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Oscar Castro-Neves: Honouring His Memory

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Oscar Castro-Neves

Oscar Castro-Neves (May 15, 1940 – September 27, 2013) was a Brazilian guitarist, arranger, and composer who is considered a founding figure in Bossa Nova. He was born in Rio de Janeiro as one of triplets and formed a band with his brothers in his youth. At 16 he had a national hit with Chora Tua Tristeza. Many of the early Bossa Nova musicians began as teens so this was only slightly unusual.

In 1962 he was in a Bossa Nova concert at Carnegie Hall, later he toured with Stan Getz and Sérgio Mendes. He went on to work with a diverse array of musicians including Billy Eckstine, Yo Yo Ma, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, João Gilberto, Eliane Elias, Lee Ritenour, Airto Moreira, Toots Thielemans, John Klemmer, Carol Welsman and Diane Schuur.

https://youtu.be/LrvOGVERvKY

During the 1970s and early 1980s he was member of the Paul Winter Consort. With Sérgio Mendes, Oscar-Neves, was a key guitarist in the A&M release “Fool on the Hill” and continued with the classic “Stillness” which was to see the last Brasil ’66 grouping. Oscar-Neves re-appeared with Sérgio Mendes & Brasil’77 on the “Vintage ’74” effort.

Oscar Castro-Neves lived in Los Angeles, California where he worked as an orchestrator for several films including Blame it on Rio and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. He died of cancer in Los Angeles in September 27, 2013. (wikipedia).

Today, May 15, 2015 he would have been celebrating his 75th Birthday. Let’s honor Oscar Castro-Neves’ legacy commemorating his music and artistry.

Discography as leader

  • Big Band Bossa Nova (1962 – Audio Fidelity)
  • The Rhythm and Sounds of Bossa Nova (featuring Miltinho) (1963 – Audio Fidelity)
  • Brazilian Scandals (1987)
  • Oscar! (1987)
  • Maracujá (1989)
  • More than Yesterday (with Teo Lima) (1991)
  • Tropical Heart (1993)
  • The John Klemmer and Oscar Castro-Neves Duo (1997)
  • Brazilian Days (with Paul Winter) (1998)
  • Playful Heart (2003)
  • All One (2006)

As sideman with David Darling: Cycles (ECM, 1981)

With Eliane Elias: Brazilian Classics (2003)

Founder, Editor, Webmaster: Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report, That Canadian Magazine. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

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Featured Videos

Grant Richards’ Live Performance of “Ballyhoo”

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Grant Richards

Grant Richards – a pianist deeply immersed in bebop and the blues – leads his music in a bold
and emergent new direction with Ballyhoo, an Afro-Cuban celebration of a previously unspoken
dream, finally realized in a tangible elation of musicianship, culture, and unbridled wonder.
Richards, like the great jazz composers throughout history, wrote the music on Ballyhoo not for
generic instruments, but for the specific and unique musical personalities of the musicians in his
ensemble.

Ballyhoo is the title track from my new album, my first excursion into Latin jazz, combining
many elements that get me out of my comfort zone like intricate grooves, odd keys, and the
necessity for precise execution,” Richards shares. “The title implies an excited commotion and
with the crisp performance by my bandmates Damian Erskine, Reinhardt Melz, and Carmelo
Torres
, I think this track embodies the exuberance and playfulness I intended for the project as a
whole.”

Album cover - Grant Richards: Ballyhoo
Album cover – Grant Richards: Ballyhoo

What is Ballyhoo? The word embodies sensation, animation and enthusiasm, and the record at
its core presents all of the same. Ballyhoo was released on September 24, 2021.

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