Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Inside the Rio Jazz Scene

Musician Scott Feiner reveals the five artists keeping the sound of the jazz underground alive and moving forward.

Scott Feiner may have grown up in New York, but his immersion in the Rio jazz scene since arriving in Brazil in 2001 has brought a Latin Grammy nomination for his critically acclaimed Pandeiro Jazz project. Fusing more traditional sounds with the quintessentially Brazilian pandeiro (removing the drums in the process), his innovative sound has been part of the rebirth of a genre again claiming its part in the city's musical make-up.

With his fourth album primed for release, Feiner spoke to Time Out about five unsung jazz musicians that are keeping the sound alive.

Rafael Vernet
"Simply one of the best jazz pianists in Brazil today. Vernet's resumé is a who's-who of Brazilian instrumental music. Names like Hermeto Pascoal and Toninho Horta, but he's also played with some of the great vocalists, such as Joyce, Fatima Guedes and his wife Paula Santoro. Vernet brings incredible groove and energy to the bandstand."

Listen to Rafael Vernet

David Feldman
"Along with Vernet, another one of Brazil's finest jazz pianists. Wonderful creativity and sensitivity. He recently released his first CD as a leader, which featured the legendary Brazilian drummer Duduka da Fonseca. As a sideman, he's accompanied singers such as Leila Pinheiro and Leny Andrade. David lived for a while in New York City, so he really stays on top of what's going on globally, pushing himself and not allowing to get too comfortable which can happen when you're in a smaller scene."

Listen to David Feldman

Grupo Bamboo
"The group is comprised of five great young musicians - Bernardo Ramos (guitar), Josué Lopes (sax), Vitor Gonçalves (piano), Bruno Aguilar (bass) and Alex Buck (drums). Besides the music itself being played at such a high level, what I really love about them is that it's an actual 'group'! A true collective, which is a rare thing these days. They're all in it together and you can hear it."

Listen to Grupo Bamboo

Marcelo Martins and Jessé Sadoc
"I couple Marcelo (saxophone) and Jessé (trumpet) together because they have recorded and performed together in so many different settings over the years that sometimes it sounds like they share a brain. When these guys are in the horn section you can really hear and feel the difference. You've heard them with Djavan, Marcos Valle, Lenine, and the list just goes on and on. Besides their horn playing, both are excellent improvisers and are in the process of releasing CDs as leaders."

Listen to Marcelo Martins and Jessé Sadoc

Alberto Continentino
"One of the most naturally talented musicians I've ever met and one of the most in-demand bassists in all of Brazil. At the age of 18 or 19 he recorded with Milton Nascimento and since then has toured and recorded with many of the biggest names in MPB. His groove is just ridiculous and effortless. In a jazz setting he brings maturity and great taste. He's a musician's bassist 100 percent. Nothing showy, just music all the way. He recently released a CD with his group Paraphernalia."

Listen to Alberto Continentino

  • Listen to the sound of Pandeiro Jazz here

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors

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