Cliff Korman and ensembles

Pianist/composer/arranger/leader

CliffAtPianoColorAn accomplished jazz pianist and highly regarded educator who trained with Roland Hanna, Kenny Barron, and Ron Carter, Cliff Korman has developed numerous projects featuring Brazilian and American musicians for more than 20 years. He has performed as a soloist and co-leader in New York venues such as Birdland, Aaron Davis Hall, and Lincoln Center, and in Italy at the Cantar da Costa Festival of Brazilian Music and Culture. He toured with vocalist Astrud Gilberto from 1989-94, and for many years has participated in important Brazilian projects such as the “Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim” at Carnegie Hall and a two-piano production with Wagner Tiso and Milton Nascimento at the International Festival of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) in São Paulo. He has recorded and performed with Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, Milton Nascimento, Leny Andrade, and Dori Caymmi. He appears on Gerry Mulligan’s Brazilian record Paraiso. He has appeared nationally and internationally with Jon Lucien.

Cliff Korman’s journey through the Americas began over twenty years ago when he encountered the legendary Brazilian clarinetist Paulo Moura. From their friendship and musical partnership a series of concerts and recordings was born: Mood Ingênuo: The Dream of Pixinguinha and Duke Ellington, Rhapsody in Bossa, on the music of Gershwin and Jobim, Gafiera Jazz, a sparkling and refreshing commentary on the history of Brazilian ballroom and its links to the North American Swing Era, and the Gnattali/Monk Project, exploring two of the most influential American pianists of the century. In the years since Korman established half of his spiritual and physical home in Brasil, becoming one of the most respected North American musicians in the country.

With each trip to Brasil, Korman has sought out new repertoire and recordings, and has always sought to introduce new Brazilian standards to the repertoire of bands in New York. In October 2008 he presented the first Brazilian show of the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra starring guitarist/vocalist Toninho Horta, which featured both familiar works of Jobim, and lesser-known works of Horta.

Cliff Korman’s early musical experience spanned from accompanying Yiddish theater icon Molly Picon, to the worlds of R&B and jazz, which he decided to make his own, after working with Millie Jackson, Bob Moses, Jon Lucien, and Milt Hinton.

Korman teachesCliffBlackboard History and Practice of Brazilian Popular Music at the Manhattan School of Music. He has been the recipient of a research/lecture Fulbright grant to Brasil. His book Inside the Brazilian Rhythm Section (Sher Music) co-authored by guitarist Nelson Faria, is used by music schools worldwide. Korman’s theoretical focus on the nature and history of improvisation resulted in an article which explores the work of Thelonious Monk (Annual Review of Jazz Studies). Colleges that have hosted his courses include: City University of New York, The New School University, Manhattan School of Music, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Federal University of Minas Gerais, and Escola de Musica of Brasilia.

Cliff is an arranger and co-producer for the Chesky label; among his projects for them were Chuck Mangione’s “The Feeling’s Back” and “Entre Amigos” which pairs Brazilian vocalist Rosa Passos with American bassist Ron Carter. He has taught courses in jazz piano, theory, and improvisation at Brazilian universities under a Fulbright lecture/research grant, and teaches a course on Popular Brazilian music history and performance practice at the Manhattan School of Music.

Cliff co-leads a duo-project with the legendary Grammy Award winning saxophonist Paulo Moura, and the two of them have collaborated and performed together on a host of projects in Brazil,CliffwithMike the United States and abroad. Their duo record “Mood Ingênuo: The Dream of Pixinguinha and Duke Ellington” (Jazzheads) represents one of the first cross-cultural explorations of jazz and choro. Their most recent record “Gafieira Dance Brasil” pays homage to the dance roots of the instrumental and improvisational tradition of Brazilian music.

Cliff’s newest release is the recording “Migrations” (Planet Arts), described below.

“The Brazilian Tinge”

“The Brazilian Tinge” is both the name of Cliff’s ensemble and a commentary on his unique musical perspective. Unlike the genre commonly referred to as “Brazilian jazz”, Cliff likens his perspective to the way “The Latin Tinge” is used to refer to the essential Afro-Cuban component of the American jazz vocabulary. Cliff has absorbed and synthesized his deep involvement in Brazilian music, and out of this has created his own style, combining well conceived arrangements with free-flowing improvisation, incorporating dialogue with solos, drawing on his vast familiarity with both the American and Brazilian instrumental repertoires.

“Migrations”

Cliff’s latest project is his new CD “Migrations”, just released on the Planet Arts label. The title and title tune, as well as the cover design, are inspired by the great Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado’s photo exposition by that name, for which Cliff was invited to perform. From the liner notes, Cliff explains: “‘Migrations’ tapped into underlying currents of my forcibly displaced immigrant family: uprooting, survival, and transformation. . . double identity. . . aspects of my identity as a jazz player and the ways in which that manifests itself through Brazilian music.”

The ensemble

“The Brazilian Tinge” ensemble is a fluid group of musicians with whom Cliff has performed and recorded over the years. Its members include musicians from both the United States and Brazil. The formation varies according to the event – whether concerts, festivals, cultural celebrations, or private events like corporate or private parties. Some of the “regulars” include Billy Drewes (clarinet, saxophone), Luis Bonilla (trombone), Rob Curto (accordion), Andy Eulau (bass), Henrique Cazes (cavaquinho), Marcello Gonçalves (7-string guitar), Vanderlei Pereira (drums), Café (percussion), Adriano Santos (drums), Leonardo Cioglia (bass), Beto Cazes (percussion).

Besides “The Brazilian Tinge,” Cliff’s projects include Paulo Moura and Cliff Korman Duo, and Gafieira Dance Brasil

Ellen Azorin, President
Cantaloupe Music Productions, Inc.
Phone: 212.724.2400
E-Mail: music.inquiry@cantaloupeproductions.com

• Folhas Secas:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

• Wave:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

• Saudade do Paulo:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

• Brasilified:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

• Triple Threat:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

• Tarde de Chuva (duo with Paulo Moura):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

• Migrations (title track from new CD):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Back to top