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Bebel Gilberto
Hiro Ballrooom
November 25, 2009

Written by Geoff Leung
Photographed by Susan Gurevich

Opposite Photo: Bebel Gilberto

When Bebel Gillberto's formally-attired band took their places onstage, they looked more like the Crazy 88's than a jazz band, thanks to the hanging Japanese lanterns that decorated Hiro's stage. Nevertheless, the black suited band and Miss Gilberto's evening gown set the jazz-show tone from the start with "Aganju," Gilberto's most popular song.

Bebel Gilberto

Gilberto's smile lasted throughout the set and both encores. Yes, there were two; committed fans were rewarded with a second encore featuring the same level of commitment her very first song. Throughout the show, Miss Gilberto kept the energy dynamic; slowing down and speeding up with confidence. The set was well balanced with slower songs (that she sat for), and energized dance songs that she led like a dance instructor--waving her arms and pointing into the audience. To a deaf person it might have appeared as if Miss Gilberto was teaching a samba class. Her arms were always swaying, making swimming strokes in the air while she swished her hips from side to side. Gilberto even engaged those of us too shy to dance, and smiled like it was only her turn on the karaoke stage.

The diva in Miss Gilberto came out often throughout the night - she even took out her compact and applied lipstick. The atmosphers was more bossa nova than the rock and electronic acts that normally inhabit Hiro; but a performance like Gilberto's is precisely how Hiro Ballroom should sound

For more information about Bebel Gilberto:

Bebel Gilberto

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