Sierra and Justin visit Brazil

OK… so it was only a metaphorical visit. But you certainly get the flavor of Brazil in this brilliant mandolin duet performed by Sierra Hull and Justin Moses at the Frankfort Bluegrass Festival in Frankfort, IL last weekend.

It’s a tune called Desuairada, which Sierra said she learned at a mandolin symposium in California. A well-respected choro player named Danilo Britto was also teaching at the workshop and she learned it from him, and taught it to Justin so they could do it as a duet.

The choro style is a Brazilian form of instrumental music that has many similarities to bluegrass, including the fact that it has spread worldwide and is studied and played by mandolinists everywhere. It’s based on a traditional dance form, and it requires tremendous technical facility, as you can see in the video.


The Frankfort Bluegrass Festival is hosted by Down Home Guitars, the folk and bluegrass shop there in Frankfort. Fortunately for them, the park where the festival is staged is just steps from the shop’s front door. Thanks to the efforts of local merchants and a staff of volunteers, it’s a free festival that attracts a large number of young folks.

Thanks to Betsy White for sending along the video.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.