Featuring Amilton Godoy on piano, Léa Freire on flute and Harvey Wainapel on sax & clarinet, the San-São Trio combines the worlds of Brazilian music and jazz in a chamber-music type setting. The San-São Trio blends the swinging exuberance, virtuosity, and charm of the many different rhythms of Brazil with the country's characteristic tender lyricism.
The repertoire of original compositions and arrangements by Godoy and Freire covers the entire range of traditional and modern Brazilian genres. Although some might expect such a group to also include bass and percussion, Godoy also performs as its one-man rhythm section. The concert comes the same month that Godoy and Freire host a workshop at the annual Brazil Camp in San Francisco.
Resident of São Paulo, Godoy is a major figure in the development of Brazilian instrumental music. A classically trained virtuoso, at an early age he shifted his focus to Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) and American Jazz. In 1964, at the age of 23, he formed the influential Zimbo Trio, one of the first “Samba-Jazz” groups to combine these two compatible genres. The group went on to make 51 recordings and tour in 40 countries, and also partnered with countless luminaries, from legendary singer Elis Regina to jazz giant Sonny Stitt. Now in his seventies, Godoy performs with the enthusiastic energy and joy of his youth patinated by decades of hard-earned wisdom and experience. In addition to his active artistic career, in 1973 Godoy founded the first school to focus on these styles, the Centro Livre de Aprendizagem Musical (CLAM), which has nurtured generations of Brazilian musicians, including Léa Freire.
Léa Freire started her studies at CLAM at the age of 16. Although not a student of Godoy, she got to know him at the Zimbo Trio's open rehearsals held at the school. Many years later, Freire and Godoy partnered on a solo album of her compositions. When it came time to release the album, Godoy suggested they cement their musical partnership as a duo, the new formation was an instant success.
Freire has performed her original music throughout North and South America, as well as in Europe, in various formats: the duo with Amilton; the new San-São Trio with Godoy and Wainapel; her quintet; and full orchestra. In 1997 she founded the Maritaca recording label, which has released 40 albums by some of Brazil’s strongest instrumentalists. In the country’s still misogynistic society, Freire has broken many barriers and inspired countless Brazilian women to follow their artistic visions.
Californian saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel has toured internationally with Airto Moreira & Flora Purim, Joe Lovano, Ray Charles, and Jovino Santos Neto, and has presented his own work in 23 countries. Since 2000, Wainapel has spent one to two months per year in Brazil, researching, meeting and collaborating with great musicians. These encounters have led to recordings and performances with major figures such as Guinga, Paulo Bellinati, Nelson Ayres, Marco César, Filó Machado, and Spok. On Harvey’s very first day in Brazil, he met Léa Freire, and a deep friendship developed over the years. Many informal musical encounters followed, and in 2017, Godoy and Freire invited Wainapel to join forces. The San-São Trio has since toured in Brazil and the west coast of the U.S. and recorded their album “Novos Caminhos.”
Hermeto Pascoal: “For me, Amilton is one of the best pianists in the land; always has been and always will be!”
João Bosco: “Amilton is one of the greats in the history of our music.”
Egberto Gismonti calls Léa Freire “a strong reminder of a Brazil that so many wish for, including myself.”
Singer/composer Joyce Moreno, commenting on Freire’s group Vento em Madeira, praises “the repertoire, mostly written by the amazing Léa Freire, a hidden Brazilian treasure to be discovered.”
Ivan Lins says “Harvey understands Brazilian music in a way that’s very unusual; he’s got the spirit, he’s a great musician!”
Joe Lovano: “It’s a pleasure to listen to Harvey’s soulful interpretations.”
San-São Trio – Brazilian Chamber Jazz featuring Amilton Godoy on piano, Léa Freire on flute and Harvey Wainapel on sax & clarinet in two Los Angeles appearances.
August 9, 8pm
Sam First Bar
6171 W Century Blvd Suite 180, Los Angeles, 90045
August 10, 7:30pm
Casa Arjona - 4515 E. Harvey Way, Long Beach, 90808