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Hermeto Pascoal (orch. Jovino Santos Neto)


About this Artist

In the rich and diverse universe of music in Brazil, the presence of HHERMETO PASCOAL shines like a comet, crossing several eras and musical circles, leaving a strong influence on generations of musicians, and building a name that represents unbridled creativity and inspiration. Better known as a genial multi-instrumentalist, he is capable of extracting music out of the most unexpected objects, while exhibiting his virtuosity on piano, flute, saxophones, strings, percussion, and many other conventional (and otherwise) instruments.

Hermeto was born in 1936 in Lagoa da Canoa, a small village in the interior of Alagoas state, in the heart of the fertile tobacco-planting interior of Northeastern Brazil. He was entirely self-taught, and his musical growth was informed by the rural environment where he was raised. He became a professional musician at age 14 and went on from his hometown to Recife, then to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where he was a founding member of the legendary Quarteto Novo. In 1971 he went to New York, where Miles Davis recorded several of Hermeto’s compositions on the Live Evil album. 

Hermeto made several recordings with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim before returning to Brazil, where he convened a group of young dedicated musicians who rehearsed daily for hours, creating a unique sound, recording iconic albums, and touring around the world. This became famous as the Jabour School, named after the Rio neighborhood where Hermeto lived.

Hermeto has taught himself how to compose, arrange, and orchestrate for any musical context, from his own ensemble to symphonic and chamber pieces to jazz orchestras. His big band album Natureza Universal was awarded the Latin Grammy for best Latin Jazz Album in 2018.

His tremendous musicianship has earned him praise from some of the greatest musicians of the world, from Miles Davis and Astor Piazzolla to Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock.