SALT LAKE CITY — Trio da Paz will open Salt Lake's 2014 jazz season with "Brazilian Nights — The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim" on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the newly renovated Capitol Theatre.
Trio da Paz will feature the combined talents of percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca, guitarist Romero Lubambo and bassist Nilson Matta along with saxophonist Harry Allen, Claudio Roditi on trumpet and vocalist Maucha Adnet in a tribute to Brazil’s legendary musician, songwriter, composer and artist Antonio Carlos Jobim.
From his home in New York, Da Fonseca spoke of the importance of Jobim’s work.
“Jobim is a musical hero in Brazil," he said. "In the ’60s he was the one who opened up the world to bossa nova.”
Gordon Hanks, founder of Jazz SLC, couldn’t be more excited about having Trio da Paz opening up the concert series.
“Having a group like Trio da Paz and their friends and fellow musicians Allen, Roditi and Maucha celebrate Jobim’s body of work is the best way possible to begin the new year," Hanks said. "It’s exciting having the series back at the Capitol Theatre and even a greater bonus to have them kick off the new season.”
Trio da Paz and the accompanying musicians are close friends with each other. Collectively and individually they’ve played together, recorded with each other’s bands and each member has performed successfully as a solo artist.
In many ways, Da Fonseca was responsible for many of the musicians as they moved from Brazil to New York, where they became significant talents in the jazz world.
“It was interesting because I came to this country in the early ’80s and immediately found work," he said. "I worked with Herbie Mann, Bill Sharlap, Kenny Baron and Wayne Shorter. There was great interest in the sounds of Brazil, and American jazz musicians wanted authentic instrumentation, so I encouraged fellow musicians to come to America. When they arrived, I helped them get work. We’ve become a large and close family.”
Maucha Adnet, Trio Da Paz’s vocalist, arrived in New York to study English and began singing in the SoHo music scene when she was 19 years old. At the time, Antonio Carlos Jobim was integrating female vocalists into his work. Jobim was in need of a fourth singer to fill out his quartet of soloists and invited Adnet to meet him at a restaurant where he heard her sing for the first time. He offered her a spot with his band.
She had previously performed with Da Fonseca, and they fell in love and were married. Adnet was part of Jobim’s band for a 10-year period and sang with the group until Jobim died in 1994.
At the same time, Jobim was influencing the world with his bossa nova compositions and Brazilian musicians were pushing new boundaries with samba music that focused more on the day-to-day life in the big cities of Brazil. Da Fonseca’s musical interests spanned both forms of music, but he found himself more clearly drawn to samba because of its percussive mixture of African and Brazilian rhythms.
“I was drawn to samba because it has a more musically aggressive sound with a blue note vibe," he said. "For me, samba jazz has more heat than bossa nova. Samba is very contagious.”
Da Fonseca laughed when asked how the musicians would blend the music of Jobim, along with Trio da Paz and Adnet’s vocals. “It’s a good question. Sometimes we have a formal playlist and other times we don’t. That is the beauty of this group. We really play off each other and react to the energy of each other. We will begin with an instrumental exploration of Jobim’s work and highlight vocals of the period that Maucha sang with Jobim. Then we will finish the night with everybody coming together and blending bossa nova and samba music. I guarantee there will be plenty of good music for everybody.”
Da Fonseca offers high praise for every member of the band.
“These guys are simply the very best in the business and to get to perform together with each other is truly an honor," he said. "It is always magic.”
If you go:
When: Saturday, Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets: ($29.50 adults/$10 students with student identification) Call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS
Jeff Metcalf is a professor of English at the University of Utah and an avid jazz fan.
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