Sunday, January 10, 2010

Timbeleza in Polish Hill

c. David Grim
(taken 7/19/09)

Last winter I had the opportunity to check out the "Brazilian Samba Funk" of Timbeleza at the now defunct Your Inner Vagabond in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Aided by the refreshments I picked up down the block, I was moved by the driving rhythms to exercise my kinesthetic aptitude.

With twenty (or so) percussionists plying their trade, the band overwhelms its audiences with booming waves of punctuated sound. So when I heard that they'd be appearing at Polish Hill's annual arts festival, I made a point of dragging several of my friends with me to experience the glory in person.

The consensus was that this is a group that we are lucky to have in the 'Burgh. In a town dominated by blues and classic rock traditionalists, it's refreshing to hear something a bit different. When I was a wee lad I remember attending drum-and-bugle corps competitions at the local private college stadium. While I wasn't necessarily captivated by the compositions themselves, I recall being struck by the energy of the performances. I feel a bit of that same drive with Timbeleza... plus I can get behind the flavor of music they offer.

I did get a bit carried away on the Hill. I was even told that I'd be appearing in a YouTube video documenting the event, and I was naturally apprehensive about that prospect. Still, sometimes you just have to let yourself be taken into a cathartic reverie.