“Perhaps the most difficult question we are asked is ‘what kind of music do you play?’ Well, when you break away from the traditional instrumentation of a “band” like we have, you break away the ability to put us into a specific genre. Every song drips with originality, and is coupled with thick musicianship. This is why everyone from jazz junkies and reggae lovers, to classical aficionados and hip hop heads, all leave smiling with their own comparisons of who we sound like. We have many faces and sounds. We strive to always give you something special, regardless of where we meet and what you like.”
“When an artist is performing on stage, there is an assumed responsibility to deliver. This is a responsibility we take seriously and respond with resounding passion. We set out to shatter convention in our live shows, to break the stereotype of a typical ‘band.’ To simply walk on stage and play music is a shortcoming. Our desire is to make you experience the full spectrum of emotions. For that one hour we are together, you become lost in the moment, forgetting all your worries. We are daring, creative and go out of our way to blow your mind every performance.”
Walter and Wagner Caldas were born in the at-risk neighborhood of Niteroi in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The favelas, (or shantytowns built into the sides of hills) were prime territory for drug cartels to find worthy henchmen. From an early age the young boys were exposed to violence and drugs. Their father, Jonas Caldas, a stringed instrument maker, started the boys on their musical career to focus their energy on something positive. While many of their friends were out in the bloodthirsty drug trade that imprisons many young Brazilian boys, Walter and Wagner took comfort in classical music. Instead of guns, the boys reached for the violins their own father hand-made, the works of Bach and Mozart captivated their hearts.
Twin brothers Walter and Wagner grew up in a very different reality. In the violent favelas (slums) of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil the brothers lived a poor, simple reality where friends were constantly caught up in the deadly drug trade. It was very common for them to see friends killing others and being killed in broad daylight. The Twins had little to no money but found solace in classical music on violins their father hand-made. Despite their surroundings, they always carried a smile on their face.The brothers then helped others escape the harsh reality by finding a creative outlet in the orchestra they taught. They began playing pop music on classical instruments and teaching others to do the same.
Walter and Wagner’s mother, Romelia, emphasized the importance of making choices, and along with their father, kept the Twins on a different path. That path would ultimately lead to a successful music career in the US. Walter and Wagner began to receive noticeable credibility not only in their favela, but all over the city of Rio. The Grota String Orchestra, led by the Brazil Foundation, offers after school activities such as art and music. Walter and Wagner worked with this project for ten years, in which they began to help other kids by introducing classical music and helping children find assurance in music.
Their passion for music and teaching ultimately led to an interview with National Public Radio and a subsequent trip to the United States to perform for the World Food prize ceremony in Des Moines, IA. In the audience was the then president of the University of Northern Iowa, Ben Allen, who ultimately offered the Twins a full ride scholarship for music education. The Twins spoke zero English at the time and had to make the difficult decision to leave their families behind in Brazil to pursue their dreams.
Fast forward 8 years and the Twins are out of college and performing, motivating, speaking and touring full time. They have performed in over 38 states, and 5 countries, were nominated for Campus Activities Magazine 2015/2016 “Best Music Artist” and “Best Diversity Act”. Through their on-stage charisma, audiences from all walks of life are sucked in to their music and positive philosophy on life. “They are the types of guys you feel like you’ve known your entire life.” The B2wins have been touring across the United States, quickly amassing a huge following everywhere they go. Walter and Wagner use their story and platform to help audiences see the simple beauties in life: enjoying oneself, living in the moment, being happy, healthy and positive.
About 18 months ago, Wagner developed significant pain in his left arm. After having surgery and undergoing physical therapy, the pain continued. Remaining optimistic, Wagner kept a smile on his face and continued performing and spreading his message of positivity. In early July, Wagner noticed a lump on his chest and extreme tenderness. Doctors immediately rushed him to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where it was determined to be a rare form of cancer – Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Wagner immediately began pre-chemotherapy procedures and his first round of chemo on July 23rd (which he responded very well to!) He is incredibly optimistic and explains this as “one of life’s adventures that some people go through and (we) have no idea about this reality.” His courageous attitude and optimism is far more aggressive than his cancer ever could be. Wagner stated that he cannot wait to get through this and further inspire people all over the world.
Wagner finished his treatment on March 18.
Written by John Molseed, WCF Courier
Wagner Caldas says he was ready for a haircut before being diagnosed with cancer.
