Pix contemp ss

Project Documentation

To explore the repertoire, composers and source material for the arrangements performed in the concerts:

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE PROGRAM NOTES (12/14) 

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE PROGRAM NOTES (12/15)

Mannes Concert Hall Audio

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  1. 1 Ainda Me Recordo / Proezas do Solón_pc 05:32 Info
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  2. 2 Gaúcho_pc 03:03 Info
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  3. 3 Turuna_pc 03:20 Info
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  4. 4 Santinha_pc 03:02 Info
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  5. 5 Jubileu_pc 03:24 Info
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  6. 6 Rosa_pc 04:12 Info
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  7. 7 Apanhei-te, Cavaquinho_pc 03:43 Info
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  8. 8 Ingênuo / Carinhoso_pc 05:15 Info
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  9. 9 Segura Ele_pc 03:05 Info
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  10. 10 Sensível_pc 05:53 Info
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  11. 11 Um a Zero_pc 03:47 Info
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  12. 12 Santa Morena / O Vôo da Mosca_pc 05:51 Info
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  13. 13 Remexendo_pc 02:28 Info
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  14. 14 Chorando Baixinho_pc 05:06 Info
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  15. 15 Assanhado_pc 03:35 Info
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  16. 16 Choro Bandido_pc 04:19 Info
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  17. 17 Brasileirinho_pc 02:54 Info
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New School Brazilian Choro Ensemble at Silvana. The concert VIDEO is streamed live by LIVAMP (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW).

New School Brazilian Choro Ensemble at Silvana. The concert VIDEO is streamed live by LIVAMP (CLICK PHOTO TO VIEW).

Richard Boukas following Arnhold Hall performance. Photo by Shiang-jiun Chen.

Richard Boukas following Arnhold Hall performance. Photo by Shiang-jiun Chen.

Jacob do Bandolim, leader of famed choro group Época de Ouro, c. 1960

Jacob do Bandolim, leader of famed choro group Época de Ouro, c. 1960

Radamés Gnattali in his early Rio years.

Radamés Gnattali in his early Rio years.

CONCERT VIDEO

Ainda Me Recordo / Proezas do Solón (Pixinguinha)

Santa Morena / O Vôo da Mosca (Jacob do Bandolim)

Ingênuo / Carinhoso (Pixinguinha)

project concept and all arrangements
by Richard Boukas

 

Colleague Commentaries

"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."

Pedro Aragão
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)."

Clifford Korman
Professor, Popular Music Studies and Improvisation
UNIRIO
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Pixinguinha and Contemporaries

Richard Boukas has performed, composed, researched, transcribed and taught Brazilian Choro (popular chamber music) for more than three decades. Acclaimed Brazilian music educator and founder of the NEW SCHOOL BRAZILIAN CHORO ENSEMBLE (NSBCE) in 2008, the acoustic ensemble has presented upwards of fifty Boukas arrangements which capture choro music's virtuosity, contrapuntal textures and a panorama of composers and works spanning almost 150 years.

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.
Pixinguinha 2 ed
PIXINGUINHA  (aka Alfredo da Rocha Vianna Filho) was born 1897 in Rio de Janeiro. He is arguably the most important composer of Brazilian popular music in the first half of the twentieth century and the first widely recognized choro composer. A prolific composer, bandleader, arranger and collaborator, his work traversed three generations of Brazilian musical history. A working professional flutist from the age of fourteen, his earliest compositions date from 1917– the tango “Sofres Porque Queres” and valsa “Rosa”. In that year he and his very close guitarist/collaborator Donga made the very first mechanical recording of a samba, “Pelo Telefone”.
 
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.
AUDIO and VIDEO RECORDING by ROBERT OLMSTED

 
Pixinguinha and Benedito Lacerda

Pixinguinha and Benedito Lacerda

Jubileu (Anacleto de Medeiros)

Remexendo (Radamés Gnattali)

Brasileirinho (Waldyr Azevedo)

Choro Bandido (Edu Lobo/Chico Buarque)

Richard Boukas performing Pixinguinha's "Sensível"

Richard Boukas performing Pixinguinha's "Sensível"




"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

pianist-composer

professor, Cornish School of the Arts, Seattle

Pixinguinha, c. 1942

Pixinguinha, c. 1942

New School Choro Ensemble after recent performance of Pixinguinha and Contemporaries at Arnhold Hall Glass Box Theater. Photo by Shiang-jiun Chen.

New School Choro Ensemble after recent performance of Pixinguinha and Contemporaries at Arnhold Hall Glass Box Theater. Photo by Shiang-jiun Chen.

New School Brazilian Choro Ensemble at 2014 Mannes Concert Hall premiere performance of "Pixinguinha and Contemporaries".    L to R: Tal Yahalom, Jasper Dutz, Connor Parks, Richard Boukas, Adrian Condis, Chris Venditti, Kana Miyamoto, William Ruegger. Photo by Chesher Cat.

New School Brazilian Choro Ensemble at 2014 Mannes Concert Hall premiere performance of "Pixinguinha and Contemporaries". L to R: Tal Yahalom, Jasper Dutz, Connor Parks, Richard Boukas, Adrian Condis, Chris Venditti, Kana Miyamoto, William Ruegger. Photo by Chesher Cat.

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© 2018 Richard Boukas