You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jorge Ben Jor; Daniela Mercury

To close the Hollywood Bowl's World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador's Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero's Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening.

Cast:
Performers: (Jorge Ben Jor) Lourival Cesar Faria da Costa, Nelson Franca Guimaraes, Eduardo Helbourn Jr., Joao Jose Lucrecio, James Muller, Jean Paulo de Freitas Arnoult, Marco Aurelio de Santis; (Daniela Mercury) Julio Cesar Leony, Gineidson Alves, Adilvani Araujo, Joelma Silva, Diogenes Filho, Marcelo Brasil, Joatan Nascimento, Andre Becker, Jonatas Costa, Gilmar Gomes, Alexandre Vargas, Fred Dantas, Paulo Caldas.

To close the Hollywood Bowl’s World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador’s Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero’s Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening.

Ben Jor came in on the big Brazilian wave of the 1960s, his songs popularized by the likes of Sergio Mendes, Hugh Masekela and Herb Alpert — and it was great to encounter older tunes like “Zazueira” with a relaxed groove, “Pais Tropical” with a pumping ska rhythm and “Mas Que Nada” segueing into and out of “Constant Rain.”

Ben Jor, and Mercury, too, gets a lot of his inspiration from North America. Besides sporting bright, vibrant vocals, he’s a strong rhythm guitarist, pulling James Brown, the Memphis Stax soul groove, jazz-light stylings, even the Rolling Stones into a tasty black bean/soul food stew. At times, his set seemed Brazilian only by virtue of the language, but his fine band could also turn on the pure samba with a wild percussion-only jam.

Mercury was making her Los Angeles debut — and the slim, beautiful, athletic, clear-voiced singer-dancer worked feverishly to ignite a fire in this vast, intimidating amphitheater, with only a brief break to change outfits over the 82-minute stretch.

Her music has been tagged samba reggae, but only in a handful of numbers (“Nobre Vagabundo,” in particular) could one detect a reggae element in the guitar and rhythm section. Samba there is, to be sure, but the emphasis is mostly on the big battering drums (they looked like oversized tom-toms) churning out what sounds like a complex, high-powered Bahian translation of American dance pop.

Whatever the label for her sound, Mercury is a totally captivating performer, smashing the language barrier with her flashy moves and vocals, with a large corps of musicians and dancers clad in fluorescent-colored outfits fueling the fire. When she wants to, she can also reach back in time and captivate us with a cool, bossa nova-like ballad (“Sou Voce”). If Mercury ever decided to take the plunge and go into American pop all the way, she could be as big as Britney Spears.

Jorge Ben Jor; Daniela Mercury

Hollywood Bowl; 17,383 seats; $70 top

Production: Presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. Reviewed Sept. 10, 2000.

Cast: Performers: (Jorge Ben Jor) Lourival Cesar Faria da Costa, Nelson Franca Guimaraes, Eduardo Helbourn Jr., Joao Jose Lucrecio, James Muller, Jean Paulo de Freitas Arnoult, Marco Aurelio de Santis; (Daniela Mercury) Julio Cesar Leony, Gineidson Alves, Adilvani Araujo, Joelma Silva, Diogenes Filho, Marcelo Brasil, Joatan Nascimento, Andre Becker, Jonatas Costa, Gilmar Gomes, Alexandre Vargas, Fred Dantas, Paulo Caldas.

More Music

  • Nick Jarjour Music hollywood new leaders

    New Leaders: Maverick's Nick Jarjour Has His Sights Set on Music Industry Domination

    To close the Hollywood Bowl’s World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador’s Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero’s Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening. Ben Jor came in on the big Brazilian wave of the […]

  • John Mayer

    John Mayer Establishes Scholarship in His Father's Name

    To close the Hollywood Bowl’s World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador’s Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero’s Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening. Ben Jor came in on the big Brazilian wave of the […]

  • Bruno Mars Solange

    Solange, Bruno Mars Lead BET Soul Train Award Nominees

    To close the Hollywood Bowl’s World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador’s Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero’s Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening. Ben Jor came in on the big Brazilian wave of the […]

  • Sexual Harassment in Music Business

    Former Music Executive: 'We Must Come Forward and Name Our Abusers' (Guest Column)

    To close the Hollywood Bowl’s World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador’s Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero’s Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening. Ben Jor came in on the big Brazilian wave of the […]

  • The Four Fox

    Fox Enlists iHeartMedia to Boost Musical Competition 'The Four'

    To close the Hollywood Bowl’s World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador’s Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero’s Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening. Ben Jor came in on the big Brazilian wave of the […]

  • Steven Victor

    Steven Victor Appointed Exec VP and Head of A&R at Def Jam (EXCLUSIVE)

    To close the Hollywood Bowl’s World Festival 2000 series, El Salvador’s Daniela Mercury electrified the crowd with her nonstop energy and pizzazz, and Rio de Janiero’s Jorge Ben Jor pulled out several gems from his imposing song catalog. Carnaval vibes pervaded the whole evening. Ben Jor came in on the big Brazilian wave of the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content