Born: September 1, 1971 Primary Instrument: Guitar
My passion for music started early, when I was 4 years old, I think. I remember my uncle Mario putting me on his lap and trying to show me the instruments in the orchestra: Look Du, this is a bassoon...how beautiful...now here come the French horns...notice how he repeats the theme only with the strings...look how the flute dialogs with the oboe...I didn�'t understand anything, but I loved music!
My mother liked Chico Buarque, Elton John and Nina Simone a lot. My father liked Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi. I liked Os Saltimbancos, Pica Pau Amarelo and Toquinho and Vinicius.
At the age of six I got a walkman from my father and that was really important! From this moment on I started to listen to music non-stop, not even to sleep, I slept listening to music. Many times my mother would remove the earphones when I was already asleep. I remember loving Djavan, Milton and Stevie Wonder.
At the age of nine I saw Pepeu Gomes on TV playing his electric guitar in his silver outfit and beside him there was Baby, so beautiful! That�'s when I thought: I wanna do that too!
My first contact with an instrument was with a borrowed guitar from my cousin. I entered adolescence and there came Rock & Roll: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden... I suffered a little, but I learned by ear, and while my dad didn�'t give me a guitar I never let him alone. He was at peace on my 13th birthday!
I studied at Toque Music School, with teacher and guitar player Jazz Macdonald Paris, who tought me the first harmonic scales and progressions; that�'s where I first performed playing Chico Buarque's Joana Francesa with an adult-only band...it was a fiasco! If it had been for this performance, I would have become a great illustrator!
With this background and a little effort, I studied hard and learned by ear everything I liked: Deep Purple, Rush, Yes, Rainbow Saxon, Van Halen and all those bands that everybody likes when they are 15. There also were those that I liked but I couldn't learn: George Benson, John Maclaughlin, Paco de Lucia e Al di Meola. Things went really bad when the super guitar players came along: Malmsteem, Vinnie Moore, Steve Vai and many others; I had to start reading the tablatures because they were too fast for my ears! At this time, I had already started to compose my own songs. But I found something in it all that bored me a little: harmony, better yet, the lack of it!
At that time, Al di Meola came to Brazil, and by seeing his performance on TV I was able to learn many different things, and that was very important thus it gave me the will to study more Brazilian Music. So, I started to take guitar lessons with Marivaldo. That's when Stanley Jordam came along and everything changed for me; he played very differently from everything I had heard before...what was that after all?
When I was 17, IG&T was established and I enrolled there soon enough. I started in Basic 1. When I passed to Basic 2, I took part in a TV Cultura shooting session on music schools as a guest of IG&T; I shared the room with Edu Ardanuy, Wander Taffo, Mozart Mello, André Christovan, Índio, Lelys e Faisca. I also took part of a IG&T contest held at the old Vitória Pub, getting second place playing Two-Hands (technique used by Stanley Jordan). But I knew what I wanted, I wanted to have classes with the teacher of them all: Mozart. And that's what happened.
I studied with Mozart for three years and learned the entire background I have today. He also taught me the pitch of Stanley Jordan (E, A, D, G, C, F) in which I played for long seven years. He also started to prepare me to go to Berklee (music school in Boston) and even without him thinking I was ready for it, I went to Boston.
At 20 I got to Berklee and there I had lessons of: Ear Training, Arranging, Harmony, Jazz History, Sight Reading and Chord Progression with the Great John Marasko, who was very considerate to me, putting me ahead of the group just because I was from Brazil, land of Toninho Horta...But who was Toninho Horta? I spent only four months there but it was crucial so I could return loving Jazz and Brazilian Music!
When I got back everything changed, I thought my history with music had come to an end... My father got me a job in Belo Horizonte and there I went to Minas. I really should work and make money out of other things, I thought. I virtually stopped playing. I worked all day as commercial rep of an FM radio station, leaving only the evenings for playing, going out, dating and watching TV. But something happened: I got home from work, had a shower listening to John Coltrane and started to write non-stop...The inspiration was such that I used to leave a notebook on the nighttable to write during the night.
I bought all the mineira music records I could find: L�', Beto Guedes, Toninho, Milton Sagrado Coração da Terra, Uakti e Juarez Moreira, who has turned into a great friend and some sort of a musical godfather. My only contact with music, besides Juarez and my friends, was a Jazz and Bossa band of some older friends in which I played once a week, and there went almost 5 years! In my writings there were fourty songs and four hundred sentences and that left me with a great guilty conscience. I watched the pile of writings grow and I had no time to study. I couldn't take it anymore! After a misunderstanding, I left the radio station and decided to pursue my dream: to be a musician.
I spent a year kind of lost, without work or something stable. I listened to Toninho Horta twenty-five hours a day and got to the point of crying while listening to his music. I decided to study again, but I realized that it was time to go back to regular pitch; it was the only way to learn those cute mineira songs! My teacher was Julinho Marques, teacher of all my friends in BH. I had only four classes with him.
I started a band with my musician friends, the famous Surto Psicatto (Cris Vianna-bass and voice/Edu Macedo-guitar/Pedro Portella-voice/Paulinho Thomas-violin/Walkitor-Indian percussion/Wesley Maldonado-drums), and we rented a house so that we could rehearse and teach in order to make some cash. One of my band colleagues, the violinist Dú Macedo invited me to a unique adventure: travel to a concert of Toninho Horta in Uberlândia. What I didn't know was that this contact with my idol would be decisive. And it was; meeting Toninho was really important. I realized that all that sensitivity that I heard in his albums was present as a whole in him! We talked for four hours straight. That's also when I met Yuri, Neném, Lena and Klif Kormam.
