Ainda Me Recordo / Proezas do Solón_pc
Ingênuo / Carinhoso_pc
Um a Zero_pc
Santa Morena / O Vôo da Mosca_pc
DOWNLOAD COMPLETE PROGRAM NOTES (12/14)
DOWNLOAD COMPLETE PROGRAM NOTES (12/15)
Mannes Concert Hall Audio
Ainda Me Recordo / Proezas do Solón (Pixinguinha)
Santa Morena / O Vôo da Mosca (Jacob do Bandolim)
Ingênuo / Carinhoso (Pixinguinha)
by Richard Boukas
"Richard Boukas' work as a composer and arranger is impressive! He writes with the broad experience of someone who has Brazil in his blood, with great naturalness and knowledge. Beyond his own compositions, his work with the music of Pixinguinha is of fundamental importance, shown through the care and adeptness with which is it crafted. There is no doubt that the master Pixinguinha would be very proud to hear Boukas' arrangements and the vital promulgation of his repertoire in the United States."
Professor, Instituto Villa Lobos, UNIRIO
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
"This project is the result of passion mixed with an enormous attention to detail. In terms of repertoire, orchestration, articulation, phrasing and timbre it demonstrates a thorough historical knowledge of Brazilian popular music genres, and the musical ability to perform these meticulous arrangements while creating and maintaining a strong and committed sense of swing. This work will make an important contribution to the state of Brazilian popular music pedagogy. The students are to be highly commended, and as well the visionary Professor Boukas, a friend and colleague of many stages and classrooms, undertaking and accomplishing this magnificent 'obra prima' (major work)."
Professor, Popular Music Studies and Improvisation
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pixinguinha and Contemporaries
In fall 2013, NSBCE performed a special program celebrating the 150th birthday of seminal choro composer Ernesto Nazareth as a keynote concert for Queens College's Year of Brazil.
In fall 2014 Boukas prepared and presented eighteen new arrangements for the landmark project, "PIXINGUINHA AND CONTEMPORARIES".
In addition to several landmark pieces by Pixinguinha, the program features works by:
CHIQUINHA GONZAGA (1847-1935)
ERNESTO NAZARETH (1863-1934)
ANACLETO DE MEDEIROS (1866-1907)
JACOB DO BANDOLIM (1918-69)
WALDYR AZEVEDO (1923-80)
RADAMÉS GNATTALI (1906-88)
ABEL FERREIRA (1915-80)
EDU LOBO (b.1943) / CHICO BUARQUE (b. 1944)
The ensemble arrangements involved extensive archival research, elaborate transcriptions from definitive recordings and adapting Pixinguinha's own arrangements to NSBCE's unique instrumentation: three woodwinds, three guitars,bass and percussion.
The premiere performances were held at Mannes Concert Hall on December 1, 2014, and repeated at New School Jazz Performance Space on December 12. The Mannes performance was multitrack recorded and videotaped, resulting in a definitive document of the project featured on this page and an educational-cultural CD release.
For access to complete PROGRAM NOTES, AUDIO and VIDEO, see the left hand column.
By 1919, he formed the acclaimed group Os Oito Batutas (the eight batons) with Donga. They toured France for six months in 1922, where he heard small jazz groups including musicians of Afro-Cuban/Caribbean origin– fomenting what was later to become French “Hot Jazz” style. Upon returning to Brazil, he expanded Os Oito Batutas into an orchestra of brass, woodwinds and percussion, and co-led a parallel orchestra with Donga.
It was during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s that he developed his fine craft as an arranger and conductor (which was to be his main means of livelihood). He formed Orquestra Victor Brasileira (for RCA Victor, the recording company), for which he arranged and conducted. Interestingly, he shared the arranging load with the younger, emerging and brilliant Radamés Gnattali (1906-88).
At the beginning of the 1940’s, Pixinguinha’s work sources dwindled, mired in debt and personal problems. At that time he was approached by flutist Benedito Lacerda to “collaborate” on numerous recordings. At first, Pixinguinha was reluctant to do so for two key reasons: 1) he had to abandon the flute for the tenor saxophone in order that Lacerda was featured as flutist, and 2) would concede co-authorship to Lacerda- thus. sharing publishing and recording royalties, even when the piece was totally of Pixinguinha’s authorship. Lacerda, on the other hand, never shared authorship with any of his compositions.
By 1945, legendary choros such as “Um a Zero” were among over two dozen recordings they made. It was during this period that Pixinguinha further codified the concept of contra-canto– composing intricate, improvisatory tenor saxophone counterpoints to the main flute melodies.
Pixinguinha’s latter years were far less productive, although he and his music continued to be widely celebrated among choro musicians and the public. He passed away in 1973 in Rio de Janeiro. In 2000, owing to the fervent advocacy of choro musicians including mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda, Pixinguinha's birthday (April 23) was declared the National Day of Choro in Brazil.
Jubileu (Anacleto de Medeiros)
Remexendo (Radamés Gnattali)
Brasileirinho (Waldyr Azevedo)
Choro Bandido (Edu Lobo/Chico Buarque)
"The New School Brazilian Choro Ensemble, under the direction of the brilliant musician Richard Boukas, has brought the sound of Rio de Janeiro's golden era of Choro music to New York City. The arrangements and their execution by the ensemble are impeccable. Great choice of material and superb musicianship from beginning to end."
Jovino Santos Neto
professor, Cornish School of the Arts, Seattle