Carlos Barbosa-Lima kicked off the 18th season Oct 22, bringing with him some of the music from Hawaii. He brought along Byron Yasui, also, one of the musical mainstays from Honolulu, who played his ‘Ukulele, both as a solo instrument and in ensemble.
Musically, the evening was a great success. Carlos took the stage with great flair, playing a lot of those signature Carlos pieces that we all know and love. His Adios and Brazil are absolute classics, but this time, he played two Scarlatti sonatas and reminded us of the old days before he had officially “crossed over” into the luscious world of Brazil and Bach, where the lines between popular and classic are not at all clear. His musical form has never been better and his technique was dazzling.
Byron’s performance was greeted in a poignant moment with a tremendous sneeze from the audience, something that was as rousing and throaty as any sneeze I’ve ever heard. It was a show stopper as the entire audience burst into laughter…but only for a moment, while Byron and the audience regained their composure.
Coaxing the Stars and Stripes Forever out of the ‘Ukulele is a real project and Byron managed to bring the audience into a rousing show of support in enthusiastic hand clapping. When Carlos and Byron joined as a duet, the most compelling piece was the Cavatina by Stanley Myers. The new work Byron wrote for Carlos was the Hawaiian Lullaby in slack key tuning (scordatura is a word more often used to describe a departure from the conventional tuning).