The Kennedy Center

Marcelo Jeneci


Brazilian star Marcelo Jeneci brings fresh air to South American music with his personal compositions and instrumental talent. On his first U.S. tour, the accordionist, guitar player, and composer performs the songs of his most recent album, Feito Pra Acabar, in addition to other hits that have topped Brazilian music charts, which have made him one of the youngest and most popular stars of his generation.

Feito Pra Acabar, the first solo album of the composer and musician, is considered one of the best Brazilian albums of 2010 by the Brazilian media, including the local Rolling Stone magazine and the news publication, Folha de São Paulo. Produced by Kassin, the album includes original songs featuring well-known Brazilian artists such as Vanessa da Mata, Arnaldo Antunes, and Chico César. Out of the 13 songs on Feito Pra Acabar, five were arranged by acoustic guitar player and composer Arthur Verocai, who was responsible for arranging and conducting albums by such famous Brazilian artists as Marcos Valle, Gal Costa, Erasmo Carlos, Jorge Ben Jor, Ivan Lins, and Elizeth Cardoso. Mr. Verocai also released the cult-classic album Arthur Verocai in 1972. The 65 year-old native of Rio de Janeiro conducted the songs “Feito Pra Acabar” and “Quarto de Dormir,” featuring orchestra arrangements, in addition to “Felicidade,” “Tempestade Emocional” and “Por Que Nós,” featuring string arrangements.

Mr. Jeneci was born at Cohab Juscelino, a working-class housing project in Guaianases located in eastern São Paulo. He grew up listening to popular radio stations and the soundtracks of Brazilian soap operas. 25 years later, Mr. Jeneci and his family tear up when they hear his songs, “Amado” (with Vanessa da Mata) and “Longe” (with Arnaldo Antunes), being played in the soap operas of Globo, Brazil’s largest and most influential TV station.

At the age of 28, Mr. Jeneci already has more than a decade of experience under his belt as a professional musician. Mr. Jeneci’s father repaired appliances and musical instruments and whenever his father’s workshop was closed, Mr. Jeneci would practice on the instruments left at the shop for repairs. Through connections from his father’s shop, Mr. Jeneci was offered a gig to play accordion and piano with composer Chico César on an international tour. Chico César is featured in the first song on Mr. Jeneci’s album, “Felicidade.” In addition to composing songs with Chico César, Mr. Jeneci co-wrote songs with other big names in Brazil, such as Vanessa da Mata (including the hit “Amado,” which was one of the most played songs in 2009), Zé Miguel Wisnik, Luiz Tatit, and Arnaldo Antunes.

Watch Past Performances

Video 12/8/2011: Marcelo Jeneci

The accordionist, guitarist, and composer is presented by Brazilian series Movimento Violão, which highlights some of the best guitarists in Brazil. Presented in cooperation with the Embassy of Brazil.

Marcelo Jeneci