Good groove

By By Cressa Perloff

By Cressa Perloff

If you think the best kind of party has music and the best kind of music is live, then you’ll probably want to swing by the Black Box Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center Saturday night to see Jinga Boa.

The samba group’s name literally means “good groove” in Portuguese, and Jinga Boa traces its members’ roots to eclectic locations. Its singer, George Brown, is from Brazil; Pierre Dufresne is from Canada; Ai Fujii is from Tokyo and Lorin Hansen, Mason Aeschbacher and Aaron Nelson are from Salt Lake City. Aeschbacher also teaches the U’s samba dance and drum class on Saturdays with help from other members.

Despite these scattered origins, Jinga Boa traces all its musical roots to Brazil. Samba, which is an umbrella term for music in Brazil the way “rock” is in the United States, originated as very rhythmic folkloric music in the 1970s in the backyards of Brazilian slums. Unlike the culture of most western music, there were no “stars”-rather, communities knew and loved common songs.

Samba meant to be played at a carnival but with smaller instruments for inside is called pagode (pronounced “pa-GO-jee”), which is the kind of samba Jinga Boa plays. The actual word “pagode” can be used not only to reference the music, but also to reference the entire event-as in, “we’re going to have a pagode!”

“The essence of pagode is to play it and have people dance,” said Nelson. It’s all about “facilitating a great time,” Hansen added.

The instruments played in pagode are all from Brazil. The recognizable ones include guitar, triangle and various bells. The cavacinho, a little guitar similar to a ukulele, is the central instrument in pagode music. Members of the band also play low, bass drums called tantans, the tambourine-like pandeiro and the recoreco, reminiscent of a washboard. Jinga Boa also uses the cuca, which sounds like a squealing straw in a cup, as well as vocals in Portuguese.

Aeschbacher noted that the music and instruments are so captivating that “once you start, you can’t stop, and you have to sell all your furniture to buy more drums.”

The group started through the California Brazil Camp, where it first heard pagode. Jon Scoville, the music teacher for the U’s modern dance department, started up the group Samba Gringa, which now plays at Real Salt Lake games. It was through this group that Jinga Boa established itself-now the band is almost three years old.

The concert this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. is actually a CD-release party for the group. Completely self-recorded, Jinga Boa’s CD is called “T Na Ginga” (pronounced like “jinga”-in Portuguese, the two spellings are interchangeable), which means “in the feel” in Portuguese.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 the day of the show through ArtTix at 355-ARTS or To listen to a preview, visit

The members of Jinga Boa chill out in the forest.