Thrilling electric violin and ukulele arrangements are the centerpiece of infectious, classical-meets-pop group Brazilian 2wins. Growing up in the favelas—or slums—of Rio de Janeiro, twins Walter and Wagner Caldas memorized the lyrics to songs by Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and the Backstreet Boys even though they couldn’t understand what they meant. They found a way out of the favelas by playing violins handcrafted by their father in a youth orchestra. Their talents eventually lead to a full scholarship at the University of Northern Iowa to study music. That’s where the twins birthed B2wins, injecting covers of the American songs they loved as kids with their distinctive instrumentation and creating original songs with shadings of power pop, hip-hop, reggae and funk. Walter on violin and Wagner on ukulele—together with a drummer and bassist—create a live experience built around a dance party vibe, audience interaction and relentlessly positive energy. It’s that positivity that has helped Wagner survive a rare, aggressive form of cancer and both brothers thrive far from home.
The twins released their EP 2wins 4you in 2014 and broke out as a live act at the 2015 80/35 Music Festival in Des Moines, Iowa. They have since opened for Smashmouth and have created many videos of both their own songs and covers of classics like “Stand By Me” and “Hallelujah.” Led by electric violin and ukulele played by the Caldas brothers, this four-piece dynamo’s unforgettable live show is, at its core, a rock concert; but it’s also a dance party, filled with audience interaction and humor, to create an unforgettable experience. Des Moines City Magazine fell in love with their “youthful exuberance and optimism as weapons against any and all challenges” that impacts people of all ages and backgrounds who come to a Brazilian 2wins concert—and it won’t be long before Levitt AMP audiences do too!