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Several Shocking Surprises In the Marco Loucura Version of the Sweet 16

The favorites continued to fall by the wayside

Yours Truly Online did not see this coming.

The highest seed to emerge from the Oscar Castro-Neves Region was the five seed of Gisele de Santi.  She is going forward the new favorite going into the next round.

Also, the 11 seed of Patricia Talem–my first ever interview from another blog site earlier this decade is the newest version of a Cinderella darling.

Here are your matchups for Thursday and Friday:


7. Morgana King vs. 11 Patricia Talem

5. Gisele de Santi vs. 9 Nico Gomez


  1. Joyce Cooling vs. 5. Sabrina Malheiros

2. Ivan Lins vs. 3. George Michael


  1. Marisa Monte vs. 5. Gerardo Frisina

2. Frank Sinatra vs. 11. Lani Hall, what a matchup that is going to be


3. Djavan vs. 7. Ricardo Silveira

4. Bianca Rossini vs. 9. Luisa Maita

Who will emerge to the Brazilian Fun Jazz Final Four?  Find out next week.




Major Upset In Marco Loucura

Marina Elali gets TKO’d by 1960’s artist Marilia Medalha

If you had it all figured out, you are sorely mistaken–especially in the minutes following the first ever Number 16 seed to knock out the overall Number 1 seed as the Maryland Baltimore County Retrievers out of the America East Conference simply pummeled the top seed of Virginia on Friday night in Charlotte, 74-54 in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s basketball Tournament.

This means in the Oscar Castro Neves Region, could Gisele de Santi have new life?  We will find out more on Monday.  Please try to enjoy your weekend.

Artist Worth Knowing About: Evan Marks


Image courtesy of

First founding fame in the popular smooth jazz group of Fattburger, Evan Marks has been a popular mainstay as a guitarist in southern California.

If you have ever heard of his songs either in a doctor’s or dentist’s office, you will know why.  Two tracks from his 1995 debut album noted above are instantly recognizable, the title track leading off and Track 7 “Seaview Drive”.

According to the music site, Marks briefly was a back up for groups ranging from The Drifters and The Platters, he caught his first break while touring with legendary jazz vocalist Billy Eckstine.  The ensemble appeared throughout Japan in part of the 1990’s.  The music was also heard on NHK TV and he also appeared with The Tokyo Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.

He decided to go solo in 1994 when he signed on with Verve Records.  Three years later, his sophomore album Three Day Weekend included a top 5 smooth jazz single titled “Coast to Coast.”  The following year, Heartbeat; Rhythm of the Infinite was a big hit with new age fans and many yoga instructors.

During parts of the 2000’s whenever Fattburger was not on tour, Marks helped produce projects for many popular companies ranging from American Airlines, Pitney Bowes, and NCR Corporation.  Also, his guitar has been heard on countless commercials for auto companies of Ford and Nissan, along with the networks of CBS, NBC, and PBS stations nationwide.

His disks are widely available for purchase on eBay, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.  Definitely a worthy addition to any jazz fan’s library.

Next week, I hope to profile a two-fier of Marina Lima.

Hope to see you all then.

Welcome To Year Number Six of Marco Loucura

The Annual Brazilian Fun Jazz Tournament,

With Plenty of Intrigue And Some Cool Suspense Abound

Between having a slow computer on Monday and taking the time to listen to four small, separate podcasts as America gears up for another fun period known as the NCAA men’s Basketball Tournament, I hope the wait was worth it.

I came up with the idea of doing a virtual version of “The Big Dance” in 2013, and it has been pretty well received.  No theatrics involving drinking games in certain pockets of Rio, Sao Paolo, or Los Angeles (or even really expensive champagne glasses were broken around Paris, France) was needed to determine the seeding and  bracketing of individual artists or groups.  Rather, I spent some time combing through my expansive CD library and try to come up with an interesting field of 68 names–past, present, and future.

In the end, I did not feel like doing an alphabetical list like what TBS did on Sunday evening in partially ruining one of the great American traditions in sports–

Who’s In and Who’s Out?

Some people will be happy, while others may probably be saying, “Awwwwww, Shucks–maybe next year.”  In the end, based on what happens in the real NCAA’s, the overall winner gets the honor of virtual bragging rights for an entire year.  If that artist happens to be no longer with us, that honor either goes to the next of kin or to some devoted fan who lives, breathes, and sleeps with every album in their own individual collections.

With that in mind, I am proud to present my…

Roster Of Marco Loucura Champions

2013 * Fabiana Passoni


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She beat out popular artist Djavan for the inaugural title.  Whether it is dancing in the sand or tapping her heels while lighting up a Southern California club, Fabiana simply has that magical look in her eye that conveys simple beauty and grace everywhere she goes.

