Brazilian conductor João Carlos Martins moves Brumadinho with a special concert dedicated to families of victims and those affected by Vale’s dam rupture

Communion that brings together and strengthens the union of all. This was the message of the free event that took place on Saturday, September 10, at the invitation of Avabrum.

Internationally renowned conductor and pianist, one of the greatest interpreters of Bach’s work, João Carlos Martins is also recognized as an example of overcoming, due to the numerous physical and motor difficulties that have affected his hands since 1965. Limitations that often forced him to temporarily distance himself from his greatest passion, the piano. His trajectory is marked by countless treatments, surgeries, and a good dose of persistence, which allowed him today, at 82 years old, with the help of a bionic glove, to play music overflowing with talent and emotion.

This was the second time that João Carlos Martins performed in Brumadinho, the scene of the greatest human crime-tragedy and one of the greatest environmental disasters in Brazil. On the first occasion, in 2019, the show entitled “Gratitud Concert” was a tribute to the firefighters who tirelessly searched the place of the rupture. About this new visit, now at the invitation of the victims’ relatives, João Carlos Martins states that “the importance of bringing music to Brumadinho is very simple: music explains that God exists”.

The “Communion Concert” took place outdoors, in the central region of the city, on the banks of the Paraopeba River, bringing together about 800 people who were moved by the sensitivity and spiritual tone of the repertoire, which included classics such as Ave Maria and Jesu, joy of man’s desiring, by Bach; Eine kleine Nachtmusik, by Mozart; in addition to a special version of the song Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen, performed by singer Dani Tavares, who lost her father, Nilson Pinto, in the tragedy of the dam. Dani’s mother, Nilson’s widow, Edi Tavares, from Avabrum’s board, was responsible for the opening speech of the night, when she stated that, like the maestro’s example, despite all adversity, Avabrum also carries, in its struggle for justice, encounter and memory, the motto “giving up is not an option”.

Edi also recalled that “The Communion Concert” is part of AVABRUM’s work to create and strengthen a national and international network of “indignation and hope” that echoes our fight for justice and the finding of all victims. For this matter, the Association has the support of the “Brumadinho Legacy Project*”.

“This network will also scream that ‘memory will not die’. It is what we are celebrating here in this Concert. The 272 lives are present here in each of us – present in our memories and hearts. And they are mainly present in the deepest emotions that awaken and welcome our feeling of love. Out of love for them, we go on and fight,” he said.

Edi stressed the need for more people to be committed to the fight for justice.

“When I commit and you commit, we establish communion. Communion makes us see the other, brings us together and unites us. And united we are stronger against injustice, against the impunity that corrodes our soul, against the empty words of cynical communication. The company that neglected life floods Brazil with publicity to erase us from history, so that we are forgotten. But it’s no use, we won’t forget. Never”.

At the end, the directors of AVABRUM present at the concert took the stage and participated in a tribute to Maestro João Carlos Martins, in addition to thanking the conductor of the Inhotim Chamber Orchestra, César Timóteo, who participated in the concert.

In the final words of thanks, the board also invited the conductor – who has great international prestige – to be the voice of AVABRUM wherever he goes, supporting the fight for justice, meeting, memory and for the non-repetition of acts of negligence and omission in front of life.


*Project carried out with resources allocated by the Collective Moral Damage Management Committee paid as social compensation for the rupture of the dam in Brumadinho, on 01/25/2019, which claimed 272 lives.