The second annual Março Loucura fun tournament has arrived

So glad to be back again, taking a fun break from the usual CD reviews, 411 biographical sketches, and occasional tidbits on my favorite songs.

It is time for the second annual Brazilian Fun Jazz Tournament!

Similar to the actual NCAA Tournament when their draw was conducted early Sunday evening, there were a few seed surprises–especially those schools from 2013 who deserved to be higher.  I guess turnabout is fair play, and you will see it again here–and hopefully, some of you loyal MPB’s won’t be screaming through your smartphones and saying, “Why?”  “I should have deserved a higher seed.”

Like I said in 2013, it is all about popularity and who comes along really well in the end that shines in this competition.

But I promise one cool thing to ponder over when that other famous tournament begins in Rio come June–if the NCAA was in charge instead of FIFA, what would the World Cup draw really look like?

It is time to dive into the brackets, as we welcome nearly two dozen new artists and groups to the mix.  But first, since this is a 68 team field–we have to have two ‘play-in’ matchups slated for late Tuesday and Wednesday nights.  Those matchups are their seedings in their corresponding regions are explained below (bold indicates first round survivors):

ES Region:  (16) Machan vs. Barrio Jazz Gang

PT Region:  (16) Nilson Matta vs. Pat Metheny

AG Region:  (12) Maria Rita vs. Terra Sul

OCN Region:  (11) George Michael vs. Les Hommes

Brief analysis, will the former lead singer of Wham! have enough to “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” or will my lovely spring break theme with it being, “The Mood Is Modal” win out?  Also, I was very surprised about Maria Rita slipping a bit–although I heard through the grapevine that her Valentine’s week concerts in Chicago were a big hit.  Also, in tribute to first time NCAA participant Cal Poly–here is a forgotten oldie on an early movie soundtrack, Nilson Matta and Black Orpheus.

So, are you ready for more fun?

Sim Nós Somos (Yes, We Are)

Let us dive into the brackets, starting with the upper left portion in paying tribute to one of a pair of great musicians and overall great guys in Brazilian jazz who left our world in 2013:

Emilio Santiago Region

1. Basia earned the overall number 1 seed because her version of “The Waters of March” has come through loud and clear, no matter what Mother Nature brings to most of the United States–brrrrrrrrrrr, being unlike in 2012 when everyone was wearing shorts.

16. Machan

8. Nicola Conte

9. Flora Purim

5. Maria Bethania, same seed as last year

12. Hadley Hockensmith

4. Al Jarreau

13. Akira Jimbo

6. Bebel Gilberto

11. Luciana Souza

3. Lani Hall

14. John Klemmer

7. Marina Elali

10. Celia Vaz

2. Marisa Monte

15. Beat Girls

On to the lower left of your brackets, it is the region named after one of my really cool early inspirations in following Brazilian jazz.  Welcome one, welcome all to the…

Patricia Talem Region

1. Sergio Mendes

16. Luisa Maita

8. Monica da Silva

9. Janis Hansen, one of the lead vocalists in Brasil ’66, potential third round matchup maybe if she gets by the 8 in Round 2.

5. Ivan Lins

12. Ze Bruno

4. Wanda Sa

13. Caetano Veloso

6. Michael Franks

11. Al di Meola

3. Ivete Sangalo

14. April Aloisio, first time in the mix–very tough matchup.

7. Stan Getz

10. Tania Maria

2. Joyce Cooling

15. Nando Lauria

On to the upper right and a very interesting region as we salute the 50th anniversary of everyone’s favorite song and expression about, “The Girl From Ipanema”:

Astrud Gilberto Region

1. Diana Krall

16. Bill Cunliffe

8. Bianca Rossini

9. Dori Caymmi

5. Brandy Volant

12. Chris Standring

4. Ed Johnson

13. Lonnie Liston Smith, same seed as last year

6. Marcio Montarroyos

11. Gabriela Anders, one of the last to slip into the field

3. Marcos Valle

14. Joyce

7. Walter Wanderley

10. Toco

2. Milton Nascimento

15. Stacey Kent

Finally, the real heavyweight division of them all…again, honoring another departed artist, it is the…

Oscar Castro Neves Region

1. Gal Costa

16. Nilson Matta

8. Gisele de Santi

9. Nico Gomez

5. Liz Rosa

12. Maria Rita

4. Fabiana Passoni, the 2013 Brazilian Fun Jazz Champion just like Louisville, might be just a bit miffed or confused on why she is seeded so low.  Hope it wasn’t a bad hair day.

13. Tom & Julie

6. Halie Loren

11. Les Hommes

3. Frank Sinatra

14. Tokyo Blue Star

7. Till Bronner

10. Bossacucanova

2. Djavan, the 2013 Runner-Up

15. Baden Powell

Sorry, but just like SMU, Florida State, and UWGB–the likes of Roberto Menescal, Elis Regina, and Os Cariocas saw their bubbles burst.

A lot of interesting matchups, to say the least.

But by the time we regather the weekend of April 5, this will be my Brazilian Fun Jazz Final Four:

It will be Basia vs. Wanda Sa in one semifinal, while the other end will have two of my all-time favorite jazz artists:  Diana Krall and Fabiana Passoni.  I just cannot envision Fabiana feeling down for a long period of time–albeit she has been in the background at times these last several months, and for good reason. Just like Rick Pitino and Louisville, one good key to long-term success is just going about their business and looking to strike while the iron is hot in a really loaded Midwest Region.

But, whom to choose (uggggggh!)


Remember at the start of this blog, how the World Cup draw would have been like if somehow it was stenciled in bracket form?  It would have provided some truer semblance of balance, largely based on the overall rankings.  Just my two cents.

For my overall thoughts on the real “Big Dance”, please point your browsers to:


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