Eliane Elias is an esteemed Brazilian jazz pianist that was invited by Professor Patricia Vergara, from the UC Merced Global Arts Studies Program (GASP), and also the director of the series Arts UC Merced Presents, to perform at the Merced College Theatre on Friday, February 8th, 2019. This concert collaborated with Merced College and was open to the public, with free tickets that could be collected at the UC Merced Center for the Humanities, the Merced College Bookstore, or the Multicultural Arts Center.

This sponsored event by the UC Merced Chancellor’s Office and Merced College provided a unique and heavenly experience to its theatre full of attendants. Eliane Elias was skillfully playing the piano and singing, while the talented Tiago Michelin was passionately owning the drum set, and Marc Johnson was incredibly delivering the best of everything that an upright bass string instrument has to offer.

The concert gracefully showcased some of the best of what each artist has to offer independently, in addition to the evidently well-coordinated trio that they showed to be. This performance demonstrated its capacity to both relax and excite its audience, with the melody from the upright bass to be especially relaxing, and the sequence from the drummer markedly exciting.

The audience sitting close to the stage would see Tiago Michelin hit every beat with passion and purpose. Additionally, they could see Marc Johnson striving to just as effectively hit the exact spots on the instrument that would send out the best and most peaceful tunes. All of this would be done while Eliane Elias would be further engaging the audience by charismatically moving her head to the sound of the enchanting music and further incorporating musical notes through the dexterous use of her own hands on the piano.

The music was such a treat to hear, and felt as if one had raised above to heaven. One did not want the concert to end, and was pleased to see that towards the end, after seeing the artists’ standing ovation and leaving the stage, they had come back to perform another song even after the lights had already turned back on, indicating for the audience to leave. They had two hours on stage and upon discovering that they still had ten more minutes, went right back in and spectacularly delivered the whole time, not shortening a single moment of what they had promised. Upon coming back, Eliane Elias expressed that she never wanted to leave the stage that she was performing on, and that dedication comes out naturally through her work.   

Eliane Elias had voiced that she wished to take the audience on a journey, and she surely did. The music and experience were special and provided Brazilian authenticity, as well. Eliane Elias has released an album every year for at least the past 25 years, and has deservingly won many nominations and awards, including Grammy awards, and should be seen by everyone who has any interest in music or a desire to taste different cultures.  

Keep an eye out for what the Global Arts Studies Program has to offer next! The department is filled with talented and enthusiastic lecturers who seek to bring to Merced many other accomplished artists who can liven the community and inspire their students.

Photo Credit: Ticketweb.com


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