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Vermont Jazz Center Presents: Chico Pinheiro Quartet

Press Release –

Please give author’s credit to Eugene Uman

Vermont Jazz Center, 802 254 9088,

Brazilian Jazz Quartet to Perform Authentic Samba and Bossa Nova at the Vermont Jazz Center on Saturday, May 12th, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Short Summary

Who: Chico Pinheiro Quartet

Chico Pinheiro, vocals and guitar; Helio Alves, piano; Eduardo Belo, acoustic bass; Alexandre Kautz

What: Brazilian jazz super-group performing originals and bossa/samba classics

When: Saturday, May 12th, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Where: The Vermont Jazz Center, 72 Cotton Mill Hill, #222, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Tickets available: online at, by email at, by phone 802 254 9088 ext. 1, in person at In The Moment, Main St., Brattleboro, VT.

The Vermont Jazz Center will present a performance with Brazilian guitarist Chico Pinheiro and his working quartet on Saturday May 12th at 8 PM. Each of the group’s members are top-level Brazilian musicians now based in New York City. They are each comfortable connecting the boundless, rhythmical vocabulary of their home country with the swinging language of North American Jazz. In a recent interview on WMUK (West Michigan University), Pinheiro emphasized why Brazilian music is so rhythmically varied: “in a way it’s very similar to jazz because we both come from African and European roots. In Brazil there are a lot of rhythms, it’s very rich – each part of our country is very different from each other and each rhythm is from a certain place. You have samba of course from Bahia and bossa nova, from Rio de Janeiro, you also have baião and maracatu [from Brazil’s northeast] and many others; I grew up listening to and playing music from all regions of Brazil as well as jazz.”

Pinheiro’s quartet includes one of New York’s finest Brazilian pianist Helio Alves, along with young, first-call artists, Eduardo Belo on acoustic bass and Alexandre Kautz on drums. Their repertoire includes bossa nova and samba standards as well as Pinheiro’s clever originals. With good reason, their sound is tight and well-rehearsed: Pinheiro states in an interview with Guitar Player magazine “My band practices all the time—even when we’re traveling— but it’s not like a commitment. It’s just to have fun.” The quartet’s complex arrangements and virtuosic unison passages express the joy they share making music together and are proof that time spent practicing produces remarkable results. There is a real playfulness in the way this group approaches music. This is even demonstrated in the humorous name of one of their most popular and recent compositions, Boca de Siri, which translates to “The Voice of Siri.” This uplifted feeling is conveyed in their individual self-confidence and in their relationships, but it is most apparent in the sound of their music – listeners can feel its easy blend of tropical and sophisticated sources. Pinheiro was asked by an interviewer from Guitar Player magazine how his development as a musician in Brazil affects his jazz playing. His response was reassuring: “When I was a student, I was jealous that I didn’t play like an American. I had an accent. Brazilian music, of course, has an accent just like the language. But once I figured out that it was cool that I didn’t play like an American, I tried to figure out different ways to mix my sound into the intersection of jazz and Brazilian music… I just try to be lyrical—I just imagine that I’m trying to have a conversation with my companions… if I’m playing Brazilian music or jazz, I just talk.” We as listeners are privileged to hear their conversations, laugh at their jokes and feel solace in their empathy.

Chico Pinheiro is one of the most sought-after guitarists of his generation in both Brazilian and jazz contexts. The legendary vocalist Dianne Reeves is quoted on Pinheiro’s website saying “I love his artistic voice: very sweet, passionate, and at the same time very fresh and new.” Brad Mehldau has called him “a major player and writer,” and the revered Brazilian bossa nova master Edu Lobo said: “Chico Pinheiro is the best example of the existence of light at the end of the tunnel, clearly proving people wrong who’ve claimed that nobody interesting has emerged on the Brazilian music scene since my generation.” Pinheiro has collaborated with many of the finest Brazilian artists including Ivan Lins, Rosa Passos, Dori Caymmi, Danilo Caymmi, João Donato, Johnny Alf, Chico César, Ed Motta, César Camargo Mariano and many others. He has also made his mark internationally recording and playing with Placido Domingo, Brad Mehldau, Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Nnenna Freelon, Bob Mintzer, Roberto Fonseca, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Israel Chamber Orchestra, The Bob Mintzer Big Band, The Paris Jazz Big Band, The Swiss Jazz Orchestra, The Danish Radio Big Band, The Seasons Guitar Quartet (w/ Anthony Wilson, Julian Lage & Steve Cardenas), Ari Hoenig, Gary Novak, Sammy Figueroa, Cachaíto Lopez (Buena Vista Social Club), Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Tom Scott, Eddie Gomez, Claudio Roditi, Duduka da Fonseca, Giovani Hidalgo and many others.

The pianist of the group is Helio Alves. Zan Stewart of the LA Times claims that Alves “exhibits the harmonic depth of a Chick Corea or Bill Evans, the alternatively driving and subtle swing of a Cedar Walton or McCoy Tyner, the melodic charm of Bud Powell, Wynton Kelly or Herbie Hancock. And like those giants collectively, no mood or milieu is beyond his reach.” Alves was born in São Paulo, Brazil and moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music in the mid-80s. There he met trumpeter Claudio Roditi, who advised the 24-year old pianist to move to New York City. “One phone call to Claudio, that was it,” says Alves of getting his start in Manhattan in 1993. “I met everybody else through Claudio.” From 1995–1997, Alves toured extensively with Joe Henderson’s Double Rainbow Quartet, celebrating the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. He was featured in the Grammy-winning release, Joe Henderson’s Big Band (Verve, 1996). Alves was also the pianist on Grammy-winning releases by Yo-Yo Ma (Obrigado Brazil, 2003) and Paquito D’Rivera (Brazilian Dreams, 2002), and on the Grammy-nominated Samba Jazz Fantasia (Malandro Records, 2002) by Duduka Da Fonseca. Helio has been featured on recordings and tours with Slide Hampton, Santi Debriano, Herbie Mann, Phil Woods, Caribbean Jazz Project, Trio da Paz, Paul Winter, David Sanchez, Harry Allen, The New York Voices, Gato Barbieri, Andy Narell and Mike Stern among many others.

The quartet’s bassist is Eduardo Belo. Born and raised in Brasilia, Belo has now been living in NYC for almost a decade. Renowned for his talents in Brazilian music, gypsy and modern Jazz, he has worked with Brad Mehldau, Claudio Roditi, Steve Wilson, Kevin Hays, Bebel Gilberto, Clarice Assad, Duduka da Fonseca, and many others at venues all over the world.

The drummer is Alexandre Kautz. Born in Sao Paulo Brazil, Kautz first went to Berklee College and then moved to New York where he received his master’s degree at Queens College. Since his arrival in New York, Kautz has worked with Tim Ries, John Pattitucci, Tim Hagans, Adam Rogers, Aaron Goldberg, Helio Alves, Nilson Matta, Hans Glawischnig, Claudio Roditi, Lionel Loueke, Magos Herrera, Robert Rodriguez, Mike Rodriguez, Paul Bollenback, Romero Lubambo, Phil Dwyer, Ben Monder, Ingrid Jensen, Mike Moreno and many others.

Come to the Vermont Jazz Center on Saturday, May 12th at 8:00 PM and find out why Downbeat Magazine calls Chico Pinheiro “a guitar prodigy” who crafts a “cross-cultural musical world of dulcet passion and nuanced detail.” Brazilian music has always attracted a large audience at the VJC, this concert will certainly support that trend so get your tickets early. The VJC is especially grateful to Chris Welles for sponsoring this concert. Welles has been recognized by the Boston Herald and the Folksong Society of Greater Boston for the work he has produced with his group “Outrageous Fortune;” he is an accomplished guitarist and vocalist with a passion for Brazilian music. It is only through the generous contributions of supporters like Chris that this concert is possible. The VJC is also thankful for the ongoing support from the Hampton Inn of Brattleboro. VJC publicity is underwritten by the Brattleboro Reformer, WVPR, WVEW, WFCR and Olga Peters of WKVT’s Green Mountain Mornings.

Tickets for Chico Pinheiro at the Vermont Jazz Center are $20+ general admission, $15 for students with I.D. (contact VJC about educational discounts); available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at, by email at Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.

Chico’s tune Boca de Siri

Chico Pinheiro playing Jobim’s Chega de Saudad

Chico Pinheiro with vocalist Tati Parra

Short documentary on Chico playing with Bob Mintzer’s big band.

Chico with the Four Seasons Guitar Quartet

Instrumental: Irrequieto