By Donitra Clemons, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Corea, Clarke & White, The Clayton Brothers Quintet, and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue are among the celebrated jazz names landing in Rio, June 11th, for the BMW Jazz Festival. After last year’s standing-room-only debut, the festival returns to Oi Casa Grande in Leblon with its own distinctive mix of seasoned and rising international talent.
For those wondering how popular jazz is in the land of Samba, tickets sold out last year. In São Paulo, the event’s coordinators even had to upgrade to a bigger venue.
Local jazz musician and New York expatriate, Scott Feiner explains, ”There are few opportunities for jazz in Rio … and Cariocas love events and happenings, especially international ones.”
Feiner goes on to provide highlights of some of the three day festival’s well-curated offerings. “Corea, Clarke & White are a great and historic act to see. They are like a blast from the past.”
The trio of icons have banded together to deliver their potent arrangement of acoustic jazz. They used to have a group called Return to Forever, which earned a Grammy for their album entitled Forever.
“Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society should also be pretty special,” says Feiner. Composer and conductor Darcy James Argue leads a huge, eighteen member, Grammy nominated band. The band is known for surprising audiences with their range, pulling off complex arrangements of everything from rock to classical influenced jazz.
Another musician known for standing out is Trombone Shorty, who began playing the trumpet and trombone fluently at only six years old in his hometown of New Orleans. By the time he was a teenager, he toured with Lenny Kravitz and hasn’t looked back.
In addition to touring with other famous artists like U2, and Norah Jones, his solo project was nominated for a Grammy for the album Backatown.
Maceo Parker is known for bringing the boogie. “Parker usually plays something more ‘feel good.’ It’s good for people looking for more of a party night…for dancing,” notes Feiner.
And apparently a Maceo Parker party doesn’t stop – Parker often jams two and a half hour non-stop sets. He was initiated in the music scene when he joined James Brown’s band in 1964. Since then he has released seven of his own records and plays an upwards of 250 concerts a year.
“Personally, I am excited about Charles Lloyd. He is legendary,” muses Feiner. If you’ve never heard of Charles Lloyd, your favorite music artist probably has. Lloyd has been at the forefront of innovative music for over fifty years. He is considered to be one of the most forward-thinking, ushering in entire genres of music like world music and psychedelic and his jazz quartet was one of the best-selling of all time with their album Forest Flower.
BMW Jazz Festival tickets, in Rio from June 11th to 13th can be purchased at Oi Casa Grande, tickets are in between R$30 and R$120 and can be bought online or at the Oi Casa Grande theater in Rua Afrânio de Mello Franco 290, Leblon.