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An alternative to Britney Spears?

Besides music, Selmara Abreus has little in common with pop princess Britney Spears. On Saturday night, however, they'll both be performing in Grand Forks.

Selma Abreus
Brazilian vocalist Selmara Abreus will present an evening of samba and bossa nova Saturday at Empire Arts Center.

Besides music, Selmara Abreus has little in common with pop princess Britney Spears. On Saturday night, however, they'll both be performing in Grand Forks.

Britney will be at the Alerus with dozens of dancers, tons of equipment and a show that's glitzy and over the top.

Abreus, a native of Brazil who now lives in Grand Forks, will be on stage at Empire Arts Center with Ticket to Brasil, a Minneapolis band with whom she's sung before, with special musical guests including her husband, Brian Rydell.

Dr. Kevin Muiderman, a fingerstyle guitarist and vocalist and founder of the Masters of Guuitar concert series in Grand Forks, will open the show at 7 p.m.

"A Night of Brazilian Music" will be the theme of her performance, with selections of jazz samba and bossa nova.

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Abreus plans to do two sets of about 45 to 50 minutes each with a 10-minute break.

"I want the audience to have fun," she said in an interview. "I want them to expect a different kind of music, hopefully something they're not used to. It's going to be fun. I'm very excited about it."

Abreus met her husband in Brazil, where he'd gone to study percussion music, and came to the U.S. with him in 1999, a move that was "quite a shock" culturally, she said.

She lived in Grand Forks for less than a year as she learned English, then moved to St. Paul. For about five years, she performed with Ticket to Brasil, including at a jazz festival in Winnipeg. In November 2005, now the mother of two children, she and her husband returned to Grand Forks and she decided to take a beak and be a stay-at-home mom.

'After I had kids, my priorities had changed," she said. "But I missed music. So, I put this together." Her son will turn 7 later this month, and her daughter just turned 5.

Abreus said she didn't know she could sing until she was in her early 20s.

"I did an audition nfor a musical play. I didn't know it was a musical until the day I arrived for my test," she said. "And of course, I was terrified."

Still, she got a lead and began singing radio jingles and performed with the band Marcia Freire.

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She said both she and her husband are excited to be making music again.

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to ptobin@gfherald.com .

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