Mark Batchelor kindly booked tickets for us to catch a rare UK live performance by Brazilian/American vocalist and Bossa Nova specialist, Bebel Gilberto.  She is the daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha and has been performing in the family tradition in Rio since an early age.

This evening’s performance took place at the Union Chapel in Islington and the venue was packed with fans of South American music.  A little disappointingly, Bebel was performing with just a guitarist accompaniment – the excellent New York-based Brazilian, Guilherme Monteiro – which did limit the dynamics, percussive and tonal opportunities which a larger band would have provided.  However, the duo displayed undoubted commitment and skill throughout and the performance was certainly a hit with her small army of fans.

The support artist, the London-based Luzmira Zerpa, proved beguiling and her well-paced set benefited from her knowledge and understanding of her Venezuelan musical dynasty.  I was very impressed by her calm yet appealing stage presence and would recommend fans of the genre to catch her live soon.