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Trio da Paz heats up Salt Lake City with Brazilian jazz

Published January 2, 2014 4:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It may be the heart of a cold Utah winter, but Trio da Paz will bring the warm sounds of Brazilian jazz to Capitol Theatre on Saturday as part of the JazzSLC series. Joined by guests Claudio Rodidi (trumpet), Harry Allen (tenor saxophone) and Maucha Adnet (vocals), the group will play a tribute to the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Trio da Paz's bass player, Nilson Matta, said this is the same show that sells out at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola. The trio has played there for six consecutive years, doing a two-week residency and wowing audiences with a jazz-infused Brazilian sound.

"Musically, it is so rich and so sensual," said Gordon Hanks, founder and producer for JazzSLC. "Brazilian music is so rhythmically perfect. I just love everything about Trio de Paz."

Brazilian music, Hanks explained, tends to be more rhythmic than American jazz. "It's softer, it's more romantic, it's more sensual, it's just pretty music."

Hanks said this is his third time bringing the trio back because the musicians "were great to work with and put on a great show."

Matta said this trio's sound is somewhat unique even for Brazilian music because of the combination of personalities and instrumentation: acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and drums/percussion.

"We mix this with jazz improvisation and with syncopation from the Brazilian music," he said.

The band's three members — Matta, guitarist Romero Lubambo and drummer Duduka da Fonseca — are all "first-call" musicians in their own right. Matta said the three came together when he and Lubambo came to New York in 1985 to "just see the scene."

"Duduka invited us to play for fun in his studio in New York City at that time," Matta recalled. "We started playing, and I said, 'Well, this is a really peaceful trio,' so I named this trio Trio da Paz and everybody agreed."

A few years later, after everyone "had a green card, was paying taxes and everything," Matta said they began recording albums (they've done five to date) and playing concerts.

In the meantime, all three musicians have continued their own careers. Lubambo will be coming to Salt Lake on the heels of a European tour with Dianne Reeves, for example; Matta has worked with Yo-Yo Ma and Joe Henderson; and da Fonseca has worked with Jobim and John Scofield.

This particular concert will feature the music of Jobim, but Matta said it won't be limited to his music exclusively. It will include some Stan Getz charts and some Trio da Paz originals.

Hanks said Getz, along with Herbie Mann, went to Brazil in the early '60s and discovered the music of Jobim and other Brazilian jazz artists. "When they brought it up in '63, '64, that's when we had 'The Girl from Ipanema,' Astrud Gilberto, and that was really the first time we'd ever experienced this wonderful new sound."

Matta said the guest artists blend seamlessly with the sound of Trio da Paz. Trumpeter Claudio Rodidi "speaks the same language — not because we are Brazilians, but because we play the music in the same way, we understand the groove of the Brazilian beat and how to phrase that particular music," he said.

Adnet is not only the wife of drummer da Fonseca, but she began singing with Jobim when she was 15. "She was part of the vocal group, was sitting behind Jobim's piano and doing vocals. She worked a lot with Jobim. She knows, and she has this peculiar voice, this warm voice."

As for Allen, Matta said he is the legacy of Stan Getz. "He plays bossa nova like Stan Getz. Harry has the capacity to incorporate that sound almost perfectly." —

Brazilian jazz heats up SLC

Trio da Paz and guests present "Brazilian Nights — The Music of Jobim."

When • Saturday, Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $29.50, $10 students (ID required); http://www.arttix.org or 801-355-ARTS (2787)