Black Atlantic: Danilo Brito
Since Danilo Brito first picked up his father's bandolim - the Brazilian version of the mandolin, named for its pioneer, Jacob do Bandolim - as a toddler in São Paulo, it was clear he was a prodigy. His musical parents encouraged him to nurture his skill, sending him to lessons with regional masters. Brito learned to play choro, the first Brazilian popular music style, with its roots in Portuguese fado, its polka and waltz rhythms overlaid with Afro-Brazilian syncopation, and its dazzling displays of instrumental dexterity. Brito has since become the future of choro, his daring and precise mandolin runs earning him a reputation as the new Jacob do Bandolim. On his self-titled 2014 album, along with a sizzling quintet of guitars and percussion, Brito plays the role of wordless storyteller, conveying a sense of wistful romanticism, inquisitive playfulness, and youthful verve.