The development of Latin Jazz in the United States has relied upon musicians from the Caribbean and South America bringing cultural traditions into the North; a similar exchange occurs when they return to their countries of origin after time in the United States. After years of performance with American musicians, these artists integrate new perspectives and approaches into their music, moving towards a blend of cultural ideals. A return home at first sparks an air of familiarity and can bring a sense of authenticity to the surface of their work. Strong artists can teach American musicians to breed a sense of authenticity in their stateside work, but a different element arises when an artist joins musicians from their homeland. There’s a different reaction when the artist performs for an audience that gets the music on a cultural level. They gain an inherent inspiration that can sometimes drive their best performances and bring new ideas to the forefront. In return, they share ideas from their American experience with musicians in their homeland, bringing a new set of aesthetics into the local music scene. These cultural flows instigate musical growth on both sides of the ocean, ensuring the continual development of a Latin Jazz sound stretched across international borders.
Brazilian pianist and composer Jovino Santos Neto has been a major force in the cultural exchange between the United States and Brazil, leading to the creation of some amazing Latin Jazz. As a young musician, he joined Hermeto Pascoal’s band, learning from the legendary composer over the course of fifteen years and developing his own writing style and performance approach. After becoming firmly entrenched in the culture of modern Brazilian Jazz, Neto left Brazil, pursuing collegiate studies at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. His strong musicality led to a teaching position at the school where he continues to share his knowledge about writing, arranging, jazz, and Brazilian music with a number of students. Neto kept the cultural flow between Brazil and the United States alive though, returning to Brazil for several recording projects, including the Grammy nominated Roda Carioca (Rio Circle). He serves as musical director for the Hermeto Pascoal Big Band, conducting performances in Brazil, Seattle, Europe, and beyond. In 2006 Neto received a grant from the Brazilian company Petrobras to research, compose, and record a work based upon the music of Northeast Brazil. The resultant 2008 album, Alma do Nordeste (Soul of the Northeast) brought together Neto’s experience, musicians from Brazil, and a unique cultural exchange that resulted in some inspiring music. Neto’s ebb and flow between the United States and Brazil has given the world some incredible art that brilliantly unifies the cultural aesthetics of both worlds.
Today’s Latin Jazz Video Fix looks into Neto’s music, taking him back to Brazil for a SESC sponsored live performance. Teamed with a group of Brazilian musicians, Neto performs two pieces from the 2008 album Alma do Nordeste (Soul of the Northeast). Neto originally recorded these pieces in Brazil and has since performed them in the States; it’s interesting to hear the enthusiastic vigor of his performance here. Enjoy!
“Passareio” & “Amoreira”
“Saudade De Sua Gente”
Want a little bit more of Jovino Santos Neto? Take a minute to check out his releases:
Do you have a video to contribute to satisfy our weekly Latin Jazz video fix? If so, send it in – it’s time to feed our addiction. I’m looking for live performances, from any context. I’ll most likely be posting one video per week, but if you’ve got another idea, let’s talk. So come on Latin Jazz videographers, musicians, and fans – let’s share some of our memorable videos! Get my contact info HERE
Check Out These Related Posts:
Album Of The Week: Timeline, Felipe Salles
Weekly Latin Jazz Video Fix: Edmar Castaneda
The Insightful Art Of The Duet: Continuous Friendship, Hamilton De Holanda & Andre Mehmari
Weekly Latin Jazz Video Fix: Sofia Rei Koutosvitis & Avantrio