Music groups can start in garages, in the practice rooms of music schools, at the behest of teachers or any number of places. Quarteto Vivace Brasil started under the windows of pretty girls.
"Edson Lopes and I grew up in Tatuí, Brazil," flutist Tadeu Coelho says of himself and one of the quartet's guitarists. "We used to do serenades in the streets of Tatuí. There was a tradition to play at the homes of beautiful girls.
"If they liked the music, the light would come on and the family would invite you in for wine and food, so you'd eat and play some more."
The audience that goes to see the group Sunday night at the Singletary Center for the Arts will hear some of the tunes they played in those days, such as Carinhoso by Pixinguinha — always a winner with the parents, Coelho says — and music that reflects the musicians' substantial careers since their serenading days.
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"We're mainly classically educated," Coelho says of himself and Lopes.
Coelho moved to the United States, and he has been a flute professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts since 2002. In 2008, Lopes proposed the idea of putting together a group to present traditional Brazilian music along with classics, particularly Latin-flavored music by composers including Astor Piazzolla and Heitor Villa-Lobos. To round out the ensemble, they recruited two other Tatuí musicians: guitarist Roberto Colchiesqui, a former student of Lopes, and percussionist Rodrigo Marinonio, who also studied at the Tatuí Conservatory and went into pop music and jazz.
"We have created a unique sound," Coelho says of the group, which will perform in Lexington as part of the Chamber Music Society of Central Kentucky's season. "It's classical, modern, contemporary, eclectic."
As the group's only U.S. resident, Coelho has been responsible for doing the bulk of logistical work arranging its tours. This year's will be in support of the new album Quarteto Vivace Brasil Live in New Orleans, recorded during the group's 2009 tour.
It's all years away from serenading, which, Coelho laments, "is a dying tradition in Brazil."
Their success could inspire some guys, particularly if they see they might get more than attention by singing outside their windows lovely young women.