Live and Direct: Curumin Is One Funky Brazilian

When I first heard that Curumin—a Brazilian artist who melds samba-funk with hip-hop and looks like Gael Garcia Bernal's long lost cousin—was performing in NYC this weekend, I had to add him to my Friday night plans. (Though, I have to confess, the excitement briefly morphed into doubt as I stood outside of Mercury Lounge for 20 minutes in the freezing cold, I managed to channel my inner 21-year-old and rallied for what turned out to be an awesome show.)

In a nutshell, Curumin is a musical prodigy-type—he formed his first band at 8 years old!—who was born Luciano Nakata Alberquerque to Spanish and Japanese parents and has been touring in the U.S. to support his sophomore album, Japan Pop Show. He brought his ecclectic sound, which is truly a perfect blend of the classic (Jorge Ben Jor) and the contemporary, to a packed crowd at Mercury Ballroom and wailed on the drums for a good hour-plus. It's rare to see a frontman simultaneously rapping and playing percussion, but the São Paulo native breezed through it with the ease of a vet and casually kept the audience engaged via adlibs em portugués. My Brazil-o-phile boyfriend and I agreed that it was the best show we'd seen this year so far...and I know it's only February, but that's still saying something!

Press play below to see a sampling of Curumin's live set, and visit hm at ( to hear more tracks. Definitely a must-add to your playlist.

WATCH: Curumin performs "Mal Estar Card" live in NYC