Nanny Assis and ensembles
Led by singer/percussionist Nanny Assis, two ensembles performing a variety of Brazilian styles
Singer, percussionist, songwriter, Nanny Assis is originally from Bahia, Brazil, and has been living in New York for the last 10 years. A wonderful vocalist, he could have pursued a career just as a singer, but his multi-talents have taken him down a much broader career path. As one of the top percussionists in the Brazilian music world, he has performed with such renowned artists as Vinicius Cantauria, Eumeir Deodato and John Patitucci, and is a master of the many styles of Brazilian music, including samba, the music of Bahia, Brazilian Jazz, Afro-Brazilian music and other popular and folkloric sounds from his homeland.
Today he leads his own ensembles ranging from duos and trios to large formation samba shows where his clear voice rings out the joy of Brazilian music and percussion. Banda Zona Sul consists of 3 to 5 musicians (percussion, sax/flute, and guitar) performing a mix of samba, pagode, bossa nova, popular standards, and Brazilian jazz. Banda Rio Bahia consists of 5-6 musicians (percussion, guitar, cavaquinho) performing a mix of samba, the music of Bahia, some Northeastern baião and forró, and bossa nova. Nanny also directs a “batucada” (percussion) samba show with dancers that is hugely popular for corporate and private events.
Nanny Assis began his career as a drummer and percussionist, but soon developed into a brilliant multiform musician. His evolution as an artist has revealed him to be an awesome singer and composer. For his multi-faceted talents, Nanny has become known all over the world. During the past 16 years, Nanny Assis has become one of the top percussionists in the Brazilian music industry. He is sought after by world-class musicians for both studio recordings and live performances.
He has received numerous prizes and won critical recognition from top percussionists and the best world music personalities. He was awarded best percussionist by the Bahia Instrumental Festival. He has won acclaim from Grammy award winners and renowned musicians such as Eumir Deodato, John Patitucci, Vinicius Cantuaria, Arto Lindsey, Ed Motta, Eric Nicholas, Sean Blackman, Ze Luiz, Cliff Korman, Leo Gandelman, Helio Alves, Melvin Gibbs, Oriente Lopez, Sasha Lazard, Dril Kuadros, Paulo Braga, Jay Leonhart, Manhattan Swing Orchestra, Manhattan City Orchestra, Empyreal String Orchestra, Cyro Baptista, Mount Moriah Church Choir, Tico da Costa, Freddie Bryant, Sergio Brandao, Romero Lubambo, John Margolis, Mark Lambert, Nilson Matta, Leni Stern, Cidinho Teixeira, Paul Sacolow, Michael Leonhert, Rob Bargard, Maestro Daniel L. Riley Jr., Jenny Scheinman, Kate McGarry, Norbert Goldberg, Mauro Refosco, Joseph Bonacci and many others.
Some notable participations/achievements
1990: Became the head musician in Bahia’s world-famous Carnaval as a singer and percussionist of Banda Fuzue.
1994: Invited to perform with Rolling Thunder, an American band. Rolling Thunder was touring in Brazil, when Nanny Assis joined them as their percussionist and continued touring with them as a member of the band. Rolling Thunder, with Nanny Assis as their background vocalist and percussionist, continued their tour in Europe.
1999: Invited by the Mount Moriah Baptist Choir of New York City to participate in their world tour. Nanny Assis was the only Brazilian member who toured with them around the world.
2000: Invited by Vinicius Cantuaria to participate in his world tour, including Italy, France, London, England, Ireland, Spain and Belgium. With the Vinicius Cantuaria band, Nanny Assis has performed in venues such as London’s BBC, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Blue Note in Milan, Rome Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Fregey Theatre in Belgium, TCA in Brazil, Chiasso Festival in Switzerland, Metro Detroit’s 11th Annual Diversity Festival, Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, New York City Symphony Space for Miles Davis tribute, Le Chateaux in Paris, St. Pittsburgh Festival in Russia.
Acclaimed Brazilian guitarists Rogério Souza and Edinho Gerber joins forces with percussionist Ami Molinelli.