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Patricia Ribeiro

Celebrating Luiz Gonzaga's Centenary in Pernambuco

By December 13, 2012

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Today Brazil is commemorating the centenary of Luiz Gonzaga (Dec.13, 2012 - Aug.2, 1989). One of the country's greatest songwriters and musicians, the Pernambuco State native is known as the King of Baião and famous for hits such as Asa Branca, which he co-wrote with Humberto Teixeira, sang and played on his accordion.

Recife, still riding high on the listing of frevo as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is hosting several events to celebrate Luiz Gonzaga (aka Lua) this weekend. So is neighboring Olinda - if you're going to be in the area, join in this festive time with lots of engaging music.

In Recife. Espaço Pasárgada, or the house of poet Manuel Bandeira, is hosting Sarau Gonzagueano, a show with Gonzaga music featuring Susana Morais, Clécio Rimas and Rita Marise tonight at 6 p.m.

At 9 p.m., Elba Ramalho, the Recife Symphony Orchestra and accordeonist Beto Hortis will be in a seaside concert at Parque Dona Lindu, in Boa Viagem.

At the Pernambuco State Museum, Seu Neo do Acordeon will perform tomorrow at 9 p.m. and Seu Adriano on Saturday at 9 p.m.

Memorial Luiz Gonzaga will host several musical performances through Saturday and an exhibition celebrating Luiz Gonzaga with items from Fundação de Cultura de Caruaru through Dec.29.

In Olinda, the greatest celebration will take place tomorrow at 4 p.m. Orquestra do Centro Educacional Musical de Olinda will perform at Museu Regional de Olinda and then parade with Orquestra Henrique Dias to the Pernambuco Sacred Art Museum, followed by a giant puppet of Luiz Gonzaga created by local artist Sílvio Botelho. Many international tourists already know Botelho's creations from Olinda Carnival events such as the Meeting of Giant Puppets.

Gonzaga's legacy is to be further honored in Recife with Cais do Sertão (which could be translated as "Backlands Harbor"), a cultural center whose opening is expected to take place in August 2013.

Correction: The last line of the paragraph above has been corrected. The opening of Cais do Sertão is expected to take place around the 24th anniversary of Gonzaga's death, and not its centenary, as previoulsy published. Apologies for the lapse.

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