Oh, you were wondering–why does her name have an asterisk to it?  Simple…

Unlike Louisville who ended up having their 2013 NCAA crown stripped in February 2018 following an over two year investigation stemming from a scandal which rocked their campus, I am happy to say that after everything that Fabiana has been through in her life (cancer survivor, raising triplets)–her virtual place is forever secured.

2014 Stan Getz


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Snarly attitude aside, Getz cleverly maneuvered past surprise finalist Gisele de Santi for the second annual Marco Locura crown.

2015 Frank Sinatra

Ol’ Blue Eyes was simply too daring, too much for Milton Nascimento that particular Monday night in April.  Similar that year to Wisconsin battling tooth and nail, there was too much Duke experience that night inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

And sorry, I could not find a decent pic to add to the gallery.

2016 Joyce Cooling


Joyce beat out fellow veteran musician Michael Franks by a whisker.  And yes, I managed to profile her work that very same day–talk about clever timing.

2017 Michael Franks


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Similar to North Carolina losing out in the last seconds in 2016 to Villanova, Franks had enough guts and determination that 2017 would be his year–and it proved to be right beating upstart Bianca Rossini for the fifth annual Marco Loucura title.

What Will 2018 Bring?

Ready to find out?  Please scroll down and see how the brackets turned out.

We start with the Overall Number 1 seed in the…


1)Marina Elali

16) Marilia Medalha, popular during the 1960’s is making her first appearance

8) Marcos Valle

9) Nico Gomez

5) Gisele de Santi, the consistency just wasn’t there during the winter

12) Jorge Ben

4) Minas

13) Danni Carlos

6) Claudia Leitte

11) Patricia Talem, so happy to see her in this field

3) Quarteto Em Cy, no “Rocky Top” here, just four ladies who loved singing in the 60’s

14) Leila Pinheiro

7) Morgana King, her highest seed position to date

10) Johnny Alf

2) Bebel Gilberto

15) Chris Standring

Moving on to the Upper Right corner of your brackets, we find the…


1)Joyce Cooling

16) Soulstance vs. Bossacucanova

8) Ceu

9) Zanna

5) Sabrina Malheiros

12) Sylvia Brooks, she breaks through without racing in her heels, get it?

4) Gal Costa, last year she was a 10 seed…that constant virtual airplay helped her a lot

13) Evan Marks

6) Basia

11) Steve Barta vs. Nilson Matta

3) George Michael

14) Davide Giovannini

2) Ivan Lins

15) Sonia Rosa

Moving right along to the lower right corner, we find the Overall Number 3 seed in the…


1)Marisa Monte

16) Pery Ribiero

8) Vania Bastos

9) Tom & Julie

5) Gerardo Frisina

12) Ronaldo Folegatti

4) Les Hommes

13) Italian Secret Service

6) Baden Powell

11) Edu Lobo vs. Lani Hall

3) Wanda Sa

14) Babado Novo

7) Badi Assad

10) Brandy Volant

2) Frank Sinatra

15) Marina Lima

Finally, we have arrived at the lower left corner of your brackets.

When I speak about this woman–she has proven to us time and time again that when you stick to a plan and things ultimately bear fruit, good things will soon follow.  Very soon, she will be mentioned in the same sentence as many jazz legends that have gone before her as the tenth album of this amazing singer/songwriter from Oregon will be released to hundreds of fans who subscribed to her Kickstarter page this past October, Yours Truly Online included.

Welcome one, welcome all to the always sweet and hopefully very kind…


1)Pat Metheny

16) Ithamara Koorax vs. Monica da Silva

8) John Klemmer

9) Luisa Maita

5) Liz Rosa

12) Walter Wanderley

4) Bianca Rossini

13) Lonnie Liston Smith

6) Marcus Valle

11) Bobby Brazil

3) Djavan

14) Mark Sganga

7) Ricardo Silveira

10) Skank

2) Michael Franks

15) Beat Girls

Sadly, in the cases of the Complicated Animals, along with Toco, Sade, Sergio Mendes, Natalie Cole, Laura Fygi, Astrud Gilberto, and the aforementioned Fabiana Passoni saw their virtual bubbles burst.

Just like in years past, I will highlight in boldface the first group of winners following Tuesday and Wednesday night’s game in Dayton, Ohio.  You see, nobody is picking those games in their billions of online bracket pools since it is about playing for chump change–but it is nothing like picking up a random picanha steak or pasteis filled with beef, cheese and shrimp at a popular Rio restaurant named Garota da Urca.

My next update of the virtual brackets will be next Monday when we get down to the

Doce Dezesseis Round, or simply “Sweet Sixteen.”

For everything you wanted to know about the biggest American sporting event outside of the Super Bowl, I have a nearly 21 minute podcast on my thoughts on the real “Big Dance”.

Please point your browsers to my other blog here on WordPress…

Artist Worth Checking Out: Vania Bastos


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Vania Bastos was born May 13, 1956 in Ourinhos in the popular city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In 1975, she studied both singing and sociology while in college.

