Hello, there! How are things going? First of all, I would like to apologize for the long time since my last post. I´ve been quite busy, since the announcement of the semifinalists of the Rádio MEC Music Festival. One of the reasons is that the organizers asked for a promo video. A super complex production, aiming for the Oscar? No, not at all. Actually, they only asked for an innocent one minute mobile phone video, no post production elements needed. Something you would do in five, ten minutes max, right? For me, it takes the whole day and the final result hardly pleases me, so I repeat and repeat…

Call me perfectionist, call me unskilled, but the fact is that I hate to make videos of myself and I often decline such invitations, but this time I had to face the challenge. I know how important it is to have a real person talking to you, when we you are asking people to vote for your song.

In this short video, I introduce myself and explain that I´m honored to be a semifinalist on the festival and that my song, Depois do Verão, is an ode to better days, that shall come to all of us. Oh, and in the background you can see a collage with the many versions of the art for the cover of my first album. Still didn´t vote for Depois do Verão? Click here and vote for me, dear citizen! 🙂

And last but not least, I would like to tell you that earlier this month, I got my International Jazz Day 2021 participation certificate. I must confess that I was a tiny little bit sad because my poster was not on the global artwork page (it is silly, I know, very silly), but it´s all gone now. Signed by the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, Mr. Herbie Hancock, that certificate made my day. Thank you very much and until next year, Herbie!

Be seeing you!

G.F.

Hello, you! Did you miss me? In case you did not notice it, I took four weeks off. I really needed it and, believe me, you would not have liked my company last month. July was not easy, though it ended in a sweet way. But first things first.

As I was saying, there would be a lot to report in July, starting with the censorship to a jazz festival, that was denied by the Brazilian government the right to fundraising. The reason? A previous post showing alignment with democratic and anti-fascist movements. Does it sound weird to you? Welcome to the weird Brazilian reality since the 2018 election!

The story only has some sort of happy ending, because they are getting help from celebrities, and also organized a very interesting crowdfunding campaign. If you would like to know which festival I am talking about and how to take part in their movement, click here. You will find out more about their work and how to become a partner.

I would have more ups and downs to talk about, but let´s go to the highlight of the month. Drum roll, please! I am on the semifinal of the national music festival promoted by Rádio MEC (Brazilian public broadcasting). You can vote for my song Depois do Verão here. You can vote once a day up to August 23. And you know what? Every vote feels like a hug and I am very grateful for having yours. Thank you for caring! Depois do Verão: click here and vote now!

And now, mesdames et messieurs the most important event of the day: Mr. Tony Bennett is turning 95! This jazz legend, a giant person, and a reference to all of us is also a very generous soul. Hes using his B-day to promote wonderful causes, check it out!

I do not have words to express my gratitude, love and respect for the work Mr. Bennett develops in jazz and to the jazz community. I must confess that one of my dreams is recording a song with this great master, but while this glory day is yet to come, I have already something to tell you now: Mr. Bennett once liked one of my comments on Twitter. How about that, hu?

Here is the story: Mr. Bennett posted after having his first shot and I wrote a comment on the post, saying: “And the best is yet to come…. with the second dose!” (he is now fully vaccinated, viva!) Shortly later, he favorited it. He liked it!

I was happy like a child! I think this is how it feels when a star crosses our way. I mean, a real star, the kind that earns the fame and success of a lifetime dedicated to music. Come on, who wouldn´t freak out? It made my day.

That little lit heart is a small treasure I will cherish in mine forever. Happy birthday, Mr. Bennett!

Be seeing you,

G. F.

Hey there! How are things going? Chances are this is not the first Red Flower Press post you are reading, so I will take it for granted that you are aware I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It´s winter time for us now and usually that doesn´t mean much here, but not this time. Oh, no!

Although meteorology says the season will probably have higher average temperatures, we are now experiencing some pretty cold days, meaning temperatures around fourteen degrees Celsius, quite unusual here. I like the cold weather, specially when they come with sunny (though short) days and a bright blue sky, but I must confess that this home office winter made me very nostalgic.

