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Category Archives: Luiz Bonfá

We have mentioned before the importance of guitarist and composer Luiz Bonfá (1922 – 2001) in the evolution of the Bossa Nova genre.
In 1996 he was in the studio with carioca Ithamara Koorax recording a selection of his works.

It’s an honor and a privilege to work with such a great artist as Ithamara, one of the best singers in the world-Luiz Bonfá.
Some impressive talents on show here:

Torcuato Mariano -acoustic guitar, keyboards (also arranger)
Deodato – piano,keyboards (also arranger)
Larry Coryell -electric guitar
Sidinho Moreira- percussion
Jamil Joanes -electric bass
Marcos Suzano -percussion
Ithamara Koorax -vocals
Shigeharu Sasago -acoustic guitar
Luiz Bonfá -acoustic guitar (also arranger)
Nelson Ângelo -acoustic guitar
Carlos Bala -drums
Arnaldo DeSouteiro -percussion
Ron Carter- acoustic bass
Sadao Watanabe -alto sax
Ivan Conti -drums
Paulo Malaguti -keyboards
Arnaldo DeSouteiro -arranger/producer

The bossa nova phenomenon reached the United States via Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd’s Jazz Samba LP. A Brazilian diplomat who wanted to promote the country’s musical accomplishments abroad hit on the idea of putting on a major bossa nova concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
The show, in November of 1962, featured a mouth watering array of Brazilian musicians (Jobim, Bonfa, Sergio Mendes, Joao Gilberto, Milton Banana…), but the concert was not a critical success. The Brazilians did not take too well to November in the Northern Hemisphere. Brazilian critics disapproved of the use of English translations. However, the Carnegie Hall concert succeeded in raising the profile of Brazilian writers and performers- Bonfa and Mendes became long term USA residents whilst Jobim enjoyed collaborations with a host of American performers.
This concert has been reissued on CD a couple of times, but I don’t think that it’s currently available.

Luiz Bonfá (1922 – 2001) was a Brazilian guitarist and composer who reached a global audience via his association with Marcel Camus’ legendary film Orfeu Negro (1959).
Bonfá was essentially an exponent samba-canção style that predated the arrival of the more refined subdued bossa nova style. When Camus’ film and artists such as Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd did much to bring Brazilian popular music to the attention of the world, Bonfá became a highly visible ambassador of Brazilian music in the United States , where he lived from the early 1960s until 1975. He was on the bill of the famous 1962 Bossa Nova concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall (coming soon!).

On this LP, recorded in 1968, we have the epitome of 1960’s easy listening.
Luiz Bonfá on guitar, vocal
Eumir Deodato on piano, organ
Ron Carter on bass
Dom Um Romão on drums
Marvin Stamm on trumpet
Maria Helena Toledo on vocal

There is a really good Bonfá discography at this site: