The BJCS-Brazilian Jazz Concert Series

Created by Brazilian Music Foundation in 2016 to support Brazilian Music in the US.  The program will  present a series of concerts from several different bands throughout the year as an incentive to promote Brazilian Music, to inform the community and bring awareness about Brazilian Music and Culture.

About Brazilian Jazz: The influence of Jazz on Brazilian music and vice-versa.

Brazilian Jazz is a style born from the fusion between jazz improvisation and Brazilian rhythms.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, American Jazz and Brazilian music have influenced each other. Brazilian popular music styles like, samba, choro and American jazz share the same roots, a mix of African rhythms and European harmonies. When Mr. Ben Ratliff, in his book “The New York Times Essential Library Jazz – A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings” (2002), writes about the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (The Creators of Jazz), he mentioned: “…. New Orleans street rhythm that has ties to Brazilian samba-school drumming. But it was not until the Bossa Nova period (1960s) that the fusion of this music began to take of a new transnational style and gain popularity world-wide. The Girl From Ipanema” (Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes) went on to become the second-most recorded popular song in history, behind “Yesterday. Since then we can list a number group of artists that have been part of this: João Gilberto, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Gerry Mulligan, Claudio Roditi, Stan Getz, Sergio Mendes, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Sting and many others.

Influence On American Pop and Jazz

Certainly it wasn’t all about rock and roll at the 7th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1964). The bossa nova beat was still all the rage, with Record of the Year going to “The Girl from Ipanema” by Astrud Gilberto & Stan Getz (artists), Album of the Year going to the Getz/Gilberto – João Gilberto & Stan Getz (artists), Best Instrumental Jazz Performance – Small Group Or Soloist With Small Group to Stan Getz (artist), and Best Engineered Recording to the Getz/Gilberto to Phil Ramone (engineer). In the early 1960s Bossa nova tunes or albums, were recorded by major jazz performers, including Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Coleman Hawkins, Dave Brubeck, Ella Fitzgerald, and others. Getz’s recordings of “Desafinado” (with Charlie Byrd, 1962) and “The Girl From Ipanema” (with Astrud Gilberto, 1963) became pop hits, rising to #15 and #5 on Billboard Magazine’s charts. Bossa nova today remains one of the prevalent rhythms in American jazz and popular music. The music style has been recorded numerous times by different artists and found its way into American-composed top 40 as well, for example: I Say a Little Prayer (Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David), Walk on By (Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David), I’ll Never Fall in Love Again (Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David) and Going’ Out of My Head (Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein).

The bossa drum pattern can even be heard in the Doors’ “Break On Through” (To the Other Side).

A number of classic jazz standards composed by non-Brazilian musicians employ a bossa nova beat, for example: Blue Bossa (Kenny Dorham) , Recorda-me (Joe Henderson), Ceora (Lee Morgan), Pensativa (Clare Fischer), The Shadow of Your Smile (Johnny Mandel, with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster), Song for My Father (Horace Silver), Watch What Happens (Michel Jean Legrand) and Forest Flower (Charles Lloyd).

During the 1970’s, in the United States was a time of experimentation for many jazz musicians, the market for “fusions” was good. Apart from the bossa nova movement, there were musicians such as Hermeto Pascoal. Sergio Mendes, Zimbo Trio, Johnny Alf, Tamba Trio, and many other who were experimenting with the fusion of jazz and Brazilian music in variety of forms. One good example is the album “Seeds On The Ground”, released in 1971 in the US by the brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, where the American bass player Ron Carter began mixing Brazilian music with jazz along with musicians such as Flora Purim, Sivuca and Dom Um Romão. Another good example is the record Hermeto (1972) by Hermeto Pascoal.Keyboardist-composer Don Grusin and his brother Dave Grusin have both been inspired by the Brazilian sound. “It started in the 1960’s when I first heard Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz and João Gilberto,” recalled Don, who over the next two decades produced and arranged albums for Gilberto Gil, Simone, Rique Pantoja, and other Brazilian artists. He sees Brazilian music as having strongly influenced contemporary jazz. “I hear a kind of hybrid sound in my music and that of Dave, Lee Ritenour, Ronnie Foster, Harvey Mason. In recent decades, Brazilian rhythms have been prominently incorporated into music of international jazz and pop artists such as Michael Franks, Sade, Basia, and countless others.The composition “The Girl From Ipanema” (Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes) was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001 and In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 2015, at the 58th Grammy Awards, the Brazilian pianist and singer Eliane Elias won a Grammy for the best in the Latin jazz category with the album “Made in Brazil”.

Sites and books References:
Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. All Music Guide to Jazz: The Definitive Guide to Jazz Music. Backbeat Books. p. 344. (2002).
LIS, Eduardo. “Creating a New Tradition: The Brazilian Jazz Experience in North America”. York University (1997)
McGowan, Chris. Pessanha, Ricardo. The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil. Temple University Press, Philadelphia (1998)
Ratliff, Ben. in his book “The New York Times Essential Library Jazz – A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings”. Times Books (2002). RioTimesOnline: http://riotimesonline.com


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