Even under normal circumstances, it would be time well spent to go hear Paulinho Garcia on a January evening. And this week, as he sings and strums the glorious pop-music legacy of his native Brazil--summoning bright beaches and lush rain forest and the slow-samba pace of life under the balmy sun--he presents the perfect reprieve for Chicagoans in the midst of a cold snap. As evidenced by his lovely Southport CD Jazzmineiro (1995), Garcia does a superb job of recapturing the atmosphere and gentler rhythms of the samba, bossa nova, and early tropicalismo styles of Brazilian music. But for all that, his appearance this week has a somber edge. His band (also called Jazzmineiro) headlines this benefit performance to raise $10,000--the amount Garcia spent to transport and bury the body of his wife, Maria, who died suddenly in November. Several other bands will also take part--Willie Garcia's Habana, the Tony Mujica Trio, and Macondo Stew--in what promises to be a welcome blast of warm musical air. This compatible mix of musical styles, which range from the Antilles to Brazil, would make for an attractive program in any case, but just the chance to help out a musician in need easily justifies the modest admission fee. Sunday, 7 PM, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 773-235-3232. Garcia also plays regularly on Fridays, 8 PM, O Bar, 3343 N. Clark; 773-665-7300. NEIL TESSER
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Paulinho Garcia photo.