Amaro Freitas Amaro Freitas

Tue March 5th, 2024


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Minimum Age: All Ages

Doors Open: 7:00PM

Show Time: 8:00PM

Event Ticket: $20-$25

Day of Show: $20-$25

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Proof of vax is NOT required for this event

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Amaro Freitas

Amaro Freitas is a Brazilian jazz pianist and composer whose sound is rooted in the folk and ceremonial rhythms and harmonies from his country’s northern region. His 2016 debut, Sangue Negro, showcased a percussive approach to the instrument that prizes the Afro-Brazilian maracatu rhythm, the high-intensity carnival rhythms of frevo and baião, the bop innovations of Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk , and the post-bop and modal sounds of John Coltrane . 2018’s Rasif employed baiao and a particularly Brazilian strain of post-bop that swung so hard it sounded like dance music. 2021’s Sankofa showcased a yet more expansive aspect of his compositional style as he revisioned Brazil’s historic folk styles and rhythms through the refracted lens of modern jazz.

Freitas hails from Recife in Pernambuco. Born in 1991, he began playing piano at 12 in church under the tutelage of his father, the musical director of the parish band. It was clear from the outset he was a prodigy who quickly outgrew his father’s lessons. He won a scholarship to the prestigious Conservatório Pernambucano de Música but had to drop out shortly thereafter because his family could not afford the bus fare. Undaunted, the 15-year-old earned the money for his studies by playing in wedding bands and working in a call center. That same year, he came across a video of a Chick Corea concert that altered the course of his life. Too poor to own a piano, Freitas studied day and night by practicing on imaginary keys in his bedroom. He eventually struck a deal with a local restaurant to practice before opening hours in exchange for performing later in the evening. The restaurant gig opened many doors for the young innovator, who by 22 was among the most in-demand players on northern Brazil’s jazz scene and became house pianist at the esteemed club Mingus. It was during his long tenure at the venue that he met and began collaborating with bassist Jean Elton, who joined Freitas in searching for a drummer. They had heard about the abilities of a young man who played jazz in wildly varying time signatures named Hugo Medeiros and hired him immediately after hearing him play.

Near the end of 2016, the trio issued Sangue Negro, their debut offering on Ponto4 Digital. The recording took the jazz community by storm and almost immediately thereafter, Freitas and company were playing festivals and headlining club dates all over Brazil. European critics also embraced the album as a tour de force of experimentation that framed a reinvention of the jazz tradition’s historical structures. Glowing reviews and album sales were so consistent that Freitas signed with the U.K.’s Far Out Recordings (a label devoted to Brazilian music). Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Bruno Giorgi, the sessions for the sophomore outing –simply titled Rasif — began in February 2018 at Recife’s Carranca studio. The label encouraged Freitas to record his own tunes and to that end, they cut nine of his previously unpublished compositions. The pianist expanded his group to a quartet for the outing by adding the reeds and winds of Henrique Albino. In August, Far Out previewed the release with the single “Mantra.” The full-length followed in October to universal acclaim.

After touring his homeland, Europe, and the Americas, Freitas and his trio began intense daily four-hour rehearsals and demo sessions. They emerged with Sankofa, an album that revisioned the historic rhythms through the lens and musical vocabulary of modern jazz. It was issued by Far Out in July 2021. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

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