Born: December 5, 1947; Carmo, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The musical traditions of Brazil have been fused with jazz, classical and world music influences by multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti. A master of the choros style of samba, Gismonti has been equally inspired by the playing of Jimi Hendrix, Django Reinhardt and Anton Schonberg. In addition to recording with his own bands, Gismonti has collaborated with such world-class musicians as Nana Vasconcelos, Jan Garbarek, Collin Walcott, Ralph TownerRead more and Charlie Haden. The son of a Lebanese father and a Sicilian mother, Gismonti studied classical piano from the age of six. After trying his hand at flute and clarinet, he began playing the guitar in his teens. Although he initially played a six stringed classical guitar, Gismonti increasingly became fascinated by guitars with oddly-numbered strings. He has performed and recorded with eight-stringed, ten-stringed and fourteen stringed instruments. Traveling to Paris, in 1970, to write arrangements for French actress Marie Laforet, he soon left her employ to begin a year and a half long study of musical analysis with Nadia Boulanger and dodecaphonic music with Andre Webern disciple Jean Barraque.Since returning to Brazil in 1971, Gismonti has divided his time between his homeland and the United States and Europe. Much of 1975 was spent in Los Angeles, where he wrote material for Flora Purim and Airto Moreira and jammed with Herbie Hancock. Signing with the ECM label in 1976, Gismonti quickly attracted international attention. His first album for the Germany-based label, Danca Das Cabecas, recorded with pecussionist Nana Vasconcelos, was nominated for an award as "Album Of The Year" by Stereo Review. Gismonti and Vasconcelos renewed their collaboration with the 1985 album, Duas Vozes. In 1979, Gismonti toured Europe and recorded an album, Magico, with saxophonist Jan Garbarek and bassist Charlie Haden. A second album, Folk Songs, with guest appearances by percussionist Collin Walcott and acoustic guitarist Ralph Towner, was released the following year. Gismonti continued to be prolific in 1981, releasing an album, Sinfonia, with his band, Academia De Dancas, and a solo album. Since then, his recorded output has included addition albums with his group, Infancia and Musica De Sobrevivencia, and performances with a trio that he shares with Careneiro and bassist Zeca Assumpcao. Gismonti's compositions have been also heard in films, theater productions and ballets. ~ Craig Harris Read less
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