Tonight: Diogo Nogueira at Kahlua

Samba is not just a single musical genre; it's actually subdivided into countless sub-genres ranging from the party-friendly Carnaval beat to the highly subtle bossa nova made famous by the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto. However, among the best-loved in Brazil (and least-known internationally) is the variation called samba-canção, a more melodic style that especially thrives in Rio de Janiero.

Samba-canção's lyrics are mostly romantic, waxing poetic about love won and lost, the love of music, soccer and of course about Cariocas' (the name given to those born in Rio) endless infatuation with their native city. Among its rising stars is Diogo Nogueira, a 29-year-old singer and songwriter who launched his career two years ago following in the footsteps of his late father, samba legend Joao Nogueira, who passed in 2000 of a massive heart attack as he prepared to go on stage at a Sao Paulo music venue.

In spite of his short time under the spotlight , Nogueira has a true sambista's chops - he has the same rich baritone his dad did, and is also a talented songwriter in his own right. On his latest live disc, which can be streamed in its entirety here, he presents a mix of covers and original numbers, including the poignant "Do Jeito Que Sou" ("The Way I Am"), a loving salute to his family -especially his dad.

This is Nogueira's first U.S. tour as a professional artist, but second stop in Houston; he was here for last year's Latin Grammy Awards as a nominee for Best New Artist. Besides Houston, he's stopping in other cities with large Brazilian communities (Miami, Los Angeles, San Jose, Newark) for whom something from back home helps to alleviate their saudade (an untranslatable word that means something like wishful yearning).

Considering Noguiera's growing following, this might be the only chance to catch him in a small venue Order a caipirinha or cerveja gelada to make the mood even better.

Thursday, June 18 at 8 PM at Kahlua, 7633 Dashwood Dr. For tickets ($20) call 832-723-3029 or visit

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Ernest Barteldes