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Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal Release New Album: ‘Yes!!!’

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Duduka Da Fonseca

Duduka Da Fonseca, a 4-time GRAMMY® Award Nominee drummer, and his quartet perform ten stimulating pieces on YES!!! that blend together Brazilian rhythms with Jazz. The drummer is joined in Quarteto Universal by three like-minded talents: guitarist Vinicius Gomes, pianist Helio Alves and bassist Gili Lopes.

In 2021 after enjoying a Central Park concert, drummer Duduka Da Fonseca met bassist Gili Lopes and guitarist Vinicius Gomes, both of whom said that they wanted very much to play music with him. Da Fonseca felt flattered and suggested putting together a quartet that also included pianist Helio Alves, and Quarteto Universal was born.

Throughout his career, Duduka Da Fonseca has been one of the leaders in performing music that mixed together Jazz with Brazilian rhythms, featuring the most rewarding aspects of both genres. In Gomes, Lopes, and Alves he has found kindred spirits, resulting in the first recording by the group, YES!!!

Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal Releases New Album: Yes!!!
Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal Releases New Album: Yes!!!

Each of the ten songs on this release has much to offer. To name a few highlights, “Samba Novo” begins the program with a particularly joyful melody, fluent piano and guitar solos that sound relaxed despite the fast tempo, and a colorful spot for the leader. “Transition” has Da Fonseca inspiring the other musicians with his opening solo and the forcefulness of his interplay. “Lilia” and the sambossa waltz “Bebe” (which builds in passion as it progresses) are particularly sophisticated compositions while “Montreux” and “A Correnteza” are thoughtful and sometimes introspective ballads with subtle but powerful statements from all musicians.

“Êxodo” is a composition worthy of Chick Corea, jazz with a strong Brazilian tinge. The post-bop “Viver De Amor” is filled with inventive playing both in the solos and the ensembles, “West 83rd Street” conveys the flavor of New York while the closing “Dona Maria” has a particularly memorable melody and sounds like a piece that McCoy Tyner would have enjoyed playing.

Duduka Da Fonseca & Quarteto Universal. Photo credit: Chris Drucker

For this rewarding project, Duduka Da Fonseca saw no reason to excessively emphasize Brazilian rhythms because all four of them have had these rhythms as a natural influence in their music from an early age. Da Fonseca grew up hearing Jazz, Bossa Nova, and Samba Jazz leading to him wanting to blend together these rhythms in equal parts. He started playing the drums when he was 13 and within a year had formed the Bossa Trio. Da Fonseca co-founded and played extensively in his native Rio de Janeiro with the Samba Jazz sextet Mandengo, before he moved to New York in 1975. Since then he has become a legendary drummer who has worked with the who’s who of jazz and Brazilian music including Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Herbie Mann, Joe Henderson, Slide Hampton, John Scofield, Wayne Shorter, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Billy Drewes, Kenny Werner, David Sanchez, Harry Allen, Larry Goldings, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Toninho Horta, Airto Moreira, Claudio Roditi, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Milton Nascimento, Oscar Castro-Neves and countless others. He has led such groups as Brasilian Express, New York Samba Band, the Brazilian Jazz All-Stars, and his own quintet and a Brazilian based trio with David Feldman and Guto Wirtti, in addition to being a founding member and co-leader of Trio da Paz since 1986.

Pianist Helio Alves had a longtime association with Claudio Roditi, worked with Joe Henderson and his list of credits (besides leading seven albums of his own) include Paquito D’Rivera, John Pizzarelli, and Flora Purim & Airto. He has also been part of several of Duduka Da Fonseca’s albums and projects. Guitarist Vinicius Gomes led his first album in 2017 and has collaborated with Seamus Blake, Edu Ribeiro’s trio, Jon Cowherd and accordionist Toninho Ferragutti. Bassist Gili Lopes started playing bass when he was 14, spent many years studying and playing music in Europe, and has performed in 28 countries so far. Gili has played and recorded with legendary Brazilian pianist Dom Salvador, Marcos Valle, Nicolas Folmer and John Crawford.

YES!!! features Duduka Da Fonseca and Quarteto Universal performing music that is boundary pushing, while deeply in touch with their Brazilian heritage. It is an exciting beginning for the Brazilian Jazz super band.

