Brazilian rhythms mixed with jazz have been a blessing to North American ears since the Bossa Nova craze of the 1960s. It's encouraging to see a new generation of Brazilian musicians focus on jazz with a fresh approach.
This week on Saturday Jazz Caliente, we'll hear from pianist, vocalist, composer and arranger Abelita Mateus' latest CD Vivenda. Mateus includes her own compositions along with some of her favorite Brazilian standards from Antonio Carlos Jobim, Djavan and Gilberto Gil.
Born in São Paulo, Abelita studied classical music, then moved to New York in 2012 to pursue her passion for jazz. Along with her own projects, she's also working with the Chameleon Music Trio, and she is the pianist with the Dizzy Gillespie Afro Cuban Experience, led by bassist John Lee. She'll be touring with them in 2018.
Abelita was also one of the four featured pianists on this year's Jazz Piano Christmas program from NPR, recorded live at the Kennedy Center on December 9.
Guitarist Romero Lubambo is one of Abelita's musical heroes, and he produced Vivenda, at her request. His admiration for this young artist is evident in the gorgeous sound of this recording. "She is part of the next generation of great Brazilian musicians," says Lubambo. "Abelita is someone to really keep your eyes on."
I wholeheartedly agree, and I look forward to more music from this talented young woman.
Listen for "Amor Até O Fim (Love Until The End)" from Abelita Mateus this week on Saturday Jazz Caliente.
Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. The show is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio.