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Intellect

Synthesis shines at Rio das Ostras Jazz and Blues Festival in Brazil

The second week of tour for BYU premier big-band Synthesis in Brazil was packed with concerts, festivals and outreach opportunities, including an appearance at the Rio das Ostras Jazz and Blues Festival.

Artistic Director Ray Smith and the student-musicians started the week presenting a young-single-adult family home evening in Campos. The cultural hall of the LDS chapel was packed and the group played a 75-minute concert that was fun for all. Before it was over the young people were dancing and the band had three standing ovations.

Synthesis started the next morning in Campos with a radio interview at 7 a.m. with the local FM station. At midday the whole band did a television interview/short performance for Globo Television. It aired on the noontime news show.

The concert in Campos was held at the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense. More than 1,000 people packed the hall, sitting in the aísles and on the steps. Synthesis did two encores and the crowd  wanted more.

Ray Smith indicated that "audience members are very warm and loving and always express their heartfelt-appreciation for each concert. They often want photos with the performers and autographs whether it's on their shirts, backs, or programs." Synthesis members reported they have had more Facebook requests than ever before.

A tour highlight was participation in the Rio das Ostras Jazz and Blues Festival May 29-June 2, 2013, which included a selection of top jazz musicians and performers concertizing on four outdoor stages.

The festival, organized by the municipality of Rio das Ostras through its Department of Tourism, is one of the most respected and popular festivals in South America. During the five days of the festival, 28 free concerts are presented with more than 60 hours of great music.

Synthesis opened the festival with a concert on the town square stage with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop.

The next night, Synthesis was the opening concert on Costazul stage, the festival's main stage. There were 20,000 people at the concert and another 20,000 listening from outside.

Smith said there were audience members as far as they could see. The band played great and again received a standing ovation and an encore was requested. Afterwards, Smith did an interview on Web TV Rio das Ostras.

The band remained at the festival for two more days and did a clinic/exchange at a local university Friday morning. They also had a chance to see many of the other artists perform during the day and evenings.

The sponsor organized their own Churrasco (Brazilian barbecue) at the hotel for Synthesis. Everybody loved it. On Sunday, Synthesis traveled to Rio de Janeiro, checked into their hotel, had lunch, went to Church and then did a fireside for the Rio Stakes. It was a large building and packed clear back to the stage with probably 800 people.  Smith reports again a great reception with eight stakes in attendance.

Monday night Synthesis attended a family home evening with all the Young Single Adults in Rio de Janeiro where they presented some inspirational messages.

On Wednesday, the group travels to Sao Paulo where among other things they will present a big band dance for the Church at the Ballroom Social Club Juventus for more than 3,500 persons. Before leaving Rio they spent time at the famous Christ the Redeemer statue outside of the city.

The culture class required for Synthesis members before tour is paying off. In each town they have had a chance to visit important historical monuments and sites.

The media coverage on radio, television and the internet has been extensive for Synthesis on this tour.

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