Clarice Assad

(2015) Cirandadas

(2017) c.a. (25 minutes)


Flutes 1 & 2
Oboe (1)
English Horn (1)
Bb Clarinet
Bass Bb Clarinet
Bassoons (1)
Contrabassoon (1)



Bb Trumpet in (2)
Trombone (3)
Bass Trombone

Perc 1 

Percussion 1
Percussion 2
Percussion 3




“Assad is the Music Alive: New Partnerships composer-in-residence with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. But she’s also a pianist, improviser, and singer, and she played and sang in her own 25-minute work, for which she was joined by Japanese percussionist Keita Ogawa and local outfits ZUMIX, Grooversity, and Camp Harbor View.

The title “Cirandadas” refers to a type of music and dance from northeastern Brazil. Assad described the piece as a “Japanese Brazilian orchestral samba rap”; it was all of that, with folk-like tunes, call-and-response singing, clapping and waving of hands in the air, ferocious drumming from Grooversity out front, and a dance pulse everywhere, yet it held together. The kids from ZUMIX and Camp Harbor View were more than all right, and Wilkins himself swayed to the samba beat, but Assad was the star, singing of the “fishies of the sea” and then scatting up a storm.”

– BOSTON GLOBEBoston Globe review of CIRANDADAS

Program Notes

“CIRANDADA” is a word play on the term “CIRANDA” which is a type of music and dance from the Northeastern part of Brazil. Although not all of the songs included in this piece are from that region, the word “CIRANDA” is also characterized by the formation of a small or large circle of people, who gather to perform this music by singing, playing and dancing. The folk music of Brazil is also largely associated with children, for its simplistic and playful nature.

Clarice’s skills as composer, singer, pianist, and improviser have enabled her to collaborate with Boston musicians of many ages and backgrounds. Clarice, joined by percussionist Keita Ogawa led workshops at three separate youth programs. At Camp Harbor View, they have made glorious music with singer David Fuller and the young campers of his Music Club. At ZUMIX in East Boston, they have jammed with young students and with faculty members Sissy Castrogiovanni and Jenny Shulman, under the care and guidance of ZUMIX Co-Founder and Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski. A third group helped launch the final concert: the Brazilian drumming ensemble Grooversity, led by the charismatic Marcus Santos. His ensemble comprises musicians from the Berklee College of Music and younger students as well.

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