LJS 70: Bossa Nova Basics with Livio Almeida

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Welcome to episode 70 of the LJS Podcast where today we have a very special guest on the show, Brazilian saxophonist, and composer, Livio Almeida. In today’s episode, Livio gives us a great lesson on Bossa Nova, important artists, songs, and rhythms that we need to know. If you are new or want to know more about Bossa Nova and Brazilian music, this episode is for you!

Listen to episode 70

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Bossa Nova and Jazz have a big connection. In fact, there are many Bossa Nova standards that are also jazz standards as well.

This is why it’s important for jazz musicians to understand Bossa Nova and how to play it. You will need to be able to play the style on gigs and jam sessions and feel free within the rhythmic structure.

About today’s guest:

Lívio Almeida is a saxophone/woodwinds player and composer/arranger from Brazil. Winner of the first International Saxophone Competition VIctor Assis Brasil in 2015. He got his Bachelor in Classical Saxophone in Brasilia,Brazil; and a second degree at The City College of New York on the BFA program in Jazz Performance. Livio is a regular member of GRAMMY-winning pianist Arturo O’Farrill’s sextet and the outstanding Eco-music big band.

In this episode

  1. The Jazz and Bossa Nova connection. How the two are related.

  2. Important Bossa Nova artists and composers to know.

  3. Basic rhythmic structures of Bossa Nova.

  4. Choro, and it’s important artists and composers.

Important Bossa Nova Artists and Composers:

Antonio Carlos Jobim

João Gilberto

João Donato

Carlos Lyra

Johnny Alf

Zimbo Trio

Baden Powell

Mauricio Einhorn

Leny Andrade

Luiz Bonfa

Important Choro Artists and Composers:

Jacob do Bandolim

Pixinguinha

Listen to episode 69: 4 Awesome Tools For Jazz Musicians

Mentioned in the show

Zero to Improv eBook

This isn’t your ordinary music book. Zero to Improv calls you to action! Packed full of improv and jazz theory lessons, you’ll start from the beginning and build up all of the skills and knowledge you need. Audio examples are included for all music notation.

Have anything to add to today’s show? Leave a comment below.

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Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for learnjazzstandards.com which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publications "500 Jazz Licks" and "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." To learn more, visit www.brentvaartstra.com.