Viva Brasilia 

Country star Angela Kelman goes bossa nova

Who: Angela Kelman

Where: Millennium Place, 7 p.m.

When: Saturday, Feb. 16

There’s a new tempo in town.

Angela Kelman performs from her first solo album, a collection of 10 songs titled Café Brasilia , Saturday night as the Peerless Presents 2002 Winter Concert Series gets underway.

"I was definitely Brazilian in another life!" laughs Kelman, who grew up in Manitoba. Kelman got the buzz early on, and was singing at age 13. Her first release was in high school. Titled Heaven Tonight, it was a hint of the future.

"Sunday afternoons in our house growing up were always about music. My dad would play the oldies like To Sir With Love, and Downtown from Petula Clark. The boss nova style is just so heartfelt. That passion is what really makes the music," says Kelman, who trained at the Vocal Institute of Technology in Hollywood. One of her music mentors was Keryn Leteau.

"In L.A. I had lots of exposure to all the favourite bands I grew up with in the ’70s. Certain styles really speak to you, and I’m really influenced by the Brazilian-style sound. I also love late ’60s music as well, and Sergio Mendez of Brazil 66," she adds.

Following her time in L.A. Kelman joined the country band Farmer’s Daughter, which produced two gold albums and captured 29 industry awards in their nine years together. Tours were always a part of that lifestyle.

"With Farmer’s Daughter we played at military camps on tour in Egypt, Israel and Bosnia, and we stayed in the barracks. It was hard work but lots of fun of course, staring at all these men in uniform!" says Kelman.

Now, her focus lies with melody in its pure form.

"I’m really into the simplicity of sound with melody, in songs like I Only Have Eyes for You and Gordon Lightfoot’s Beautiful. My 21-year-old niece listens to all the new stuff, but I’m into music that has been recorded without a lot of computers and all sorts of electronic back up," says Kelman.

"My bossa nova music is really Sunday morning coffee-drinking music, some of it’s sort’ve mellow and smooth sounding," she adds.

Kelman’s current band lineup includes Shane Hendrickson on bass, Dale Wallace on piano, Al Rodger on guitar (producer of Café Brasilia ), Tom Keenlyside on clarinet and flute, and Paul Robertson on drums.

Her show at Millennium Place is the first in a series of five concerts at the venue over the next month produced by Whistler-based Peerless Music. The concert lineup for Peerless Presents includes bluesman Jim Byrnes, Leslie Harris and her band LesIsMore, Kenny Colman (who replaces singer Margo), and Jane Mortifee.

Tickets are $25 per show, or $100 for a Peerless Presents five-concert pass available through Ticketmaster and Millennium Place Box Office.

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