Musicology Colloquium

Event Start Date: April 07, 2017 1:55 PM
Event End Date: April 07, 2017 2:55 PM


Friends of Music Room (Inside University Auditorium)


Recrossing The Atlantic: The Case of Brazilian Choro
Roee Ben Sira

In the last ten years choro–a 150 years old Brazilian musical genre–is being discovered by growing audiences in Europe and throughout the world. What is suddenly drawing the Europeans' attention to this delicate, rich and demanding music? Is it the music itself with its European roots and tropical magic? or is it the Brazilian “way” and conditions in which it is being practiced? Roee Ben Sira, an Israeli composer, pianist and a scholar, recently came back from 8 months of research in Brazil, followed by an intensive 3 months in Europe, where he observed and participated in choro gatherings (rodas) in Germany, France, Italy, England, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He will approach these questions and share aspects of his research on the internationalization of choro, and play some of the music’s classics together with his own compositions.


Israeli pianist and composer Roee Ben Sira is a musician of many and diverse talents, a “world music artist” in the truest sense. Trained as a jazz and classical pianist and as a composer in the Western art music tradition, his career odyssey of recent decades has involved full-scale immersion in the music traditions of Brazil, with a particular emphasis on the sublime musical art of choro. He studied classical piano at the Thelma Yellin School of The Arts in Israel and received his B.Mus. in Jazz Performance with Honors from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he won the “Best All-Around Keyboard Player” prize in 1997. Ben Sira also holds a Master’s of Composition degree from the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, where he now teaches. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, writing his dissertation on choro music in Europe. As part of his research on choro, Ben Sira recently returned from an eight-month stay in Brazil, which was funded by a scholarship from the State of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ). Ben Sira’s eponymous 2015 album of original compositions has been hailed as a landmark achievement in the creative modern efflorescence of choro music. Recorded in Rio de Janeiro and featuring an all-star cast of contemporary Brazilian choro masters headed up by the legendary Mauricio Carrilho, the album has been critically acclaimed across the globe, being selected, for example, as one of the top 10 albums of 2015 in Israel’s leading newspaper, Haaretz. Ben Sira has performed with renowned musical artists such as Yamandu Costa, Danilo Brito, Anat Cohen, Yoni Rechter, and Eli Degibri. His semester-long residency at FSU this spring is co-sponsored by the 2016-2017 Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artists program and the FSU College of Music.