from Brazil, three luminaries of instrumental music: Toninho Ferragutti, Ulisses Rocha, Nelson Ayres
“Trio 202″ is the groundbreaking project of three of the great luminaries of Brazilian instrumental music: Latin Grammy-nominated accordion master Toninho Ferragutti, whom Hermeto Pascoal has called “one of the best accordionists in the world”,” along with the great guitarist Ulisses Rocha, and renowned pianist Nelson Ayres.
The visionary accordionist/composer/arranger Toninho Ferragutti has revitalized Brazilian music with a return to regional music – choro, forró, gafiera and chamame – interpreted in a contemporary context. Born into a musical family near São Paulo in 1959, he learned the essentials of the sanfona in the rodas de choro in the countryside. His conservatory studies took his virtuosity to a new level, and he became one of the most sought after instrumentalists in Brazil, with a discography that includes recordings with Gilberto Gil, Hermeto Pascoal, Marisa Monte, Monica Salmaso, and Mario Adnet. His debut recording, “Sanfonemas”, nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2000, established Ferragutti as the heir to Brazil’s legendary accordionist, Luis Gonzaga. His current release, “Nem Sol Nem Lua” (Neither Sun Nor Moon), confirms his stature as a complex artist whose work transcends boundaries and categorization.
São Paulo guitarist Ulisses Rocha was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1960. Considered to be one of Brazil’s finest guitarists, he formed the ground-breaking group D’Alma with guitarists André Geraissati and Mozart Mello; the trio’s eclectic style, uniting classical, rock and Brazilian music are said to have been an influence on the trio of John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, and Al di Meola. Rocha’s discography includes both solo guitar work and forays into rock. His most well-known recordings are: “Fractal”, “Moleque”, “Caminhos Cruzados” and “Album 2000″.
Pianist/composer/arranger Nelson Ayres represents the perfect synthesis between jazz and contemporary Brazilian music. A child prodigy, he began his studies at the conservatory of São Paulo at the age of twelve — upon graduating in 1961, he joined the São Paulo Dixieland Band. He left to continue his jazz studies at Berklee in the United States in 1969, and afterwards glided easily into work with Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Carter, as well as giants of Brazilian music Milton Nascimento and Chico Buarque. For the past fifteen years he has been the conductor and artistic director of Orquestra Jazz Sinfonica do Estado de São Paulo. His current release, “Perto do Coração”, features Tonhino Ferragutti as well as Teco Cardoso, Roberto Sion and San Francisco saxophonist Harvey Wainapel.
Ellen Azorin, President
Cantaloupe Music Productions, Inc.
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