Greetings Good People,
The Savassi Festival NY Edition 2013 was a great effort. There was so much great Brazilian music all over the city. I was specially impressed with a new generation of musicians from Brazil who flew all the up to partake in this Festival. Antonio Loureiro, Rafael Martini, Joana Queiroz and a number of other names brought forth great compositions and some really inventive playing.
These new faces/sounds coupled with a number of great seasoned acts were a receipe for success. My good friends from the Brazilian Trio; Helio Alves, Nilson Matta and Duduka Da Fonseca, are always an inspiration. Cliff Korman performed with legendary drummer Pascoal Meireles in a tribute to the late Paulo Moura. Not to mention other great NYC based acts that unfortunately I was not able to attend.
I feel very fortunate to have been invited to perform with three different groups: Dave Pietro's group Embrace, Minas Gerais acoustic guitar legend and good friend Juarez Moreira and my own quintet which included; John Ellis, Mike Moreno, Aaron Goldberg and Obed Calvaire. For this edition of the festival, as a follow-up to the Belo Horizonte edition of 2010 which I created Música de Mineiro: A Tribute to the Composers of Clube da Esquina in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the release of that seminal album, I curated Música de Mineiro: Homage to Milton Nascimento. In 2012 Milton turned 70 and while spending the summer in Brazil I came across a newly released book written and produced by composer, lyricist and sax player from Belo Horizonte, Chico Amaral. Upon reading this new biographical piece of literature I was prompted to revisit this artist's entire body of work, which still is a tremendous source of inspiration. I could not help but select a few of his gems to perform during this festival which originated in the capital of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte under the trusteeship of cultural entrepreneur Bruno Golgher.
The festival opened with a lecture I administered at New York University, where I am undertaking a Master's Degree in Composition, with the subject: Harmonic, Melodic and Rhythmic Aspects of Music from Minas Gerais. I am hoping to take this lecture to other universities and music conservatories next year. I'll keep you posted.
I hope all of you have a great start to your Holiday Season. All the best always!
Leonardo E. M. Cioglia