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Seu Jorge bids farewell to Bowie

Seu Jorge

Seu Jorge (Photo by: Shane Colman)

In a year marked by the loss of countless musical icons, one death from the first days of 2016 still cuts deep as we count down to 2017.  David Bowie’s influence on music, fashion, and culture can never be overstated and his unique stylings will continue to resonate for the rest of time.  There were many fitting tributes to the Thin White Duke this year, and there will undoubtedly be many more to come as we continue to honor his legacy and legend.

One of the most touching tributes came from Brazilian singer-songwriter Seu Jorge.  In 2004, Jorge made a name for himself with American audiences through his gorgeous interpretations of Bowie classics in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.  With just an acoustic guitar and his beautifully melodic voice, Jorge re-worked Bowie’s catalog into something completely new and captivating that provided the perfect soundtrack for Anderson’s meditation on fatherhood, camaraderie, and the wonders of the sea.  After hearing Jorge’s covers, Bowie remarked, “Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs in Portuguese, I would never have heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with.”

After Bowie’s passing, Jorge decided it was only fitting to don the iconic Team Zissou uniform and play these songs live for the first time ever.  For the past month, Jorge has been trekking across the country to bring these songs to life in a heartfelt tribute to the man that brought so much magic to our world.

Jorge touched down last Tuesday, December 6 at The Civic Theatre for a capacity crowd that hung on his every word.  Jorge effortlessly transfixed the audience with his incredibly powerful voice as he navigated his way through the catalog of Bowie classics.  He made easy banter with the crowd between songs as he recounted getting the call from Wes Anderson, arriving on set and forgetting the names of all his co-stars, and describing the deep connection he felt with Bowie through his intimate knowledge of these special songs.

Both David Bowie and Wes Anderson excel in their ability to transport their audiences somewhere else: alternate realities where the rules are a little more flexible and magic is a little more real. In the waning days of a year marked by tragedy and an uncertain future for the world, Seu Jorge channeled that energy into an unforgettable evening that offered a glimpse of the beauty that surrounds us all.

Shane Colman writes about music for NolaVie. Email him at shane@nolavie.com. Follow him on Twitter @canesholman and on Instagram at shawncoolman.