Renato Baccarat

Brazilian singer-songwriter who enhances the cross-pollination between jazz and pop with a whole range of roots music from his native country.

25.02, 20.30, Espace Senghor


Who is… Renato Baccarat?

Singer-songwriter Renato Baccarat is born in Brazil. His father is a musician. After numerous travels across Europe, the family takes up residence in Brussels. At the time, Renato is twelve years old.

He studies ‘Illustration and Comics’ at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the capital.

Very early on, music plays an important role in his life. So, for instance, he forms a trio with his dad and brother, with which he performs at the Brussels Jazz Marathon.

In 2007, he founds the group UTZ alongside Thomas Champagne (alto saxophone), Alex Davidson (flute), Marc De Vreese (trumpet), Sebastien Van Hoey (trombone), Dorian Palos (bass) and Yves Peeters (drums). Their debut album ‘Miniatura!’ is released in 2012.

In the meantime, Renato works as draughtsman, illustrator and web designer.

On the Brussels scene, he regularly crosses paths with like-minded groups and musicians such as Wild Boar & Bull Brass Band and My TV is Dead. For this last group, he makes the clip ‘Love in Stereo’ along with Herb Cells.

With UTZ, he hits the stage in varying line-ups including Renato Baccarat & Ventos.

This week, the octet (since percussionist Nyllo Canela joined the band) officially releases its second CD, ‘Todo mundo é feio’ under the Brussels label Naff Records.


What is…

... your favourite spot in Brussels?

I am not very keen on sports and that’s why I like to wander around without any precise goal, just discovering the surroundings. It inspires me greatly and is also the best way for me to get away from my very busy professional life. That is how I discovered a very particular location up the road from Rue de la Gouttière, just around the corner of café Le Soleil in the city centre. It is like walking into another dimension in the middle of downtown Brussels. I find it a magical place. Maybe it harboured a cemetery in bygone times, who knows?


… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?

Like many others around the globe, it is Bowie’s last CD and since so much has already been said and written about it, I will pick the one I purchased before that: ‘Sábado’ by the young Brazilian singer Cícero. I feel closely connected to his work. He continues what has been initiated in Brazil at the time by the generation of the 1960s. It sounds not in the least pretentious or bombastic but on the contrary, very intimate. Brazilian music is of a cannibalistic nature in so far as it has fed on the most diverse influences but has however always kept that sense of harmony and the typical warmth of its own tradition.


… your fondest memory of a recent concert?

That would be Patrick Watson at the Ancienne Belgique. He is a Canadian singer who brings a folk-tinged repertoire. The combination of his stage presence, the connection he establishes with the audience and the good backing band was simply outstanding. And there is also the incredible passion he puts in every single piece. He is a genuine storyteller who knows how to capture the audience’s attention from the first note to the last, which is rare. He also deviates from the traditional song structure, strophe-chorus-strophe. I discovered him through Yves Peeters, UTZ’s drummer.


… your favourite quote of the moment?

I recently saw on TV how French Minister Christiane Taubira resigned in protest against the proposal of the government concerning deprivation of French nationality as a measure to prevent French bi-nationals from engaging in terrorism. I found her words very wise. Minutes after her resignation, she tweeted “Sometimes, to resist is to stay, and other times, to resist is to leave”. I am not really politically committed but I do uphold certain values in my songs. Sometimes, you must dare to say when you have had enough without therefore immediately and blindly entering into a conflict. This is why I found her statement very courageous and wise.