"Carnaval" explodes with the rhythms of Brazil!
Escape to the sunny beaches of Rio and quiet nights full of stars with beautiful guitar melodies. Benise blends the unique flavor of Brazilian percussion, background vocals, and piano with Spanish guitar to capture the sentimental heart and passion of Brazil.
Music is life in Brazil.
Don't miss Benise "The Spanish Guitar" now on PBS!
A spectacular journey of music and dance. The show that reminds us that hope can be the healing thread in all our lives.
National tour this fall - check benise.com for concerts in your area.
R E V I E W
review by Michael Debbage
Recently I had the opportunity to review the new kid on the flamenco block and it was a cracker that came in the form of the exotic "Mediterranea". So here we are with the follow up disc Carnaval and the title and artwork was leading me to believe that this was going to be an all out uptempo party hearty disc. There is no doubting that there are vigorous moments, but Benise does well to mix the moods and melodrama only adding another notch to the growing respectability of this up and coming artist.
Carnaval starts off in the celebration zone with the title track displaying a host of percussion work pounding and layered over Benise's guitar work. This approach is revisited on the ultra danceable "Samba Samba" that will have your feet and toes tapping away deliriously. Much the same can be said for "Tabu" or for that matter the Benise soloing found on "Galletto's Jam".
However, Carnaval avoids the non-stop action album and continues to showcase the dexterity and agility the guitar man and his band are so capable of. The first obvious choice is "Brazil", which features the fine fretless bass of Randy Tico. Second, there is "Copacabana Beach", which continues the more gypsy and folklore genius of Benise. This would be a great song for the car stereo while driving down the coastal beaches of Rio De Janeiro enjoying the very fine scenery of swaying palm trees bordered by the white sands and the blue ocean with the sun glistening off its curves and waves. And I am sure there is much more that your imagination can run away with, so go ahead soak it all up. Both songs compare well with the Paul Simon Graceland era and make for a superb counterpoint to the upbeat Mardi Gras merriment theme.
Of course there is the mid tempo "Moonlight Cantina" and "Rio" that do well in representing reflective and more somber moments of album. However, the most exhilarating high point is "Enigma", which closes out the album. And what a mystical beauty she is showcasing some truly haunting violin work from Jim Sitterly countered with Kevyn Lettau's vocal sampling. The track builds and explodes to a grand finale. Utterly breathtaking and a great exclamation mark to cap off another solid and superb album from Benise.
The album release has coincided with the equally lush and thoroughly entertaining DVD Viva Spanish Nights that proves once and for all that the magic of Benise is not limited to the confines of a studio. Pure and simple Benise is an audio-visual delight that will tantalize you and tempt you to be alive in their world of passion and celebration. It is good to be alive. No scratch that...it is great to be alive.
Bio - Roni Benise
Rarely is an artist capable of touching the hearts and souls of people of all ages, cultures, and diverse musical backgrounds as Roni Benise. He is, without a doubt, a phenomenon whose passionate music appeals to people from all walks of life.
His fiery Spanish Guitar melodies and high-energy rhythms weave a stunning tapestry of emotions from deep within. Roni’s artistry and incomparable guitar technique is both wild and refined, producing a sound that is as edgy and exotic as it is romantic and sensual.
Benise redefined the ordinary and started to promote his own concerts and “sell out” 2,000 seat theaters throughout Southern California. More than just a concert ... a Benise show is an inspiring experience that celebrates “Love, Music, and Life!”
Benise has set the bar for instrumental artists.
There is no other show like a Benise concert. A virtuoso guitarist, composer and producer, his expressive Spanish guitar arrangements stem from influences around the world, carrying the listener on a musical journey to destinations such as Spain, Africa, Brazil, the Mediterranean, Cuba, France, and Egypt. His audiences are held willingly captive as exotic drums, Gypsy violin, Flamenco dancers, Cirque performers, Brazilian Samba dancers, Brazilian Samba percussionists, African tribal drummers, Havana horns, and brilliant theatrical lighting work together to create an unforgettable experience.
Roni Benise continues to cross new musical boundaries - touching the hearts and souls of people from all cultures with the universal language of music.