Brazil comes to Taylor in the form of a new music group
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Brazil comes to Taylor

A new music group open to all students begins next semester

Bruno Modolo Cabrera, adjunct professor of music, also plays for a local Indianapolis band known as “The Indigos.” (Photograph provided by Bruno Modolo Cabrera)

Bruno Modolo Cabrera, adjunct professor of music, also plays for a local Indianapolis band known as “The Indigos.” (Photograph provided by Bruno Modolo Cabrera)

By Abigail Roberts

A blend of syncopated beat and creative invention, Brazilian music is like no other sound on the planet. This coming spring semester, adjunct music professor Bruno Modolo Cabrera plans to bring this daringly distinctive sound to Taylor University. 

Cabrera will be starting a Brazilian music group within the music department, open to all students no matter what their musical background. Its goal: to diversify the understanding of music for students.

When one pictures Brazil, immediately vibrant colors of green, yellow and blue come to mind. Brazilian music is no different. In three words, according to Cabrera: fun, dance and joyful.

Senior Carolina Ortiz from Ecuador echoes Cabrera’s description:

“It is super happy (and) upbeat, very similar to (Ecuador’s) music,” Ortiz said. “(Ecuador’s) music is so diverse; it differs from the coast to the land to the Amazon, but it is something that (Ecuador and Brazil) both have in common: that it brings you joy . . . and we like to dance to it.” 

Brazil's music bright and colorful culture. (Photograph provided by Unsplash)

Brazil’s music bright and colorful culture. (Photograph provided by Unsplash)

Although Cabrera, a native of St. Pablo, Brazil, grew up hearing Brazilian music all around him — in the grocery store, on the street, in restaurants he didn’t come to love it until he began to teach it.

Cabrera’s real journey of teaching Brazilian music began when he moved to Indiana seven years ago to earn his masters at Indiana University.

“It wasn’t even an idea when I started my doctorate,” Cabrera said. “I took a class on the psychology of music and used those ideas to teach a method book, ‘Pedagogy for Drum Set’, . . . I (then) expanded that to (teaching) non-natives in general.”

With over 15 years of drum teaching and four in percussion teaching and a master’s degree under his belt, Cabrera ended up shaping his entire dissertation around the concept of teaching Brazilian music to non-native Brazilians. Taylor will be his third school where he has begun a Brazilian music group, following Indiana University and Ball State University.

Cabrera has found the hardest parts for non-natives to understand are the syncopated rhythm and cultural aspects of the pieces played. Yet with a little help and a lot of practice, Cabrera is excited to see this new group form at Taylor.

“I wished I played an instrument well enough to join,” said senior Michael Snyder, who spent most of his life in Cuiabá, Brazil, as a missionary kid. “One thing I like about (Brazilian music) is the wide range of instruments used and their interchangeability.”

Growing up with Brazilian music, Snyder noticed how calm the vocals were, while simultaneously, the energetic beat makes one feel the need to dance.

Cabrera can’t wait to share his culture with as many people as possible.

Practices for the new Brazilian music group will be every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m., with the hopes of a five to 10 song concert at the end of the semester.

Email for more details.

(Graphic provided from Bruno Modol Cabrera's website)

(Graphic provided from Bruno Modol Cabrera’s website)

For examples of Brazilian Music take a few of these selections:

“The Girl from Ipanema”:

“Aquarela do Brasil” – Gal Costa:

“Chega de Saudade”Tom Jobim:

Or any of the following artists:

Elis Regina

Maria Rita

Roberta Sá

Find out more at:

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