Violin

B2wins will perform at The Tassel with ukulele and violin

RICK BROWN Garden Light Bracket

The “Udulele” is a combination of the traditional Oud and a Ukulele. Yair Ben-Dor has the story.



HOLDREGE — It takes Walter and Wagner Caldas about 10 seconds to sound like old friends on a phone call with a reporter.

“Is that Rick?” Hey, hello, Rick. This is Walter and Wagner, the B2wins,” Walter said. “How are you my friend?”

The brothers talk over each other, bubbling with energy and creativity.

“We play violin and ukulele, which is very unusual, and we play a variety of pop songs, rock songs,” Walter said. “The most enjoyable part, for me personally, is not just the music, it’s more the experience because we play, we have fun, we talk to the public, we ask them questions and, you know , it’s super fun and there’s always a great atmosphere all around.

They both speak with a beautiful Brazilian accent.

“We play above the slopes -” Walter said.

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“- and the violin is electric,” Wagner quipped.

“Oh yeah, and that’s really awesome,” Walter continued.

The twins laugh easily during the phone call from their home in Des Moines, Iowa.






The duo performs on violin and ukulele. “That’s one of the toughest selling points for us because when you say violin and ukulele, yes, the audience makes up their own minds,” Walter said. Originally from Brazil, the brothers now live in Iowa and make a living performing their own style of pop, jazz and hip hop music.


B2WINS, COURTESY


Wagner answered a question until Walter started talking.

“Go ahead, Walter,” laughed Wagner.

“We always go on stage with a mission,” Walter said. “The main mission is to have fun, laugh and be free. And by being free, we also give the audience the chance to be who they want to be. Our main mission is to be happy – and just to have fun. We want to create a very good memory to send home with the public.

B2wins will perform at 7.30pm on Friday at The Tassel in Holdrege as part of the performing arts centre’s season. For more information and ticket prices, visit TheTassel.org.

Walter and Wagner grew up in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“We were very poor,” Walter said. “We lived in a very dangerous place in Rio de Janeiro. We started playing the violin when we were 11 years old. Our father made violins, but he didn’t know how to play. So he used my brother and me as guinea pigs, so that we could give him feedback on his violins.

Their father worked as a furniture maker and created toys on the side. He started tinkering with musical instruments, making guitars and violins. After taking a decade off working as a truck driver, he eventually returned to making and repairing instruments for an orchestra that had sprung up for children living in the slums to get them off the streets.

In return for his services, Walter and Wagner took lessons, studying classical violin. Their teachers asked them to practice three to five hours a day.

“It was while our friends were playing football and flying kites,” Wagner said. “It was a very harsh reality for us. We were so serious about the music.

They switched to popular music after hearing the music – and seeing the videos – of Michael Jackson.

“I love the music, but I also loved the way he behaved on stage,” Walter said. “I thought, ‘I’ll never see anything else like this.’ The way he danced, of course, seemed so sure. It’s like, okay, we want to do this.

On stage, B2wins combine music, movement and imagery to create a compelling experience – though audiences need to be reassured that such an unlikely combination of violin and ukulele can produce meaningful music.

“That’s one of the toughest selling points for us because when you say violin and ukulele, yes, the audience makes up their own minds,” Walter said. “But when you get to the show, you have so much fun because we do a lot of jokes and we create a show where nothing can go wrong on stage; it’s so informal and so relaxed. Everything we do is part of the show.

The brothers use the phrase “beyond the music” on their website to describe their performances. Another passage on their site says: “During this hour that we are together, you lose yourself in the moment, forgetting all your worries. We are bold, creative and do our best to wow you with every performance.

Now living in Iowa, Walter and Wagner understand how music and creativity have changed their lives.

“Art in general, it takes you somewhere, somehow,” Walter writes on his website. “It gave everyone a view of the world they didn’t have, including me.”

In terms of success, the twins look to a feeling that just happened on stage.

“It’s about you being happy doing what you’re doing,” Wagner said. “As long as you’re happy and have those butterflies in your stomach every time before you go on stage, and everyone’s there in the audience, it’s so exciting. It’s like you’re doing what you love and at the same time it makes others happy. That’s success. You have all those boxes checked. I do what I love and I love what I do.”

Walter added, “And when you’ve got that part, the money, well, it’s just -” and he makes a pffft sound before adding, “We don’t care.”