Exploding onto the music scene this summer is Jorge Bratista with his Braziu Xplozian.
The DJ, music producer and renowned percussionist brings his unique mix of Brazilian funk, Latin house, break beats, drum `n bass, jazz, "nature music" and Capoeira to Bulgaria, where he is to be a guest, on June 2, on the nation's much-loved Slavi television show on bTV. Batista is also a special guest at this year's Process-Space festival in Balchik in June, as well as playing at venues across the country.
A native of Brazil, Jorge first came to Europe on tour as a Capoeira performer with the Archaous Circus. Capoeira, a Brazilian style of martial arts mixed with dance, has enjoyed a fast-growing following in the UK, where Jorge has spent the past few years living and performing. It was there that he met Felix Buxton and Simon Radcliffe of top British dance act Basement Jaxx. Jorge worked with the band as percussionist from 1999 to 2003, recording and touring worldwide, playing numerous gigs, including performances at The Brit Awards and the infamous Glastonbury Festival. During this time he earned a name for himself as the UK's number-one percussionist.
Since then Jorge has been working on the Braziu Xplozian project, collaborating with Basement Jaxx to release the debut single Afrofiesta. This was followed up by the hit single Berimbau, which was released by Atlantic Jaxx Recordings. Following the success of the singles, Jorge is currently working on mixes for Braziu Xplozian's first album.
Braziu Xplozian has performed at the cream of London's clubs, putting in appearances at the likes of Fabric, The Ministry of Sound, The Fridge, TeaBar and The Vibe Bar, as well as performing at the Tate Britain Gallery. The popularity of the project is due in part to its mix of music, dance and visuals. Live Capoeira performances by Rizes De Rua are accompanied by visuals from Bulgarian visual artist MileniakART, alongside live percussion from Batista, which combine to create the unique experience that is Braziu Xplozian.
As special guest performers at the Process-Space Festival of Contemporary Arts, Braziu Xplozian will close the festival with a "wild beach party". The festival, whose origanising committee raises funds mainly through private sponsors and organisations, aims to "stimulate innovations and research in contemporary arts," and "to open the established genre borders towards new ways of creative self-expression, without any limitations." The annual festival is taking place in Balchik, on Bulgaria's northern Black Sea coast, between June 4 and June 18. It opens with an exhibition at the local gallery in Balchik.
This year marks the fourteenth year of the festival, which brings together contemporary artists from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds; including painters, performers, visual artists, photographers, installation artists and musicians. To date it has welcomed over 400 international artists and art critics. Contributions this year have been invited from artists from the UK, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, the USA, Turkey, Romania, Bosnia, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia and Bulgaria. As well as from students and tutors from the theatre departments of The New Bulgarian University, The National Academy of Fine Arts and The Shumen University.
The motto of this year's festival is "simple words", around which the artists will loosely base their work. The major events will take place at Balchik and Varna, as well as in Rousse in September and Sofia in December.
As well as appearing in Balchik, Braziu Xplozian will also be performing at venues across the country throughout June: Jume 3, Sofia's Black Box night club (Black Box, 5 Pirotska street, Sofia , (02) 92016 38 open: 10pm to 7am), June 4, Plovdiv, Plazma Nightclub, June 11, Varna, Comix Nightclub. Jorge looks forward to collaborating with resident DJs and is excited to have the opportunity to entertain the Bulgarian public and Braziu Xplozian looks set to add a burst of Brazilian spice to the summer.