Sunday, April 19, 2009 'Celso Machado got a standing ovation at intermission'
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Celso Machado got a standing ovation at intermission. 

The strength of his guitar playing would have been more than enough for me. But he made music with all parts of his body and everything around him (mic stand, chair, etc). I realize that sort of thing can sound gimmicky, but no. His virtuosity on the tambourine, the way he uses it like a frame drum, is stunning. At one point he wordlessly, on the fly in the middle of a song, conducted the audience into simulating the sound of a thunderous rainstorm approaching and receding. You could hear the raindrops splashing in the puddles. By the time we realized what we had done, he was on to the next thing. That's the way he operates. What could be better than a performance where the delightful surprises never stop?

The Brazilian-born virtuoso guitarist, percussionist and singer Celso Machado is loved by many in his hometown of Vancouver and around the world but I found it surprising how many people in Nelson had never heard of him. His concert didn't even fill up the Capitol Theatre and there was no one from the music program at Selkirk College there. The performance was part of Alan Rinehart's 19th Annual Northwest Guitar Festival this weekend. I am doing a radio piece about it for CBC radio's North by Northwest. As part of the festival program he directed a small orchestra of 18 guitarists (and one pipa player) while accompanying them on an array of little percussion instruments. The generosity and audacity of this grinning-but-serious, focused-and-relaxed musical dynamo left us awe-struck and happy. Posted by Bill Metcalfe [Celso Machado is an Afro-Brazilian composer, guitarist, lyricist and singer who was born in Ribeiro Preto, Brazil on January 27, 1953. He is profiled at and has a website of his own,]  

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