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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Brazilian Guitarist Marcio Philamena To Appear At London EFG Jazz Festival + Debut Album Released

By Stevie Connor.

Brazilian guitarist Marcio Philomena has been added to the line-up of the forthcoming EFG London Jazz Festival and will appear at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club situated within the Southbank Centre on 11th November at 9.45pm.

His set is as part of 'Nutcracker Nights', a series of live sessions featuring some of the brightest emerging jazz artists, with admission included in tickets purchased for selected performances of ‘Nutcracker’ taking place at the venue earlier in the evening, while a limited number of standalone tickets will also be made available.

Philomena is a renowned jazz guitarist and composer, Berklee College of Music Performance graduate and Master in Music at The Royal Conservatoire The Hague. Having issued a number of singles over the course of 18 months, his debut album 'Trails' was released in September 2023 to critical acclaim.

Jazz guitarist and composer Marcio Philomena was born in Porto Alegre in Southern Brazil but is now based in Brooklyn, New York. ‘Trails’ is his debut album and consists of nine instrumental tracks that are a refreshing blend of jazz, Brazilian music, rock and soundscapes that also showcase his love of melody. “One thing I did not want this album to be was too complex,” he explains. “I wanted to write something that I would enjoy both as a listener and a musician.”

’Trails' sees Philomena perform eight pieces with a traditional jazz quartet that includes Julian Shore (piano), Rick Rosato (upright bass), and Roberto Giaquinto (drums), while ‘Vibraçöes' steers towards the Brazilian tradition and features Hélio Alves (piano), Peter Slavov (upright bass) and Rafael Barata (drums).

Opening track ‘Bourbon’ is immersed in melancholic allure, a traditional jazz waltz that weaves tender melodies and reminiscent of 70s-era Jim Hall Trio. “I wanted the album opener to set the mood, like a good glass of bourbon,” states Philomena.

Lead single ‘Oak Street’, which has been streamed over a million times on Spotify, takes us down the tree-lined road in Brooklyn where he now lives. By contrast, ‘Rio Branco’ is named after a neighbourhood in his home city and is “a sort of Baião, a rhythm originated in the northeast of Brazil.” Another single, ‘Nana’, is “a tribute to Brazilian singer Nana Caimmy and her signature style of interpreting Bossa Novas. I wanted to capture her understated interpretation of melodies and the tranquil atmosphere of a Rio de Janeiro based soap-opera soundtrack.”

Philomena first picked up an acoustic guitar at the age of 11 after seeing Green Day perform on MTV. By 13, he had discovered a love of jazz after seeing his music teacher play through a book of Pat Martino transcriptions. “I didn’t know you could sound like that on the guitar, and it looked challenging, so that inspired me to learn jazz.” Receiving a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in 2009 to study guitar and production, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the Montreux Jazz Festival Guitar Competition soon after. After a period in Brazil, he settled in Brooklyn, where he has become a fixture in NYC’s music scene.



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