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ith a sound rooted in Latin-American and Spanish flamenco traditions—including lyrics sung in Portuguese, Spanish and English—Beleza performs either as a duo or a full band, and serves as the vehicle for the creative musings of husband-and-wife Humberto and Madeline Sales. Described as “funkalicious samba soul,” the couple’s repertoire is very much Latin-influenced as well as extremely diverse. Indeed, a Beleza show features a blend of stylistic inflections ranging from samba, funk, soul, blues, bossa nova, jazz and flamenco, with a dusting of electronic sampling. While the genre influences are clear, the compositions are invariably run through the blender of Humberto’s Brazilian influence. “I grew up in Salvador, [the capital of Brazil’s

northeastern state of Bahia],” explains the 44-year-old guitarist. “Music is a very strong part of Brazilian culture in general; and as a young child, I learned guitar by playing Brazilian pop-music by ear.” Circa the age of 11, there came a revolution. “I heard Paco de Lucia and fell in love on the spot,” says Humberto. “I knew I wanted to study Spanish flamenco music.” The bug stuck. Attending the federal music conservatory in Salvador, Humberto ultimately earned a degree in classical guitar performance. Meanwhile, 42-year-old Madeline grew up in the Southeastern U.S., with her family settling in Charlottesville when she was in middle school. “Music was a natural part of my upbringing,” she says. “Both of my parents love to sing, and I have fond memories of them leading me and my three siblings around the house as a ‘marching band,’ dancing

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Profile for Ivy Publications

Wine & Country Living Spring 2017  

Wine & Country Living Spring 2017