However, the chemo therapy took a bit more off the top than he was thinking. About one month since completing treatment, Caldas said he plans to keep his new look for now.
“It’s way easier,” Caldas said pushing his hat aside and running his hand over his smooth scalp. “You don’t have to do anything with it — no shampoo.”
That’s just one of the bright sides Caldas found after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma and fighting the rare form of cancer into remission. The cancer threatened his life, nearly cost him his arm and put him through nine months of treatment. Nonetheless, he’d go through this again, he said.
The most significant experience was the outpouring of support and love from people, he said.
Caldas, one of the musical twins of the Brazilian 2wins, said he knew he had fans of the band but what followed his diagnoses wasn’t an outpouring of fan support. It was genuine care, concern, empathy and love. The kind of words that are often reserved for funerals were spoken to his face.
“I was able to get all those good vibes while I was still alive,” he said. “I guess it was worth going through what I did.”
Not that it was easy, he adds.
“Don’t get me wrong, I had some very, very hard times,” he said. “But I’m going to remember the good things — all the deep personal messages.”
The experience will also give him strength for what he might face later, he said.
“It’s going to help me overcome bad stuff in the future,” he said.
Since completing treatment last month, Caldas has been working to relearn playing the ukulele with his left hand.
“The problem here is I can’t really feel the strings,” Caldas said, examining his hand.
At the time of his diagnoses last summer, doctors weren’t sure they could save Caldas’ arm. Caldas says he has no complaints that doctors saved his arm. As he progressed with occupational therapy at Allen Hospital, he found some of his fine motor skill is gone and not returning. Numbness in his hand and fingers will likely stay.
“This guy here feels like wood,” Caldas said rubbing his pinky finger.
Instead of focusing on what’s lost, Caldas chooses to focus on the positive. He strummed on his ukulele while undergoing chemo treatment.
“I was just trying to be creative and try to break the boredom,” he said. “They loved it too at the hospital.”
He started exploring new ways to make chords his fingers could handle.
“The necessity made me explore that,” he said. “I’m just finding new ways to make it work.”
While on tour, Wagner developed significant pain in his arm. In July of 2015, Wagner was diagnosed with a rare form of Ewing’s Sarcoma. To alter your perspective can change your reality. Wagner decided to view this as one of life’s experiences and learn as much as possible.
“You Have Cancer.”
“Those three words changed my life. I knew I had two choices after my diagnosis: I could let cancer control me or I could see this as one of life’s adventures, so buckle up. Things became less scary knowing this was just an experience.”
“The “C” word has incredible power over us. We have given it life and strength by fearing it. Cancer CAN be scary, CAN be deadly, CAN be a monster. Or, it CAN’T. I tried to change my perspective and even enjoy the experience. I learned so much not only about my disease but about myself, about life. But let’s say I wouldn’t want to go through that again, once is enough,” Wagner joked.
Light It Up
“Cancer did not define me, I did not allow myself to become my diagnosis. In times of darkness, light is the solution. Although I faced some terrible days, I did everything possible to hold up my light, my smile, and make the best of it.”
WalterViolin & Vocals
Walter grew up hating violin. It wasn’t until he came to the United States where he was able to creatively explore the stringed weapon his father hand crafted. His unique approach to improvisation drives the group past it’s comfort zone time and time again. Fueled by NS Designs Violins.
Ukulele, Violin, Secondary Vocals. Wagner is the level headed counterpart whose passion lies in spending every moment possible on stage. Wagner pushes the group to come up with new music and seeks to break the mold of mainstream music.
Riley Upright Riley
Electric Bass. Riley is the low-end guru of the group. His roots in performance make him a master at musical control. The way Riley feels each crowd and the band makes his shows all inclusive! His joy on stage is infectious and his imagination delivers mind blowing solos that will move you. Sponsored by Cort.
Drums. Sticks for lunch, cymbals for dinner. Raqwon’s specialty includes powerful breakdowns, technical fills and a stage show to match. Starting in church at age 4, Raqwon quickly found his home behind the throne. Powered by Soultone Cymbals.
Available to perform as an Original Artist, Corporate Event Performer, Formal Entertainer, High Energy Festival Act, Theater Show, Nightclub, Emcee, Host, Motivational Speakers and Lifestyle Coaches.
“We want to use our experiences to make the world a better place. We promote happy, positive lifestyle choices. Our music is the voice for change. One day the world will know our music and a lot of people will smile.”