SERGIO MENDES & Brasil '66 - AMSTERDAM 2012 - Video
PUBLISHED:  Aug 11, 2012
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: The best 40 minutes of the Amsterdam 'Milky Way' (Melkweg) concert on July 17, 2012 including many hits. Video shot with 2 iPhones and some borrowed footage edited in Apple Final Cut Pro X. Enjoy!


In 1966 I was a young schoolboy, like everyone else heavily into the music that in those days also served as the soundtrack for the Vietnam War: The Doors, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, The Byrds, Pink Floyd.

When not at school I could be found at a local coffee shop called 'The Metro', a dark avantgarde meeting spot in my hometown of Leiden in The Netherlands. The coffeeshop's owner was from Brazil and he introduced me to the latest musical styles from Brazil and the then unknown upcoming Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66.

Immediately I was fascinated by this new sound that had a clever mystic melodic lightness, like a tropical breeze. When the second album came out I remember my friend and I rushed straight to the local record store and listened to it in a booth that had a hightech Quad electrostat speaker system. (in stereo!)

In 1971 Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 (by then world famous) came to Amsterdam to play the Concertgebouw. It was my first concert there and I was seated in a choir seat on this classical stage, very close to the band. Singer Karen Philipp was the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen, singing unison with Lani Hall and the original lineup of Brasil '66 at the peak of their fame. It was a magical night.

Over the years the world and popmusic changed, but Brasil '66 always seemed timeless to me. It never failed to cheer you up instantly both in the middle of rainy Dutch winters and during warm summer days and nights on a sailboat in the Mediterranean. It still does.

In the 1980's I played Sergio's new music when I was a radio DJ playing Urban R&B on a radiostation in Amsterdam. Sergio, who had moved to Los Angeles now made more American FM Radio LA style popmusic, much like David Foster or Quincy Jones. In the 90's Sergio regularly returned to his Brazilian roots, this time in a more progressive, experimental but always tasteful melodic way.

In 2008 when rapper/producer/DJ Will-I-am worked with Sergio Mendes on a Black Eyed Peas album it resulted in a close friendship and Sergio took Will-I-Am to Rio, asking him to co-produce Sergio's album 'Timeless', renewing many songs from the Brasil '66 era, making them timeless even more.

Today at 71 Sergio Mendes is still recording and touring the world's stages. Together with his wife - original Brasil '66 singer - Gracinha Leporace (who sang on many of Sergio's original recordings) and some excellent musicians they are now the 2012 version of Brasil '66.

This year Sergio and the band returned to the Netherlands where he is a regular at the yearly Northsea Jazz Festival. But I was looking forward to seeing him play the smaller more intimate Amsterdam 'Milky Way' venue a few days after.

And so -40 years later- it all came full circle when I found myself again in front of a stage, enjoying the band and the music that stayed with me throughout most of my life, ever since that day in that Brazilian coffeeshop in 1966.

The 2 iPhones I was holding, enabling me to share the experience via the internet, suddenly felt like pure science fiction and reminded me of how much had changed. But one thing remains: I know I will always cherish the music of Sergio Mendes. Enjoy!

Lion Keezer
Amsterdam, Holland

(I've put up a nice clip from the original 1966 lineup here: )

Dec 17, 2014 UPDATE @ 95,421 views:

Thanks everyone for your great comments! So pleased, never expected to see so many views and comments, especially on the other clip as well. Music brings people together from so many places, it truly connects. Amazing feeling to know that something I did for myself is now shared by so many. Thanks again, love you all!
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