Friday, August 8, at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E Flagler St., Miami. 8 p.m. $43-$83. Call 305-374-2444, or visit www.gusmancenter.org.
Since the release of her self-titled debut in 2003, Maria Rita has become one of the biggest stars in Brazil's contemporary music scene. Backed simply by piano, acoustic bass, and drums, she made her mark by singing pop-flavored songs with a jazzy feel. Of course, it didn't hurt that her parents, Elis Regina and Cesar Camargo Mariano, are both Brazilian music icons. On her latest disc, the internationally lauded star has shifted gears a bit by recording a selection of sambas written by various songwriters of different generations. For her current tour, although she concentrates mostly on material from the newest release, crowd pleasers like Marcelo Camelo's "Cara Valente" and Milton Nascimento's "Encontros e Despedidas" will surely be on the set list. Backed by the Branco & Preto Quintet (who have played with her throughout the tour), Rita's samba repertoire should definitely turn the Gusman Center into a bona fide samba school for the night.