New York’s Matuto will bring a world of music to the Errington Hall this March.
“People hear different influences,” said one of the group’s founders, Rob Curto. “It depends on the listener.”
According to Curto, matuto means “country boy” in Brazilian slang and it relates to the fact that the band’s inspiration comes from country traditions across North and South America. In particular, the group plays on the sounds of bluegrass, spirituals and Cajun from the American deep south forró, a mostly accordion-based dance music originally from northeastern Brazil.
Those particular sounds are brought to the group by founders Curto, who plays the accordion, and Americana guitar player Clay Ross. The pair started the group in 2009 while playing music in Brazil and decided to run with the cross-cultural sound they were producing.
“Matuto does what we do out of love,” reflects Ross in a news release. “Our message is simple: Follow your passion, if it leads you to Brazil, or to Cajun, klezmer or hip hop music; it doesn’t matter. Follow your bliss and don’t worry.”
To fill out Matuto’s roster, Curto said the pair surrounded themselves with “musicians with similar interests” in New York. Those music makers are Mike LaValle on bass, Ze Mauricio on percussion and Aynsley Powell on drums.
The New York connection also brings in a jazz influence. “We’re improvisers,” said Curto, adding that the ad-libbing keeps their music fresh. The group was also recently influenced by a trip to Africa, which Curto considers the “source” for many of the musical styles in the Americas.
As a result, Curto said the band is creating some “pretty rhythmic, pretty high-energy, fun music.”
Bands with international flavour like Matuto make for popular events, said the hall’s music co-ordinator Val Dare. “It’s nice to present genres that are unique to the area,” she said. “It gives people a chance to hear something new.”
“We just hope to connect with people,” said Curto, who hopes the audience will “go home feeling really positive.”
Matuto will play at the Errington Hall on Friday Mar. 6 from 8:30-11 p.m. The Matuto show will be an all-ages dance, which Dare said organizers have found are “really popular.” As such, there will no alcohol served at the concession.
Tickets are $20 for adults and are available at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, Heaven on Earth in Qualicum and the Errington Store. Children 13-18 years are $10 and those 6-12 years are $5 at the door. Children 5 years and under get in free.