Rio Con Brio captivates audiences around the country with their intimate performance of the beautiful and esoteric Brazilian repertoire known as choro, the early 20th Century street music of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Influenced by equal parts Afro-Brazilian rhythms and the contemporary cafe music of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, choro is both exotic and familiar, evoking in turn the carnival of Rio and the cafes of Paris.
Guitarist Mike Burdette and mandolinist Tim Connell exhibit finesse and passion in their playing, while displaying a sincere love of the choro repertoire and connection to their audience. An evening with Rio Con Brio is a delightful tour of European and New World music as experienced by the mandolin and guitar and as told by two soulful, intelligent, modern musicians – a beautiful intersection of Brazilian rhythm, classical technique and jazz improvisation.
Mike Burdette has been performing Brazilian choro and gypsy jazz guitar for the past seven years with many of Portland’s best, including Tim Connell, Jason Okamoto, David Stassens, and Joseph Appel. His pursuit of excellence in these styles has led him to study with many of today’s leading players, including Mike Marshall and Choro Famoso, Dudu Maia, Douglas Lora, and Don Stiernberg. He also builds and repairs instruments for many of Portland’s finest players at Portland Fretworks, and pickers throughout the Northwest enjoy playing on frets he has installed. He lives in rural Newberg, Oregon, with his beautiful wife, Katherine, his chickens, and his honeybees.
A graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist with over twenty years professional performing experience, Tim Connell is a rising star in the acoustic music world, forging a unique and sophisticated new voice for the mandolin in his work with Mike Marshall’s Ger Mandolin Orchestra and through his recordings and tours with noted jazz guitarist Eric Skye, mandolin duo Mando Planet and the Brazilian choro group Rio Con Brio. His in-depth study of both Brazilian and Irish music, combined with his earlier years as a professional bassist, pianist and arranger have led Tim to synthesize a personal style on the mandolin which is harmonically advanced, rhythmically diverse and brimming over with sparkling ornamentation and romantic intensity.
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