Bubbling along quietly, but growing in breadth and stature, the São Paulo jazz scene has a handful of well-established, standout joints – Jazz nos Fundos and Bourbon Street Music Club – plus interesting new developments in the shape of the new Jazz B and Facundo Guerra’s soon-to-come Riviera, set to open in July.
And in June, the prestigious annual BMW Jazz Festival will be flooding the city with saxes, trumpets and the syncopated patterns of jazz, as world-class musicians of the genre hit town for a four-day affair, parts of which are also taking place over two days, simultaneously, in Rio.
The twenty-time Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso Pat Metheny gets top billing as he kicks off the festivities with a two-hour set, backed by his new Unity Band. Friday features the young jazz dazzler Esperanza Spalding, playing tracks from last year’s Radio Music Society LP; while saxophone fans who were dazzled by Maceo Parker’s performance last year are taken care of with Joshua Redman’s new acoustic jazz project, the James Farm quartet.
Saturday’s lineup includes the US pianist Brad Melhdau, best known for his collaborations with John Mayer and Radiohead, as well as Dave Douglas, with his customary improvisation and wild trumpets, playing alongside the versatile post-bop jazz master and multi-instrumentalist, Joe Lovano.
The event comes to a climactic end with the free annual open-air show at Auditório Ibirapuera on Sunday. Get there early, grab a good spot on the grass, and soak up the cool breeze and the cool sounds.
HSBC Brasil, Thursday-Saturday
Thursday, 6 June, from 9pm
- Pat Metheny Unity Band
Friday, 6 June, from 9pm
- James Farm
- Esperanza Spalding
- Egberto Gismonti and the Orquestra Corações Futuristas
Saturday, 8 June, from 9pm
- Brad Mehldau Trio
- Johnathan Blake Quintet
- Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas
Free outdoor concert, Sunday
Sunday, 9 June, from 5pm, in Parque do Ibirapuera
- The Pat Metheny Unity Band will take to the outdoor stage of the Auditório Ibirapuera