Iuri Bittar & Almir Côrtes
Iuri Bittar (guitar) and Almir Côrtes (bandolim/mandolin) are recognized for their masterful performance, often invited for concerts and workshops within and beyond Brazil. Duo Choro Brazil’s repertoire brings the best of Brazilian instrumental music through choros, sambas, and bossa nova, many composed by Brazil’s foremost composers: including Pixinguinha, Jacob do Bandolim, Baden Powell, and Tom Jobim. Duo Choro Brazil enchants audiences with talent, swing, and virtuous improvisation!
Iuri Bittar is a guitarist, composer, music producer, and teacher. Originally from the city of Franca in São Paulo’s interior, he has dedicated himself to playing the guitar for 20 years, specializing in the Brazilian genres of choro and samba. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2008, where, for more than 10 years, he has been on the faculty of the Escola Portátil de Música and the Instituto Casa do Choro, two internationally renowned centers for teaching and researching choro music. As an academic researcher, his pioneering Master’s thesis about guitarist Jayme Florence (also known as “O Meira”) has made him an important reference in the historical and musicological study of Brazilian guitar. In his 20 years as a guitarist, Iuri has participated in various choro and samba groups, sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in Brazilian music.
A native of Bahia, Brazil, versatile multi-instrumentalist Almir Côrtes is equally at home on mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars, Viola Caipira (Brazilian ten-string guitar) and the rarely-seen Bahian guitar. His repertoire of styles is equally broad and includes choro, frevo, samba, baião, bossa nova, and Brazilian jazz. Equally in demand as a teacher and scholar, Almir is currently a professor at the University of Rio de Janeiro’s Villa-Lobos Institute – where he conducts the Orchestra of Plucked Strings and the web series Villa de Sons.
As a leader of his own groups, which feature many of his original compositions, he seeks to expand the boundaries of traditional Brazilian musical styles through experimentation and improvisation. He has performed throughout Brazil as well as the United States, Europe and Cuba.