Tiago do Bandolim and Rogério Souza: Choro, Samba, Jazz (Georgetown University)
Whether you’re in Rio or NYC, if you’re hearing bossa nova, you might also hear musicians and fans arguing about which influenced which more: jazz or Brazilian music. While they may disagree on how much, they always agree on what: a reciprocal influence nurtured through the golden age of radio, a nascent recording industry, and musicians touring the Americas during the era of the Good Neighbor Policy (1933-1945). Choro-Samba-Jazz is a concert project of vibrant original arrangements of various eras of jazz-influenced Brazilian compositions. It begins with Brazil’s first cohort of the 1930s to 1950s—those choro-samba composers involved and surrounding Brazil’s most successful big band, the Orquestra Tabajara, including its longtime director-saxophonist Severino Araújo, clarinetist K-Ximbinho, and plucked-string virtuoso Zé Menezes, all of whom set the stage musically for the global craze of bossa nova.
The program continues with works by bossa-nova era composers of both choro and bossa nova, including Tom Jobim, Luíz Bonfá, and Baden Powell, and closes with compositions by contemporary composers that have followed this line, including pianist Laércio de Freitas and guitarist-composer Rogério Souza. Tiago do Bandolim, a longtime member of Zé Paulo Becker’s group Choro-Jazz of Bar Semente, is one of the foremost representatives of this lineage among the younger generation of choro-samba players in Rio. His dazzling improvisations and impeccable performances reanimate this long history of creative cross-influence between the US and Brazil.
Tiago do Bandolim is one of the great revelations on bandolim (mandolin) and violão tenor (tenor guitar) in modern Brazil. Influenced by two great icons of Brazilian bandolim, Ronaldo do Bandolim (Tiago’s father) and Jacob do Bandolim, Tiago has been rising to the top as part of a great generation of musicians created in the 2000s in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro—a generation that has mixed traditional choro with the more modern languages of MPB, Latin music, and jazz. Tiago has participated in numerous samba and choro albums as well as the DVDs Brasileirinho, a documentary about choro in Rio de Janeiro, “Histórias de um João de Barro” with Bia Bedran and “Geração Semente.” He has been performing in choro festivals alongside the biggest names of the genre and in presentations in Europe and the USA with the samba groups Unha de Gato, Pé de Moleque, and Semente Choro-Jazz. In 2017, he released his first solo album “De Soslaio” featuring his many influences within choro. In 2018, he formed the big band Choro na Rua, which continues to play some of the most publicized shows in the home of choro, Rio de Janeiro.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Rogério Souza is one of the great representatives of the carioca language of the Brazilian guitar. He has always been involved in big events related to MPB and Brazilian Instrumental Music, mainly “Choro” and “Samba”. worked with great Brazilian musicians with Baden Powell, Paulinho da Viola, Sivuca, Altamiro Carrilho, Paulo Moura, João Bosco, Ivan Lins, Guinga, Turibio Santos, Rafael Rabello, Ginga, Cristovão Bastos, the groups Nó em Pingo D’agua and Grupo Epoca de Ouro, among others. He has played in festivals, cultural spaces, and music universities/schools in various corners of the world such as Japan, China, USA, holding concerts and workshops every year at several universities in the USA: Oberlin, Berklee College of Music, Yale, University of Virginia, JMU, Georgetown, Columbia, Temple, University of Chicago, Notre Dame, SF University, University of California (LA), University of Texas (Valle del Rio Grande), Northern Arizona University, among others.
Specializing in Brazilian choro, guitarist-composer Dr. Stephen Guerra performs at music clubs and concert halls, cultural centers, universities, and guitar societies around the United States and Brazil and has appeared with Rogério Souza, Duo Violão, Tiago do Bandolim, and Regional de NY among others. He’s published music albums, sheet music, and music articles, won creative grants and composer residency fellowships, has a popular YouTube channel, and teaches music at the University at Buffalo.