Source: Jim Ego, Jazz Promo Services

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Duduka Da Fonseca

    Oct 27, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    Muito obrigado Danilo e Raul.
    Tudo de bom para vocês e suas famílias.
    Muita saúde, paz e alegrias.
    With love and respect,
    Duduka

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New Releases

Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band to release new recording: “Vox Humana”

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Drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria
Drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria

Celebrating 25 years! The multi-Grammy nominated Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band is set to release their new recording: “Vox Humana” featuring vocalists Janis Siegel, Antoinette Montague, Jennifer Jade Ledesna.

Recorded Live at Dizzy’s Club Cola in NYC
Release Date: Spring 2023
Record Label: Jazzheads

New York – January 18th – On the heels of their Grammy nominated and 2019 Jazz Journalists Association Album of the Year Award winning critically acclaimed masterwork, West Side Story Reimagined, and in celebration of their 25th anniversary – drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria and his Multiverse Big Band return with their most ambitious work to date, VOX HUMANA.

Bobby states, “Over the course of our many Grammy nominated albums we’ve occasionally featured tracks with vocals. But I’ve always envisioned doing an entire vocal album framed by the Multiverse Big Band. Now with three of today’s greatest contemporary singing talents – multi-Grammy award winner Janis Siegel from the Manhattan Transfer, blues and jazz Queen Antoinette Montague, and the multilingual powerhouse, Jennifer Jade Ledesna, today that vision has finally become a reality.

The individually distinct voices that Janis, Antoinette, and Jennifer possess make them each unique. But the X factor they all have is they are all masterful improvisors in the best sense of the jazz tradition. Added to the mix is our great conguero, Oreste Abrantes, who also sings lead on two tracks. Having that multi- dimensional vocal talent framed by the power, nuance, and tonal variety that only a big band can provide, combined with the repertoire I’ve chosen to showcase them and the band and the incredible variety of Afro- Latin, straight ahead swing, funk, R&B, and rock rhythmic vocabulary that we are masters of and readily have at our disposal in the Multiverse, I believe VOX HUMANA will prove to be our greatest achievement. 

Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band: "Vox Humana"
Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band: “Vox Humana”

That repertoire has a personal meaning to me as I see VOX HUMANA as a biographical work. I’m a product of my environment. I’m a Nuyorican, a person of Puerto Rican descent growing up in New York City. In my case the South Bronx during a time period when pop, jazz, R&B, rock, funk, and Latin music of all kinds all co-existed as equals. It was the last era when the big bands of masters like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Machito, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Don Ellis, and more were in the public eye, and they became my heroes. Vocalists who could deliver a message with subtlety, nuance, and when needed, power, were called upon to deliver poetry crafted by genius song writers. You’ll hear all that and more through the soaring vocals and improv talents of Janis, Antoinette, and Jennifer, along with Oreste, as well as the incredible jazz-oriented arrangements and exciting Pan Afro-Latin rhythms played by a big band that literally takes no prisoners when it hits the stage.”

The repertoire Bobby speaks of includes 1 original and 12 unique re-workings of pop hits like Spooky, Christine Aguilera’s Genie In a Bottle, and Steely Dan’s Do It Again; NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri’s, Mi Congo and Puerto Rico along with the island’s greatest composer, Rafael Hernandez’s, Capullito De Aleli; the classic Joe Cuba R&B bolero, To Be With You; Brazilian standards Partido Alto and Amazonas; and from the world of Broadway theater, I Love You Porgy, and the iconic jump blues, Let The Good Times Roll. The CD also includes an original message bearing piece, Who Taught You That, as well as what may possibly be the most exciting interpretation of the Ellington associated classic, Caravan, and that has ever been recorded. 

Adding to the excitement of the performance, VOX HUMANA was recorded in front of a live audience. Bobby states, “As with our previous work, we recorded VOX HUMANA live at NYC’s Dizzy’s Club Coca – Cola. My musicians represent NYC’s finest. That means they’re the greatest in the world. The added level of excitement created by the audience inspired us in the MULTIVERSE Big Band to a heightened new level of performance virtuosity that listeners will hear explode out of the speakers just as the audience at Dizzy’s experienced in person.”

The history of the Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band is indeed one based on his rich multi-cultural heritage as a Nuyorican growing up in New York City’s South Bronx. His concept of having a big band that has no genre boundaries with limitless possibilities was forged 25 years ago back in 1998. It has yielded a series of groundbreaking, critically acclaimed albums that have all been Grammy-nominated with the band thrilling audiences worldwide at venues like the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Ravinia Festival, Verona Jazz Festival in Europe, and more.

Content Source: Two for the Show Media

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