The last project we produced before our live music hiatus, was held in Brasília,
Brazil, four years ago. The curated series of concerts at Casa
Thomas Jefferson, an English school that runs weekly concerts throughout
the year was a month long succes. The series, Jazz: A Retrospective, consisted of four
performances highlighting the works of some major artists who contributed their arrangements and compositions to the evolution
of jazz and it’s noble history.
We began the
series with New Directions:
Birth of the Cool featuring the progressive arrangements by Gil
Evans, Gerry Mulligan, John
Carisi and John Lewis. We then payed tribute
to the great pianist/composer Bill Evans in a second performance
entitled Impressionism in Jazz: The
Music of Bill Evans. On the third concert we performed the music of two great jazz composers who used
the profound significance of the blues as
a springboard for many of their pieces in Blue
Roots: The Music of Charles Mingus & Oliver Nelson. For the last evening of the series we highlighted
the music of a few prominent composers who wrote for the seminal group created by Horace
Silver (who left us while the series was being put together) and Art
Blakey in a performance entitled The Messengers: Blakey’s Composers.
series was such a success that Casa Thomas Jefferson’s artistic
director agreed to have us back in the near future for a second installment. The idea behind this venture was to have
Brasília’s top capable improvising musicians and the general public be exposed to this important array of music
that was so fundamental in shaping this art form we call JAZZ.
In the last few
years I was fortunate enough to have been playing with some fantastic musicians who either live or have been spending some
time in Brasília. I had Paulo Levi on soprano, tenor and
baritone saxophones, Serge Frasunkiewicz on
piano and Anders Hentze on drums by my side completing my local quartet.
We then invited a group of fine musicians to partake in this ambitious project:
In New Directions we
were joined by: Rogério Midlej (voice); Moises Alves (trumpet); Bruno Medina (alto
saxophone); Adil Silva (trombone); Ellyas Lucas (french horn) and Jhoninha Medeiros (tuba).
Impressionism in Jazz featured Genil Castro on guitar. In Blue Roots once again Rogério Midlej; Bruno Medina and Adil
Silva were present and we had Westonny Rodrigues on trumpet/flugelhorn
and Ademir Junior on tenor saxophone. Finally, Moises Alves, Bruno
Medina and Ademir Junior performed compositions by the likes of Horace Silver,
Bobby Timmons, Curtis Fuller, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson and Wayne Shorter on The Messengers.
All the concerts, with the
exception of the first one, were filmed by TV Senado and
as soon as they are ready I will post them here. Stay tuned!!!!