In 2004, Brazilian singer and actor Seu Jorge appeared alongside Bill Murray, who just received the top US prize for humor this week, in a little independent film directed by Wes Anderson — The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Portraying sailor Pelé dos Santos, Seu stole the show with charming cover versions of David Bowie songs, including “Starman,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Rock & Roll Suicide,” “Life on Mars?,” and “Five Years.”
To say Seu’s covers were well received would be an understatement. They were a sensation! Seu followed up the soundtrack to The Life Aquatic by recording seven more Bowie songs and releasing an album in 2005 titled “The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions.”
The release of the album spurred David Bowie himself to say: “Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs acoustically in Portuguese I would never have heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with.”
In the wake of Bowie’s passing in January, Seu Jorge is touring these covers as Seu Jorge Presents: “The Life Aquatic,” A Tribute to David Bowie. The show hits the Howard Theatre in DC twice — Tuesday, Nov. 8, and Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Watch Seu Jorge cover “Starman” by David Bowie in Portuguese in a scene from “The Life Aquatic” on YouTube:
Word on the street is that Seu’s first date, which is less than two weeks away, is all but sold out (a check last night revealed tickets still available). Grab your chance to see this enchanting show, certain to make you feel the way Bowie felt when he heard these songs reconfigured in Portuguese.
I don’t need to tell you that the world has been a dimmer place in its first year so far without David Bowie in it. What more comforting manner to reflect on his legacy than with someone like Seu, who had to understand the music so thoroughly so as to reinterpret it so wisely? I hope you’ll meet me at the Howard.
Tickets for Tuesday, Nov. 8, are available here through Ticketmaster.
Tickets for Tuesday, Dec. 13, are available here through Ticketmaster.