Born of Spanish and Japanese parents in 1976 in São Paulo, Brazil, Luciano Nakata Albuquerque adopted the persona Curumin (KOO-roo-mean) as a way of exploring the possibilities of Brazil's many sonic heritages. Known globally as the land of bossa nova and samba, the youthful vocalist/multi-instrumentalist/producer has borrowed much from his Brazilian culture but expanded upon it by creating an inviting, sensual tone while eschewing any lust for stardom through mainstream sounds.
His style is sometimes called samba-funk, and it incorporates many jazz, bossa nova, and hip hop elements as well. His first two albums, Achados e Perdidos and Japanpopshow, were released by ybmusic. On the thirtd, but pioneering Arrocha (Six Degrees Records), he has built upon prior success in creating a melodically addicting and rhythmically potent exploration of modern Brazil.
Discovered by California hip-hop outfit Blackalicious on a 2005 South American tour, the duo helped Curumin gain international recognition by releasing his debut, Achados e Perdidos, in the United States. After successfully launching his presence in the States at CMJ that same year, he was quickly booked to perform at Chicago's World Music Festival and the M3 Conference the following year. Natalie Portman included his track 'Tudo Bern Malandro' on a compilation; when 'Guerreiro' was used in a Nike ad during the FIFA World Cup, the fame he never sought was ensured.
It was Curumin's second album, JapanPopShow, that really launched him in 2008. His unique fusing of samba, reggae, electronica, funk and hip-hop earned him gigs at Central Park Summerstage, Los Angeles's Grand Performances, the Montreal Jazz Fest, the Red Hot Rio +2 concert at Brooklyn's BAM and San Francisco's Stern Grove. He's performed alongside Femi Kuti, Jorge Ben, Money Mark, Blackalicious and Juana Molina, and earned glowing accolades from the NY Times, Spin, the Village Voice and Billboard.com.
Part of a wave of evolutionary Brazilian artists updating their native soundscape, this self-professed tropicalia and funk addict now delves deeply into the electronic sound of his MPC to control the direction. 'I created different atmospheres and textures from doing a lot of research with all of the albums I have here in my house,' he says. Being that his home would not cater to a full band set-up, Arrocha dives right into the heart of his intentions: it's a warm, sensitive journey featuring gorgeous melodies floating over a wash of spacious percussion, guitars and bass, while never losing the danceable beats that his culture demands.
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