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Sergio Mendes: Enchanting Fusion

Grammy winner Sergio Mendes remains among the world's most internationally successful recording artists. Although widely recognized as a bossa nova pioneer, Mendes remains relevant by regularly updating his sound with modern arrangements of Brazilian classics.

Mendes recently visited David Dye on World Cafe to discuss his latest album, Encanto. Translated from Portuguese as "enchanted," the album nicely demonstrates Mendes' skill for distinctive Brazilian fusion, utilizing the talents of guest contributors Erykah Badu, Juanes, Justin Timberlake, India.Arie, John Legend, Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder, and co-producer Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas. The record is a Mendes-brand bossa nova classic.

Mendes describes the marriage of cultures, explaining, "It's all about the same beats that we inherited from Africa. It's that same common denominator that brought the samba to Brazil and brought jazz to America." Although Encanto boasts Brazilian flavor, the music and message are universal.

This story originally ran on July 11, 2008.

Copyright 2008 XPN