Acclaimed Brazilian Songwriter and Guitarist Guinga Performs Original Works with LA Philharmonic Conducted By Vince Mendoza


The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s World Music Series continues with an evening devoted to the distinctive musical artistry of Guinga, one of Brazil’s most masterful songwriters and guitarist, today, December 1, 2006, at 8 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The Rio de Janeiro native, hailed as one of the finest talents to emerge from Brazil in the last decade, performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as with his own ensemble. Pianist and vocalist Ivan Lins makes a special guest appearance and Vince Mendoza, chief conductor of the Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands and a double Grammy winner, conducts.

Guinga, who has recorded seven albums and earned a Latin Grammy nomination, mixes Brazilian bossa nova and samba with classical music and jazz to create a unique sound that is harmonically and rhythmically complex, but decidedly tuneful and accessible. The program includes such signature songs as “Senhorinha,” “O silencio de lara,” “Cançao desnecessária”– all arranged for orchestra by Paulo Aragao – and “Sete estrelas,” arranged by Jesse Sadoc.

On February 4, 2007, the World Music Series features esteemed flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía . It concludes on April 28, 2007 with Malian superstar Salif Keita , who blends his traditional griot roots with African grooves, Islamic tinges and Western pop.

Guinga, a virtuosic Brazilian guitarist, vocalist and composer, is considered one of the finest musical talents to emerge from Brazil in the 1990’s. Born and raised in the boroughs of Rio de Janeiro, the self-taught guitarist and former dentist grew up listening to quintessential Brazilian choros, waltzes and sambas, soaking up the music of Jacob, Pixinguinha, Candido das Neves, Custodio Mesquita, Ary Barroso, Noel, Chico Buarque de Holanda, Dorival Caymmi, Vinicius de Moraes, Baden and Edu Lobo.

Today, Guinga has legions of fans around the globe, and his songs have been recorded by such leading artists as Paulo César Pinheiro, Elis Regina and Sérgio Mendes. His artistry was featured on Mendes’ Grammy-winning CD Brasileiro, and he has also performed and recorded with João Nogueira, Beth Carvalho, Clara Nunes, Alaíde Costa, among other top Brazilian artists. He released his first recording, “Simples e Absurdo” in 1991, and his 1999 recording, Suíte Leopoldina, was named best Brazilian Popular Music of the Year by music critics.

“Graffiando Vento,” Guinga’s seventh and most recent recording, was released in 2004. Guinga, considered a musician’s musician, is also a highly sought clinician, teaching fellow musicians the intricate nuances of Brazilian musical styles.

Acclaimed by critics with Caetano Veloso as the best Brazilian composer since Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ivan Lins has enjoyed international success as a pianist, vocalist, and composer. A self-taught musician, Lins reached his first success toward the end of the 1960s with romantic songs influenced by the traditional samba. He soon became known in Brazil for his film soundtracks and music for soap operas.

Dubbed “the James Taylor of Brazilian popular music,” Lins has used the bossa nova aesthetic as the basis for attractive pop melodies on many of his 25 albums. Lins was first introduced to American audiences when he contributed to guitarist George Benson’s million-selling 1980 album Give Me the Night at the invitation of producer Quincy Jones. That success led to more collaborations, including Lins’ Grammy-winning composition “Velas” on the Jones-produced albums The Dude and the multi-Grammy winner Back on the Block.

Many of his songs have become standards of Brazilian music, and have been interpreted by an endless list of artists, including Kenny Burrell, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Airto Moreira, Terence Blanchard, Carmen McRae, Take Six, Dianne Reeves, Manhattan Transfer, Sergio Mendes, and many others.

Vince Mendoza has been at the forefront of the jazz scene as a composer and recording artist for the past two decades. He has written scores of compositions and arrangements for big band and extended compositions for chamber and symphonic settings, while his jazz composing credits read like a Who’s Who of the best modern instrumentalists, singers and composers.

His latest CD, Epiphany, features his compositions for the London Symphony Orchestra. He is the chief conductor of the Metropole Orchestra of the Netherlands, and his arranging has appeared on many critically acclaimed projects that include dozens of albums and projects with songwriting legends such as Joni Mitchell, Björk, and Elvis Costello. Mendoza has two Grammy awards and 13 nominations. He is the orchestral voice behind the score to Lars van Trier’s Dancer in the Dark.

Mendoza has also written commissioned compositions and arrangements for the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Debussy Trio, the L.A. Guitar Quartet, the Cologne Radio Big Band, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the BBC. His music has been featured at the Berlin Jazz Festival, and he has performed major works at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals. He actively conducts concerts of his music in Europe, Japan, Scandinavia, and the UK.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable places anywhere to experience music — Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.

In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational programs, community concerts and children’s programming, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.

Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles