Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes of bossa nova fame will be coming to Montgomery County on Saturday to headline the annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival.
But before that, he’s spending some time in southeastern Brazil researching musical ideas for his next project, a sequel to the animated film “Rio.”
Mendes was nominated for an Oscar last year for co-writing the song “Real in Rio” for the movie, which is about a macaw named Blu that can’t fly.
Late in August, Mendes and “Rio” director Carlos Saldanha flew to Belo Horizonte, an inland city of 2 million people north of Rio.
The two, who both are from Rio, will be researching musical traditions in the mountainous region, which gave birth to another well-known Brazilian musician, composer and guitarist Milton Nascimento.
Belo Horizonte is a far cry from the beaches of Rio, which generated the bossa nova (a mix of samba and jazz) in the 1960s that helped propel Mendes to international fame.
But that’s to be expected in a country the size of Brazil with its mix of mountains, jungles, plains and beaches.
“Brazilian music is very diverse,” says Mendes, who says that variety will be reflected in the “Rio” sequel due in theaters in 2014.
“The birds, the macaws, will be taking take a trip around Brazil, and there will new and different songs,” he says.