The number of classes started growing, the number of shows decreasing and the school began to get serious. That's how CASA AZUL Music School began. (See text CASA AZUL). At the school, for three years, me and the other teachers taught many youngsters and learned a lot too. Meanwhile, I studied with maestro Celso Moreira (great guitar player, Juarez�'s brother). At the school I put together a trio, in which I play till today, Napolitano (Puppa- drums/Luizin-bass). Unfortunately, Casa Azul didn't last, but it reached its goal of teaching many a little bit of music.
After closing the school, I did some recordings and shows while I studied, now with Beto Lopes (guitar player for L�' Borges, Beto Guedes and Milton) and at Fundação de Educação Art�-stica (Arts Education Foundation), where I studied solfeggio with ostinato based on Brazilian Rythmics, with Tereza Cristina, Guilherme Antonio, and with the great Rubner de Abreu. Timidly, I prepared my CD. The songs were self-selected. I would re-listen to old songs and put a new color to them (re-harmoning), meanwhile other inspirations came along. (See Cd page)
After picking out the songs, I started writing them, which is not an easy task! After writing, I recorded a pre-tape at home and sent it, along with the scores, to Yuri so he could do the arrangements. We picked out the musicians who would record and went to Polifonia Studio in BH. The fundamentals were ready in a week. The melodies were being put, the soloists were invited, and almost at the end of the recording session we heard about BDMG- INSTRUMENTAL AWARD?2002 Edition. I sent a CD with three songs and was selected by the jury members David Tygel, Mauricio Maestro and Maria Bragança. We celebrated during the recordings without much hope. We were already mixing when we got to the finals and WON! This time we were selected by jury members José Domingos Raffaelli (O Globo), Carlos Calado (Folha de S.Paulo), Ant�'nio Siuves (O Tempo), João Paulo Cunha (Estado de Minas), Patr�-cia Cassese (Hoje em Dia) e Toninho Horta. It injected a lot of excitement in my work. I think I was at the right place, at the right time, with the right people.
In my CD I had the pleasure and the honor to record with some of my greatest idols: Yuri Popof, Toninho Horta, Nivaldo Ornelas, Juarez Moreira, Lena Horta, and Neném, an impecable background team (Neném, Serginho Silva, Yuri e Kiko Continentino), and also great soloists such as Yuri and Kiko themselves, Chico Amaral, Ricardo Fiúza and Paulo Márcio.
I'd like to open a parenthesis here to talk about Yuri's participation. This mineiro from Montes Claros, Russian descendent, besides being one of my favourite composers is also a great friend. His work as an arranger was crucial to make this project a wonderful CD! Best regards master! Another parenthesis to my friend Juarez Moreira, who is for me today a guide in Brazilian guitar playing, along with Guinga and Toninho Horta. Thanks a lot!!!! And to close the parentheses in style my dear friend Hemir de França. He, besides being a great technician (16 years with 14-Bis) was able to get THE SOUND! He was really patient and wise, making every note in my CD sound exatly like I wanted them to. Thanks a lot Hemir!!
After the CD was ready, we performed (Kiko Continentino-piano/Neném- drums/Ivan Correa-bass/Kleber Alves-Sax) in my places, among which I must mention Isabella Hendrix Theatre, as the winner of BDMG Award and Jazz do Café com Letras Festival, along with great names of instrumental music.
After 10 years in Minas, I returned to São Paulo in the end of 2002. Here in São Paulo we have performed at Teatro do SESC Pompéia, still with the same members, and also at Livraria Cultura and Supremo Musical, now with the São Paulo members: Michel Freidenson-piano, Zeli-bass, Edu Ribeiro-drums e Vitor Alcantara-sax.
In 2003 I was a jury member in Jovem Instrumentista BDMG (Young instrumentist)- 2003 edition, along with Márcio Hallack and Flávio Henrique ? also winners of BDGM-Instrumental Award.
In February I was in Guaramiranga (Ceará) participating of the Jazz and Blues Festival of Guaramiranga where I had the pleasure to play with wonderful musicians such as Mazinho Ventura (bass), Cacá Cólom (drums), Renno Sarayva (keyboards) and Antonio de Pádua (trumpet) and it was a very enriching experience. The festival was very well organized and the people very friendly. It was the first time I had played with these musicians and even so we were selected to play again in Fortaleza, actually, there are very good musicians in that State, pointing out Renno and Antonio and also Lú de Souza and Manacés, two excellent guitar players. I also had the pleasure to meet and listen to a Canadian jazz band Without Words. It was amazing!
Awards:BDMG-Instrumental awards 2002 Edition. Jazz and Blues Festival of Guaramiranga 2003
Exellent arrangements, mature harmonies and consistent compositions are the glow of this beautiful CD. He knows how to “flow with the music”. Márcio Okayama �� Guitar Player
Considered one of the best composers of the 2nd BDMG Instrumental Awards Milton Luiz �� O Tempo
Owner of a melodic frasing, the guitar player and composer Edu Negrao really impresses us with his debuting work. Gustavo Martins �� Guitar Player
Edu’s compositions and arrangements, not to mention his well elaborated solos set “the mood” with a great “blending” of colective sonorities. José Domingos Raffaelli �� musical reviwer for BDMG instrumental awards
Fabulously melodic compositions directly from Sao Paolo, Brazil. “A new Brazilian talent reaches the U.S. and abroad” CD Baby
Edu Negrao’s work demonstrates incredibly melodic compositional work that stands “toe to toe” with the works of Antonio Carlos Jobim while maintaining an intellectual connectivity to current conteporary jazz. “absolute genius” Apria Records
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Sao Paulo, Not Applicable-Int'l