In recognition of Brazilian Independence Day, musicians from widely divergent cultural and musical traditions will come together on the Merkin Hall stage to celebrate one of the most important composers living today, Hermeto Pascoal. Now in his 70th year, "the Sorcerer" is one of the most prolific composers, with an estimated 2,500 works in his book. Often using non-conventional Brazilian instruments such as teapots, children's toys and sometimes animals, Hermeto plays proficiently on basically any instrument, including keyboards, soprano saxophone, guitar and flute. He also sings and utilizes non-traditional implements as well. The evening is co-presented by the Brazilian-oriented label, Adventure Music.
This opening concert in the Masters Reimagined series presents US premieres for an unusually large ensemble performed by instrumentalists from the Bronx (Bobby Sanabria), the Bay Area (Mike Marshall), Cuba (Paquito D'Rivera) and Rio de Janeiro (Jovino Santos Neto). Combining their individual specialties-latin, bluegrass, classical, jazz, etc.-each will highlight the stunning range of styles embodied in Pascoal's compositions. The evening will begin with a pre-concert discussion, when the performers will talk about the influence Hermeto has had on their development as artists. The first half of the concert features music director and pianist Santos Neto in a small chamber setting with virtuosos Marshall on mandolin and clarinetist D'Rivera. The beautiful lyricism of Pascoal's chamber works is replaced by Bobby Sanabria's thunderous extended big band. Featuring five trumpets, five trombones and five saxes, Sanabria's big band will premiere some of Pascoal's more rambunctious and dense works for the first time in United States.
About the Artists
A member of Hermeto Pascoal's legendary band from 1977 to 1992, Jovino Santos Neto has "made it one of my priorities to make [Pascoal's] music available to musicians all over the world. I have always been a sort of librarian for his manuscripts, filing and organizing them." The Brazilian-born pianist, flutist and producer teaches at Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts. He has released several recordings as the leader of his own ensemble and in collaboration with musicians such as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim and Mike Marshall. He received the Chamber Music America New Works jazz composition award in 2003 and several other jazz and chamber music commissions. His CD Canto do Rio was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album in the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards. Jovino was voted 2004 Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year by the readers of Earshot Jazz. In 2006, Neto released two recordings on the Adventure Music label; Roda Carioca (Rio Circle), recorded in Brazil, and Serenata, a beautiful collection of Pascoal ballads recorded with Mike Marshall.
An accomplished and versatile acoustic musician, Mike Marshall is a master of mandolin, guitar and violin. In 1979, at the age of 19, he joined the original David Grisman Quintet. In 1986 Mike founded the Modern Mandolin Quartet, which released four recordings, and in 1996 received a "Meet The Composer" grant from the Lila Wallace Foundation. Mike joined with Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer to release Brasil (Duets) in 1996 and again in 1997 on Uncommon Ritual. The album charted on the Billboard Top Ten Classical Chart, where it remained for more than three months. The following year, the ensemble opened the Chamber Music Series 1998 season at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. In 2003, Mike started his own label, Adventure Music, focused on releasing some of the brightest stars in acoustic and Brazilian music today. Its growing catalog-now over 30 titles-includes his project with Jovino Santos Neto, Serenata, featuring the music of Hermeto Pascoal.
Cuban-born Paquito D'Rivera began as a child prodigy, playing both the clarinet and the saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony<