Dexter Payne

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Primary Instrument: Clarinet

Born: July 5, 1951    

Dexter Payne

Gaudencio Thiago de Mello exited the earthly plane last month at the age of 80. Not bad for an Amazon indian who contracted malaria as a young child. His passing ended a prolific composing career. Most notable were compositions recorded by Sharon Isbin, Paul Winter, Claudio Roditi, Quintet of the Americas, among others. For the last 15 years, Thiago de Mello collaborated with Dexter Payne, on a total of 5 albums on the Ethos Brasil, Dexofon, Gau & JSR labels.

Thiago de Mello first recorded under his own name in 1973 with Dom Salvador, Airto Moreira, Paulo Moura and Claudio Roditi, is a Brazilian composer, as well as “organic percussionist”. He makes most of his instruments from natural materials from his native state of Amazonas. That's where we met in 1997 in a boat on the Amazon River! He graciously accepted my invitation to invent and play percussion on INSPIRATION, the CD I recorded in Brazil with guitarist and composer, Antonio Mello, and our musical friendship has grown steadily since......
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#8 in Downbeat Readers Poll 2004 & 2006 2011 International Blues Challenge winner with Lionel Young Band
Pra Você (Dexofon) Dexter Payne Quartet +1

“Congratulations!” – Nelson Faria

Dexter Payne's Beautiful Brazilian Music CD has a Great Backstory ”...all you have to do is listen.” Sharon Glassman (Huffington Post) 6-2-14 (

“quietly brilliant… uniquely beautiful blend of Brazilian, jazz (especially New Orleans), African and other instrumental musical styles” Chris Slawecki ( 5/26/14

“It’s like a fever when you start listening to this album — the way summer gets in the brain.” -Erika Frederickson (Missoula Independent) 3/27/14

“Pra Você is proof that Brazilian music can flourish in the most unlikely places… Quite the refreshing disc” – Tom McDermott (OffBeat Magazine) May 2014

ANOTHER FEELING review on AMG by Michael G. Nastos

“Veteran Brazilian percussionist Thiago DeMello (then in his early 70s) long a neglected figure alongside younger more acclaimed players as Airto Moreira, Naná Vasconcelos, and Guillerme Franco, has finally hit resonant notes for the general public to hear on this beautiful recording, with clarinetist Dexter Payne as his main foil and accompanying pianists and occasional vocals. As you'd expect, there's a lot of authentic samba played, and it is done right. Basic sensual rhythms and melodies are the centerpiece for “Tal Como o Vinho,” “Too Good Notes” (a play on “One Note Samba” with DeMello on acoustic guitar), the heavy-handed “Mar Aberto,” and roomy “No Wolf at the Door.” The beautiful singing of Ithamara Koorax is heard on two ballads, but also on the night hymn “An Evening Prayer,” as well as the excellent African highlife-flavored title track, dedicated to Che Guevara, which is very close stylistically to what Abdullah Ibrahim and Carlos Ward would do. Payne's playful clarinet empowers the trio, swinging lightly in jazz fashion à la Eddie Daniels during the lyrical “Kimbolian Dawn,” he plays pretty during the neo- classical “Rede de Cabocolo,” and switches to alto sax for the dancing 6/8 framework of “What About That?” (for Sharon Isbin). The dance theme is further emphasized on “A Hug for Gil Evans,” starting with DeMello on the berimbau, and then going for samba rhythms with a Native American chant tacked on. Haroldo Mauro, Jr. is the pianist on six selections, and he's one to pay attention to, while another three feature Richard Kimball, a longtime associate of DeMello. Fans of Brazilian music will want this, but it should also appeal to a broader base of world music lovers, as the diversity, bright spirit, and clear camaraderie between the musicians is evident from start to finish.”

* * * * * *

”Have you ever walked alone through a quiet beautiful woodland and stepped into an open space full of nothing but warm and growing brightness, and felt like nature was a cathedral and you were seated in its front row? Another Feeling sounds just like that: completely, naturally, immaculate and beautiful.” �” Chris M. Slawecki, All About Jazz ( id=24317)

”... Payne makes the challenging appear effortless on “Inspiration” (Dexofon Records), a trio date with Brazilian guitarist Antonio Mello and percussionist G. Thiago De Mello. Relaxing and intellectual at the same time, “Inspiration” might remind American ears of the classic Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd collaboration, “Jazz Samba.” �” Bret Saunders/Sunday Denver Post, Feb 13, 2005

“... bossa nova with winning subtlety, fitting together like pieces of an intricate, intimate puzzle ... finally, a virtuoso musician who really hears the Brazilian whispers, and not just the carnival clamor.” �” Andy Smetanka / Missoula Independent /June 3, 2004

BIG SKY JOURNAL spring 1999

“.. if he shows up in your town, go see this master alto sax player. It's a cool, mellow sound, sometimes airily reminiscent of Desmond, or Shank, but it has more humanity, more earth, more fire... and well worth driving a hundred miles or more to hear.” �” Jon Jackson

  • Pra Vocé

    Dexofon Records

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Boulder, CO

Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.

Limited schedule - contact for availability. Currently adjunct faculty at Naropa University, Boulder, CO

selmer N, vandoren 66, lavoz mh. selmer Mark 6, ottolink hardrubber 7, lavoz med.

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