Born: 1968 Primary Instrument: Pandeiro
Scott Feiner’s musical story is not a common one. Not only is he an American pandeiro player, but he has also introduced this Brazilian hand drum to the world of jazz in a highly personal way.
A native of New York City, and originally a guitarist, Feiner received a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies/Guitar at the Hartt School of Music, where he learned about jazz history from the legendary saxophonist Jackie McLean. In 1990 he returned to New York City and immersed himself in the jazz scene, gaining a reputation for his sense of swing and lyrical phrasing. During the early ‘90s Feiner led bands two nights a week at Augie’s (now Smoke), the world-renowned club in Manhattan known as a meeting place for New York City’s best young jazz musicians. He recorded two CDs during that period - Under the Influence and Feiner’s Keepers - featuring musicians such as organist Larry Goldings and saxophonist Joel Frahm.
In 1999, during his first trip to Brazil, Feiner discovered the pandeiro, the instrument which would become his passion and new means of musical expression. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2001 to be closer to the pandeiro and Brazilian music in general. As he evolved as a player, he began to play with some of Rio’s finest musicians in the samba and choro scene. Just a few years after his arrival in Rio, Feiner had become a respected pandeirista.
It is Feiner’s innovative project “Pandeiro Jazz” however, that has truly set him apart. It was first documented on the CD Pandeiro Jazz (2006, Delira Música), recorded in New York City with guitarist Freddie Bryant, saxophonist Joel Frahm, and bassist Joe Martin. This recording is possibly the first jazz recording ever made with a pandeiro as the exclusive percussion instrument, in place of a drumset. After the success of Pandeiro Jazz, Feiner released Dois Mundos (2008, Biscoito Fino), recorded in Rio de Janeiro with trumpeter Jessé Sadoc, saxophonist Marcelo Martins, pianist David Feldman, and bassist Alberto Continentino. This CD was nominated for a 2009 Latin Grammy Award. Feiner’s third CD, Accents (Zoho Music) is being released in November, 2010.
Feiner performs regularly at festivals and clubs around the world and is constantly experimenting with different formats ranging from duo to quintet. Besides the musicians from his regular working groups, Feiner has also featured many other stellar instrumentalists from New York and Brazil in his performances: Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, Chico Pinheiro, Hamilton de Holanda, Gabriel Grossi and Helio Alves, to name a few. He has also performed alongside the legendary Brazilian singer/composer/guitarist Joyce.
Feiner is also known for being an ambassador of the pandeiro, introducing people to the instrument around the world. A respected educator, he has given pandeiro workshops in the USA, Finland, Sweden, Austria and Slovenia. In the USA, he has also given presentations on the pandeiro and Brazilian music at the Manhattan School of Music (New York, NY), Williams College (Williamstown, MA), Uarts (Philadelphia, PA) and at the Percussion Arts Society International Convention - PASIC 2008 (Austin, TX). He also toured Mexico as a Jazz Ambassador for the US Department of State in 2009. Feiner created the Internet’s most widely known pandeiro-oriented website, Pandeiro.com and is working on a documentary film called Meu Coração é um Pandeiro (My Heart is a Pandeiro).
Performance highlights: Pori Jazz Festival (Pori, Finland); Fasching (Stockholm, Sweden); Jazz Standard (New York City); Smoke (New York City); Smalls (New York City); Zinc Bar (New York City); Ryles (Boston); Mistura Fina (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Centro Cultural Carioca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Sala Baden Powell (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Festival In Jazz (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil); Goyaz Festival (Goiânia, Brazil); SESC Avenida Paulista and SESC Vila Mariana (São Paulo, Brazil); Savassi Jazz Festival (Belo Horizonte, Brazil); Festa da Música (Belo Horizonte, Brazil); Festa Bossa & Jazz (Natal, Brazil); Festival de Inverno em Garanhuns (Pernambuco, Brazil), Teatro Carlos Gomes (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
Awards:2009 Latin Grammy nomination for "Dois Mundos"
“Mr. Feiner treats the pandeiro as an expressive jazz instrument.” — Nate Chinen, New York Times
“Scott Feiner has created a unique sonic world on Pandeiro Jazz ...full of subtlety and surprise - it's a record that you want to go back and listen to again right after hearing it.” — Brad Mehldau
“Scott Feiner is a soulful magnet for the fusion of Brazilian and jazz music…” — Kurt Rosenwinkel
“Pandeiro Jazz is great! A cool idea, and the band's communication is wonderful.” — Luciana Souza
“Just when you thought that there was very little someone could introduce to the world of jazz, here comes this New York-born musician with a pandeiro in his hand to prove otherwise ... Pandeiro Jazz is an innovation which deserves a wider audience.” — Ernest Barteldes, All About Jazz
“It makes me happy to see an American musician playing jazz on the Brazilian pandeiro as well as Scott does. It opens new frontiers.” — Marcos Suzano
“Feiner put into practice that classic idea, that simplicity can be beautiful, a concept which still remains difficult for some musicians to grasp.” — Jazz+ Magazine (Brazil)
“Finally! The recording and step forward that will allow the pandeiro to have a predominant role alongside harmonic and melodic instruments in what are usually considered “risky” musical environments for percussionists … a landmark for others to follow.” — Percussioni Magazine (Italy)
“A bright light illuminating the path between Brazilian music and jazz...” — Tárik de Souza, Jornal do Brasil
“The pandeiro gets a new accent” — Antonio Carlos Miguel, O Globo (Brazil)
“… sublime, almost epiphanic moments …[performance in Belo Horizonte, Brazil]” - Alécio Cunha, Jornal Hoje em Dia (Brazil)
“I never realized the pandeiro could play jazz like this” — Robertinho Silva
“... an unforced hybrid ... Feiner gets to the heart of his in- betweenness, blending the sonic worlds of New York and Rio in an instant. [Dois Mundos]” — David Adler, All About Jazz
Tracks: Alone; Accents; Watermelon Man; 7 na Ciranda; Share & Share Alike; Soul Eyes; Before Your Eyes; Jobimiola, Old Devil Moon, Chiclete com Banana.
Personnel: Scott Feiner: pandeiro. Joel Frahm: saxophones. Freddie Bryant: guitars. Joe Martin: bass.
Tracks: Conde; Dois Mundos; Asa Branca; Contraste; 7 na Ciranda; Monk's Dream; Retrato em Branco e Preto; All of You; Under the Influence.
Personnel: Scott Feiner: pandeiro. Jessé Sadoc: trumpet. Marcelo Martins: saxophones. David Feldman: piano. Alberto Continentino: bass.
Tracks: Big Brother; The Sheriff; Giant Steps; Estate; United; Botafogo Blues; Pease; Denisio; Song for my Father; Speak Low.
Personnel: Scott Feiner: pandeiro. Joel Frahm: saxophones. Freddie Bryant: guitars + Joe Martin: bass.
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