The reason is very simple: usually, at this point of time, I am travelling somewhere for conferences and performances. Last year was already a shock, after all, most clubs were closed and many conferences were postponed, but since some activities are resumed this year, mostly privileging local audiences, I feel somehow left outside the “back to normal party”, so to speak.

1984 British rock band Queen released the hit “I want to break free”, with an anthological video clip. 2020 the Brazilian writer Luis Fernando Verissimo wrote that the pandemic would teach us to cherish normality. In 2021 both visions make sense to me: I certainly miss my old life, but I am also aware that it was not ideal and I do want to break free from some old patterns.

The big question now seems to be how to deal with the challenge of reinventing ourselves. How to establish a new normal, that is actually better than the old one? Learning something from the pandemic (how to avoid another one, for instance) includes leaving some things behind for good. It also means being more thankful for the small miracles of life (a huge, wonderful mystery in itself).

I know it is just a matter of time for resuming all activities I had before the pandemic. I know that, in a big scale, things are getting better (wishful thinking?). Yet today, I get a chill in my heart.

I guess winter in Rio can be ice cold after all.

Be seeing you!

G. F.

Hey there! How are things going? Did you notice how it took me less time show up again after my semi-philosophical approach to cakes and jazz? I know you would! I´m trying, you see? Thank you! By the way, I still haven´t tried a new recipe, but I will keep you informed, don´t worry.

It is a good thing that I have you fully attention now, because I am starting our reflection today with a question: have you ever realized how comic book superheroes save Hollywood from time to time? Well, my theory (I have a lot of them, you know) is that Bossa Nova plays the same role of lending prestige to pop star careers.

In both cases, there´s a solid base of die-hard fans that will be at least interested in checking up (meaning clicking and possibly sharing) the new movie or single. A quite tempting and always welcome extra boost to any project, specially in the current three-second attention span society.

But what happens next? I wonder how this strategy actually helps building either a movie or a jazz audience. A long term, proactive, well informed consumer is kind of different from being a die hard fan. One does not exclude the other, they are maybe even complementary, but they are not the same thing.

Take my personal example: I am a comic consumer since my childhood and they became my research topic (you can check my research activities here) at the University. I even posses a small collection at home and I am always looking for comic stores when I visit a new city. Yet, I am not interested in superhero movies.

A similar thing happens concerning Bossa Nova: I am not only a huge fan of it, but I´m also an enthusiast about the current developments of the genre and I always include Bossa Nova songs in my performances. As the great Brazilian singer and composer Alcione says: “Samba is a cousin of Jazz” and since Bossa Nova has Samba in its DNA, for me they are all part of a big family. And yet, I am not interested in each and every pop remix using samples of Jobim for more than the three-second attention span.

In one line: you can borrow prestige for a while, but you cannot keep it forever.

Be seeing you!

G.F.

On my previous post I talked about the influence of cartoons and movies I watched during my childhood on my musical taste and today I would like to share with you some thoughts on a song included in my first solo album (Geisa Fernandes). It is called Grandes Causes (Great Causes).

Unlike most of my songs, I am not able to tell its “zero point”, the first idea, the match that started the fire of ideas that consumes the mind of any songwriter in action. I´ve tried everything: from searching in all hidden corners of my memory to double checking the little notebooks I use to write the first version of any lyrics. And yet nothing. No clues at all. Does it feel weird not to remember the inspiration for a creation of your own? Yes, it does! A lot. On the other hand, when I read the lyrics of this tune, the words are so clear and meaningful to me that it sounds more like a manifesto.

The first verses say:

“In my opinion
People should only die
Of love
Or for great causes”

If you ask me what is my definition of a great cause, I would have problems to explain, but let´s see…

I would start by saying it is definitely not your dream purchase, so forget “I shall not rest until I buy that car/house/boat or private island.” Your great cause is not something you can buy, it is not something you can trade and, above all, it is not something you use to feed your social media. As I see it, it is your mission, your quest, your goal in this incredibly crazy journey called life.

I wonder what would you call a great cause and how hard would you fight for it. I wonder if there is still a place for great causes in the world of today or if it became an old, rusty concept that sounds somehow misplaced.

I wonder a lot of things.

Be seeing you!

G.F.