Luciana Souza Trio

October 15th, 2012

In Sunday Earshot Jazz Festival presented a slew of different shows starting with Luciana Souza Trioat the Triple Door. Brazilian-born Grammy-winner Luciana Souza teamed up with California guitarist Larry Koonse and Toronto-born multi-genre bassist David Piltch for a lovely performance.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

No stranger to collaborations of this nature, vocalist Souza has worked with genre-crossing luminaries like Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Argentinian classical composer Osvaldo Golijov and James Taylor. Her longstanding duo work with guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades across the globe.

Her recent August releases on Sunnyside Records – The Book of Chet and Duos III – offer Souza’s personal and masterful singing in homage to Chet Baker and traditional songs from the Brazilian repertoire with three master guitarists, including Lubambo. As a leader, Souza has eight acclaimed releases, including four Grammy-nominated records. Her complete discography contains more than 50 records as a side singer. In 2005, Luciana was awarded Female Jazz Singer of the Year, by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Souza is a Berklee College of Music graduate and a master’s degree holder in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music. She’s taught at the Manhattan School of Music and at Berklee. From 2005 to 2010, Souza was the Jazz Artist in Residence with the prestigious San Francisco Performances.

Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Souza grew up in a family of bossa nova innovators; it comes as no surprise that her work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles.

Here is the  2012 Earshot Jazz Festival schedule to see what is coming up next.

The Steve Griggs Ensemble performing Cancao Carioca at the Chapel Performance Space, Weds night March 3rd.

In a wonderful sold out performance, Steve Griggs and his ensemble performed music from Rio de Janeiro, music written by composers from the “marvelous city” about their home. Performaned were works by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ernesto Nazareth, Pixinguinha, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, among others. It was very delightful to hear the blend of instruments on tunes I remember being played only on guitar. The Ensemble is composed of Steve Griggs – saxophone, Louie Richmond – cello, Tom Varner – French Horn, Phil Sparks – bass, Jeff Busch – percussion, Marco de Carvalho – guitar, and Susan Pascal – vibraphone, marimba.

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Brian Marsella (piano, keyboards, balafon), Shanir Blumenkranz (acoustic/electric bass, oud, gimbre), Tim Keiper (drums, percussion), and Cyro Baptista (percussion, vocals) performed Monday at the Triple door for the Earshot Jazz Festival audience.


The iconoclastic Brazilian percussionist, and recent movie scene-stealer (Rachel Getting Married), stretched out in a perfect Day of the Dead celebration. His exuberant band mixes voices and instruments from a dizzying array of cultures, creating a thrilling spectacle for eye and ear. The “musical cannibals” of the ensemble put on an exuberant and engaging performance at one point getting the audience to participant along with the band.


Cyro Baptista’s quartet embodies the philosophy of Anthropofagia, a Brazilian cultural movement from the 1920s. The band “is a musical manifestation of the process of eating, swallowing, and digesting all the tendencies that are part of the sonic landscape and our environment. The music is the product of all sounds that they have collectively consumed over the years; some of them they’ve digested and others they have rejected. After that, it has been difficult to identify what belongs to what country, culture, or religion.”

Ann Drummond At the SkyChurch

September 29th, 2008

In January of last year I photographed an Earshot concert of Ann Drummond playing with her group Som de Brazil at the EMP Skychurch. What a great sound they put out.

One of Seattle’s brightest jazz exports, now working in New York and touring internationally, presented her new group, featuring top Brazilian musicians Nilson Matta, bass; Klaus Mueller, piano; and brilliant drummer Duduka da Fonseca. Pianist Jovino Santos Neto opened the evening with his spirited quartet.