Zvi), guitars (Tracks 6, 11), vocals (Track 11), arrangement (Track 6), Renato Thoms percussion (Tracks 2, 6, 11), Michael Winograd clarinet (Tracks 7, 12), Jake Shulman-Ment violin (Track 3), Frank London trumpet (Track 11), Wurlitzer piano (Track 10), Danny Blume, electric bass (Track 3), Cyro Baptista, berimbau (Tracks 4, 10) vocal and co-arrangement (Track 4).
PRODUCED BY FRANK LONDON
Raízes (Roots), the new recording by Brazilian singer and songwriter Nicole Borger, is more than a collection of great songs. It´s a celebration of a life story.
It´s there, written in her choices of repertoire and in the arrangements, which turn traditional and contemporary Jewish songs such as “Yidl Mitn Fidl,” “Abi Gezunt,” “Bulbes” or “S’Iz Nito Kein Nekhtn” into Brazilian bossa novas, baiaos and frevos. It’s also a story told in her own words, in her translations to Portuguese of the original Yiddish lyrics and her original song, “Passarinho” (Little Bird).
“I am this mix,” says Nicole. “I’m part Brazilian and part American. I am Jewish and I’m cosmopolitan. I like mixes. I believe in fusion and I believe that I express myself in this mixture.”
Raízes is a celebration of roots and reinvention.
Produced and arranged by GRAMMY winning trumpeter and composer Frank London, founder of the influential Klezmatics, Raízes cuts a broad swath in Jewish song. It includes popular tunes such as “Abi Gezunt,” written for the Yiddish film “Mamele” (Little Mama, 1938), recreated here as the soothing lounge bossa nova “Com Saúde” (With Heatlth); and “Yidl Mitn Fidl,” another Abraham Ellstein hit, this one from the 1936 romantic musical comedy of the same name, transformed here by Nicole into “Dois Músicos” (Two Musicians). There are also traditional songs such as “Batatas,” (‘Potatoes’ originally “Bulbes”) and “Ontem,” (Yesterday) Nicole’s version of the old Hassidic song “S´Iz Nito Kein Nekhtn.”And in her lullaby, “Passarinho,” (Little Bird), Nicole creates a gentle musical setting to the poem “Shlof Mayn Feigele” by Abraham Goldfaden. The arrangement and performance evokes the sound and sentiment of Portuguese fado, a nod to Nicole’s mother’s Portuguese roots.
She sings the songs in Raizes mostly in Portuguese, but in every performance, she includes verses in Yiddish. “I wanted to at least have one verse in Yiddish so people could know how the original sounds like,” she says.
“In a song like “Chuva,” (‘Rain,’originally “ Ven Der Regn Zipt in Droysn”) the words in Yiddish were so sad, about graves in a region of Siberia,” she explains. “It was all about ice and cold, and I thought ‘This won’t work in Brazil. Not a song about graves in Russia.’ So I took the first line. It was magic to me. Ven Der Regn Zipt in Droysn, ‘When the rain is hitting your window, I remember this far away love.’ That came from the original song — and then I took it to other place.”
In “Com Saúde” (‘With Health’, originally “Abi Gezunt”) she sings that with health you can be happy, that you don’t need fancy clothes, riches or power, “just one piece of clothing with no patches, shoes with no holes on their soles, and place to lay your head.” It is, says Nicole, one of the most typical Jewish songs — and it has been sung by “just about every singer in the world.”
“So when I told Frank [London] that I wanted to record it he said ‘No way. Over my dead body.’ But because Raízes is neither a recording of Brazilian music nor a standard set of Yiddish music, I thought we had to have some songs that people would easily recognize. The thing is: we did it — and he ended up thanking me for doing it,” she says with laugh.
Meanwhile, a song like “Batatas,” in its cheerful simplicity, holds a rather touching memory of the immigrant experience in the New World. “It is such a silly song,” says Nicole with a chuckle. “But on the other hand I wanted to show the experience of the immigrant arriving to Brazil and seeing all these different fruits and colors and smells when he’s coming from Europe, where there’s hunger and he’s been eating only potatoes.”
In Raízes, Nicole, a Brazilian Jewish woman, worldly but deeply connected to her roots, celebrates the history that makes her who she is. But while doing so, she also gives voice to the deep desire of the immigrant to find his place in the new home without forgetting where he came from and the road traveled.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, of an American father and a Portuguese/German mother, Nicole started taking piano lessons at six. Along with her musical career, Nicole obtained a Law Degree from the Catholic University of São Paulo. She is a practicing attorney. Still, her studies of music continue to this day at São Paulo´s Santa Marcelina University, where she is working on a degree in Composition.