According to her Wikipedia page, she began her music career in 1980 while as a vocalist in the band led by Arrigo Barnabe called Sabor de Veneno.  Bastos also was the main soloist in his 1983 work titled, Tubarões Voadores, and also managed to participate in a few recordings with Itamar Assumpcao.

Her solo career began to take off in 1986, recording her self-titled EP on the Copacabana record label.  After doing a pair of albums in 1989-1990 on the Eldorado label, she settled on Columbia for my Album Pick of the Week.

Released in 1992, Cantando Caetano (or simply, “Singing Caetano”) is a bubbly, calm at time, and very playful album.  All of the lyrics are in Portuguese and you can see some playful images of Vania in a red dress as if she was trying to impersonate Mariah Carey circa 1994.  The album lasts about 40 minutes and never leaves you either tired or bored.  Her pace of voice is on par with Fabiana Passoni, and she seemed to be comfortable in front of the microphone.

Although she produced five more albums in the next decade, Vania is nearing retirement at 61.  But still, her album deserves a nice place in your CD library.  It will be for me, as long as compact disks are still being produced.

Next Wednesday, I plan to profile the guitar work done by Evan Marks.

Hope to see you all then.  In the meantime, please look for my Sixth Annual Marco Loucura Picks and Pairings to arrive in your inboxes sometime next Monday afternoon.

Master Composers: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass


LP image courtesy of

For most of the 1960’s, Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass were it.

Wikipedia listed them as one of the top groups encompassing jazz, Latin, funk, pop, and R&B.  From the week ending October 16, 1965 through April 29, 1967, the group had at least one album in the Top 10–an astounding 81 weeks in a row.  They were also in the Top 10 most of that period as well.  In fact, over 13 million LP’s were sold in 1966 edging out the Beatles.

Even the famed Guinness Book of World Records recognized the group when he set a new record placing five different albums simultaneously in the Top 20 on the Billboard Pop Album chart.  During the first seven days of April 1966, four of them albums found themselves in the top 10–matching the same feat accomplished by The Kingston Trio towards the end of 1959.  Several CBS television primetime specials would soon follow and many more accolades and awards made them one of the 20th centuries greatest musical groups.

This album came out originally in 1964 under the A&M Records label.  Although the CD cover image has the woman smiling while cuddling adjacent to Alpert’s famous trombone, there is a commemorative booklet with 24 pages of detailed liner notes that are included as part of the Herb Alpert Signature Series.

Overall, the album covers around 30 minutes of solid trumpet and pianos aplenty.  In particular, their non-vocal version of “The Girl From Ipanema” is a definite show stopper.  You have to listen very closely to understand the full effect.

But this album has a deeper, more special meaning for Yours Truly Online…

This blog is in tribute to one of my mother’s all-time favorite groups.

And yes, my mother first managed to hear about this group while attending the same school for all 12 years–first in grade school, then in high school.  I don’t know too many other individuals, famous or otherwise who have done that.

Similar to Herb Alpert himself who is still going strong these days at age 82, my mother crossed a milestone age that she is taking fully in stride on Saturday.

Only me and her closest family and friends what that age exactly is.

Personally though, I hope she enjoys hearing this album with the famous boxed set of Whipped Cream. 

Feliz Aniversário, Mãe E Muito Mais.

Happy Birthday, Mom and Many More.


Master Composers: Ana Caram


Images courtesy of (above) and (below)


Born on October 1, 1958 in Sao Paolo, Ana Caram has enjoyed quite a career as a well versed Brazilian guitarist, flautist, and singer.

To her credit, she has composed ten albums between the years 1989 and 2014.

My Album Picks of the Week include a two-fer from 1995 and 1998, respectively.

After graduating from Sao Paolo University with a degree in both musical composition and conducting, it was Antonio Carlos Jobim himself that convinced Ana to move to New York.  Talk about lucky timing, as she would hit it big in what explained briefly of her pairing with jazz saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera at the JVC Jazz Festival.  One executive on the Chesky record label took notice and eventually signed Caram to a multi-album contract.

Whether it was doing a cover of past bossa nova greats or putting her own unique spin of Academy Award winning movies from days gone by, her voice comes off so smoothly and is a great pleasure to listen–no matter what time of day or night.  Her take on the 1960’s classic tune, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” is not to be missed.

She is also active on Facebook, keeping fans up to date on her latest musical stops throughout Brazil.

And since she managed to hit double digit albums, she continues as one of many links in the long chain of Master Composers.  There will be similar profiles like Ana that I hope to be covering in the weeks and months to come.  Just keep checking back periodically for more.

Throughout March, please look for my jazz album reviews on Wednesdays–since I have to spend way more time and energy to my other blog on WordPress.  I hope to explain more on the afternoon of Monday, March 12 on why this is the case.

In the meantime, I hope your March is fun and cool.  I know it will be for me, in more ways than one.