Born: September 18, 1954 Primary Instrument: Piano
The barriers between classical music, jazz, and indigenous Brazilian music have been obscured by Rio de Janeiro-born and Seattle-based pianist, flutist, and composer Jovino Santos Neto. A member of Hermeto Pascoal's legendary band from 1977 to 1992, Santos Neto has built a solid reputation as a creative and inspired musician, producer and arranger. He also worked with such artists as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Mike Marshall, Gary Stroutsos and Richard Boukas. Santos Neto's 1997 debut solo album, Caboclo, featuring his compositions with the accompaniment of quartet members Hans Teuber (saxophones, flute), Chuck Deardorf (bass) and Mark Ivester (drums), was followed by Live in Olympia in 2000 (with the addition of percussionist Jeff Busch and Harvey Wainapel on saxes and clarinet) and by Canto do Rio in 2003, which was commissioned by Chamber Music America's New Works program and was nominated for a 2004 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His latest CD, Roda Carioca, was released in 2006 on Adventure Music and earned Jovino a second nomination for a Latin Grammy. Jovino has received commissions by the IAJE and ASCAP, Jack Straw Foundation, Seattle Arts Commission, Artist Trust and Meet the Composer. Jovino was the recipient of a Golden Ear Award as the Best Jazz Instrumentalist of the Pacific Northwest in 2004.
Studying classical piano from the age of 12, Santos Neto moved to Beatles and Rolling Stones-influenced pop by his 15th birthday. He began to focus on jazz while studying biology at McGill University in Montreal. Invited to tour Brazil with Hermeto Pascoal in 1977, Santos Neto remained an important part of the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist's band for 15 years, co-producing six albums, including Festa dos Deuses, which received a Sharp Prize as Best Instrumental Album in 1992, and archiving thousands of Pascoal's compositions. Relocating to the United States in 1993 after performing on Sergio Mendes's Grammy award-winning world music album, Brasileiro, Santos Neto studied conducting at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where he continues to teach piano, composition, and jazz ensemble. Besides performing worldwide, he gives lectures and workshops on Brazilian music and continues to collaborate with his long time mentor Hermeto Pascoal as the music director of the Hermeto Pascoal Big Band. He is a member of the IAJE, Chamber Music America, NARAS, LARAS and the Seattle Composers Alliance.
Carefree and spontaneous, yet finely crafted and performed with virtuosic flair - Mark Holston on Roda Carioca, JAZZIZ
...the exciting set plays like a vibrant musical encyclopedia of the musical spirit of his homeland. The joy keeps growing through Coco na Roda-- whose feisty drumbeat and whimsical mix of instruments create a Brazilian version of Mardi Gras music -- and tracks like the lively samba Gente Boa. - Roda Carioca review by Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide.
On the new live disc, Neto presents himself as a solid jazz musician whose passion and verve reflect time spent with Pascoal. Neto often visits his native roots on this fine album of all original material Gambit Weekly, New Orleans, Dec.12, 2000
He is a brilliant and intuitive keyboard player (and flutist) who explores jazz, classical and Brazilian traditional music with equal zeal Paul de Barros, Seattle Times, Aug. 30, 2000
Professor of Music at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. International lecturer and educator. Has given workshops and masterclasses worldwide. For availability, please email firstname.lastname@example.org