Standard Sounds

Annie O Presents: Forro in the Dark

We dare you to listen to Brazilian band Forro in the Dark’s electrifying, rhythmic music and try not to start dancing—it’s pretty much impossible. The band, formed by the group’s leader Mauro Rofosco in 2002, seamlessly weaves farro (a percussion-heavy, ballroom dance hall style of music that’s popular in Northern Brazil) and elements from other musical genres like folk, jazz and rock. The result is a refreshing sound that instantly brings you to your feet. The New York-based group of Brazilian expats—Rofosco, Guilherme Monteiro and Jorge Continentino—have collaborated and performed with the likes of David Byrne, Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Following their debut album (Bonfires of San Joao) and then Light a Candle, they enlisted the help of Brazilian producer Kassin, along with multi-Grammy Award winner, Mario Caldato (producer of the Beastie Boys), to elevate their music to a whole new level for Sandcastle (released in 2017). They’ll be bringing their signature sound to The Standard, East Village Friday, June 14, but before then they caught up The Standard’s Annie O.

What does Forro in The Dark mean?

Forro means it’s time to party and have a good time.

When did you form the collective? Are you all from Brazil?

We started playing together around 2002, and yes, we are all from Brazil, but Jake will be playing bass with us Thursday, he will be the gringo in the band.

What instruments does everyone play?

Mauro Zabumba, Davi triangle, Guilherme guitar, Felipe accordion and Jake bass.

How would you describe your music style of Forro?

It’s a ballroom dance style of music. It’s meant for people to either dance together or just open their ears and enjoy the beautiful melodies and driven rhythms.

How did your collaboration with David Byrne came about?

I was on tour with David in 2004. I had my guitar on the tour bus and every night I would sing my favorite Forro songs. DB told me he had written lyrics for Asa Branca, one of the most popular songs in Brazilian Music and an anthem in Forro style. in the spot I told him that when we recorded our next record he would be singing it with us. He kept his promise

Tell us a bit about the direction of your album, Sandcastle?

Sandcastle was our first record that we recorded in Brasil with a Brazilian producer named Kassin. It features Jorge Continentino on all the vocals and it’s a very delicate collection of songs.

Do you tour a lot?

Not as much as we wish. It’s hard to tour these days, with everyone’s individual schedules.

What are you listening to these days?

Lots of Comadre Fulozinha, Caetano Veloso new record with his kids, Dominguinhos, Henry Mancini, Phil Spector, Paul Simon, O Terno, Milton Nascimento.

What can we expect from your show at the Standard, East Village?

Bring your dancing shoes.


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