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Hendrik Meurkens
plays Antonio Carlos Jobim and the Brazilian Songbook

Hendrik Meurkens  (harm, vib)
Misha Tsiganov (p)
Gustavo Amarante  (b)
Adriano Santos (dr)

From tranquil Bossa Nova treatments to burning New York Samba Jazz versions by the way of authentic Chorinhos and in-the-pocket Sambafunk, the HENDRIK MEURKENS SAMBA JAZZ QUARTET explores the wide terrain of Brazilian Jazz. The unique sound of the band is defined by Hendrik Meurkens' trademark sound of Jazz harmonica and vibes, plus the immensely swinging rhythm section of Helio Alves, Gustavo Amarante and Adriano Santos. The group explores the Great Brazilian Songbook from a Jazz point of view and features compositions by Hendrik Meurkens, many of which are documented on the numerous CDs of the group. The band has recorded eleven CDs, five of them for the prestigious Concord Label. Hendrik’s 2004 release, AMAZON RIVER, is the culmination of his lifelong love of Brazilian music. The Samba Jazz Quartet’s latest CD, NEW YORK SAMBA JAZZ QUINTET, adds Jed Levy on tenor and flute to the group and is released by ZOHO Records.

Hendrik Meurkens, a virtuoso on both the chromatic harmonica and the vibraphone, is the most important jazz harmonica player since Toots Thielemans. German-born but now based in New York, Meurkens' recordings and performances garner worldwide acclaim because the transcendent beauty of his music has universal appeal. Hendrik Meurkens’ profound involvement in both jazz and Brazilian music resulted in a very personal and instantly recognizable version of Samba Jazz. This music, a cross-cultural amalgam guaranteed to touch the heart, features his harmonica and vibes along with piano, bass and drums, playing his stirring originals and arrangements.

Born in Sao Paulo, Helio Alves has performed and recorded with Claudio Roditi, Paquito D'Rivera, Gato Barbieri, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, John Patitucci, Al Foster, Leny Andrade, Rosa Passos, The Caribbean Jazz Project, Joyce, Oscar Castro-Neves, Yo-Yo Ma and many others. In 1995 he joined Joe Henderson's Double Rainbow Quartet, playing the music of Jobim. He is known as the pianist in Brazilian jazz music. His debut album "Trios" featuring John Patitucci and Al Foster, was released in 1999. His new CD featuring Santi DiBriano and Matt Wilson is entitled “Portrait in Black and White.”

Born in 1973 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, bassist Gustavo Amarante began his musical studies at the Fundaçao de Educaçao Artîstica and Fundaçao Clovis Salgado, and he started to play professionally when he was 18 years old. Gustavo moved to the US in 1994, to attend the Berklee College of Music. His credits include performances with guitarist Aquiles Bez, Argentinean guitarist Luis Salinas, singer Simn D’az, drummer Bob, tango singer Katie Viqueira, Brazilian singer Teresa Ins, pianist Alon Yavnai, vibraphonist Victor Mendoza, Brazilian singer Giana Viscardi, pianist Alain Mallet, saxophonist Carlos Malta, and pianist Helio Alves.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brasil, in 1966, Adriano Santos is part of a new generation of Brazilian drummers. He begun his drum studies at the age of twelve at Zimbo Trio Music School in his hometown. In 1988 he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music where he got his B.A. in Film Scoring. Moving to New York in 1995, Adriano started his Masters Degree at City College of New York where he had the chance to enjoy ensemble lessons with great jazz legend Ron Carter. As a professional he has performed with top international artists such as Astrud Gilberto, Gal Costa, Leny Andrade, Luciana Souza, Romero Lubambo, Nelson Faria, Leo Gandelman, Paulo Moura, Eumir Deodato, John Pizzarelli, Cliff Korman, Santi Dibriano.

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