MIMO world music festival Brazil

Brazil’s largest free music festival will mark its 11th edition this year, staging classical, jazz and world music in four locations across the country.

The international line-up for MIMO 2014 includes Jordi Savall with Hespèrion XXI from Spain, Indian composer-percussionist Trilok Gurtu and Malian star Bassekou Kouyaté. Brazilian performers include percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, and instrumentalist Jaques Morelenbaum.

Launched in 2004 by music producer Lu Araújo, MIMO takes place in Paraty, Tiradentes and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ouro Preto and Olinda. All concerts are free and presented in churches, squares or courtyards.

Festival director Araújo, and artistic director André Oliveira, told IAM that staging the festival across four locations is a ‘logistical and technical challenge we embrace every year… It’s a huge production to transform and dress the old churches and squares into fully equipped stages with sound, lighting, screens and all the necessary backline – miles away from Rio and São Paulo, where large-scale events like this are more common.’

Herbie Hancock, Philip Glass and Ibrahim Maalouf are among the stars to have headlined MIMO in previous years.

MIMO reached 630,000 spectators between 2004 and 2013 and Araújo and Oliveira believe the festival enriches Brazil’s cultural landscape.

‘By presenting our festival events in the country’s heritage cities, MIMO shifts public attention towards these important monuments. Bringing together music, cinema, architecture and education, we give broader public open access to a combined arts programme – a public that is a social mix, intergenerational, and geographically diverse (as we operate in several states).’

As well as workshops and talks, the event stages special concerts at primary schools in all four cities as part of MIMO For Kids.

MIMO takes place on 29-31 August, Ouro Preto (Minas Gerais); 4-7 September, Olinda (Pernambuco); 10-12 October, Paraty (Rio de Janeiro state); 17-19 October, Tiradentes (Minas Gerais)