Endless Sea of Excellence!
Brazilian music has really solidified its presence in the world music scene. Countless artists across the globe have performed and recorded classics from the Brazilian songbook. Each year new names surface with noteworthy albums. Dan Costa (London, UK – 1989) is yet another newcomer who creates Brazilian music and extends our horizons to even farther reaches of the planet.
Dan Costa’s story is not very different from others’ who have somehow experienced and lived Brazilian music where they grew up. The son of Portuguese and Italian parents, Dan was educated in Europe prior to being awarded a grant to study Brazilian music at São Paulo’s UNICAMP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas). His musical education started with classical piano training at the Académie de Musique Rainier III followed by further studies at the Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice (both of these in France). Those studies took him to more places (e.g., Aurora Music Star Festival in Sweden) until obtaining his diploma with merit at the Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, United Kingdom. At that time he was already showing strong interest for jazz and Latin music. Attending the Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espectáculo (Portugal) led him to another degree in jazz piano. The next step was UNICAMP. Traveling the world, attending workshops and working with musicians of the caliber of Kevin Hays, Scott Colley, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jorge Rossy, Chick Corea and César Camargo Mariano took Dan Costa to Finland, Germany, Spain, Greece, the USA, in addition to the UK and France. Earlier in 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, he recorded his first solo album, Suíte Três Rios, a very strong debut.
Suíte Três Rios, as Dan Costa explains, was composed while studying in Brazil at UNICAMP. The album title comes from the confluence of the rivers Negro and Solimões forming the Amazon River. The track titles reflect the fact that the album “pays homage to the diversity of Brazilian rhythms, with the exception of the first (“Alba”) and the last (“Aria”)” (that one reflects his Italian origins). Of course with his ancestral roots tied to Portugal, the lyrics to “Bossa Nova” are an ode to his Portuguese background and its literary tradition. Besides playing the piano in these magnificent arrangements he created, Dan was also in charge of production along with Ricardo Silveira (also on guitar here). His base musicians include Marcelo Martins (alto/tenor sax), Vittor Santos (trombone), Alberto Continentino (double bass) and Rafael Barata (drums, pandeiro). Also featured are
[it] was inspired by the star-lit sky of the Amazon following my trip there while at the same time reflecting the lyricism inherent in this musical form, originally from Portugal, yet one of the building blocks – with the Lundum – of Brazilian music.
Suíte Três Rios
Tracks (all music by Dan Costa):
- Alba – w/ Jaques Morelenbaum
- Bossa Nova – w/ Leila Pinheiro
- Baião – w/ Marcos Suzano
- Modinha – w/ Teco Cardoso