Milton Nascimento Back in California for Stanford Jazz Festival

Milton Nascimento Brazilian music legends Milton Nascimento and Oscar Castro-Neves will be on the campus of Stanford University, in northern California, this summer. Featuring performances by over 36 world-class jazz artists, the Stanford Jazz Festival will also present Chilean jazz vocalist Claudia Acuña and Colombian jazz harpist Edmar Castaneda. 

Brazilian mega-star Milton Nascimento has an international sphere of influence on par with that of Sting, or perhaps even the Beatles. But his appeal lies less in superstardom and more in the honesty and simplicity of his presentation.

He makes you feel like he’s singing just for you. His music has been introduced and re-introduced to the American market largely through collaborations with artists such as Weather Report (Milton), Wayne Shorter (Native Dancer) and Paul Simon (Rhythm of the Saints), though the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic richness of his songs have made them favorites among jazz musicians for decades.

As the All Music Guide notes, “His experienced stage persona allows everyone in the audience to feel as if they’re in his living room.”
 
In the almost four decades of his career since recording his landmark song “Travessia,” Milton has proven himself one of the most expressive and important composers and interpreters both in Brazil and around the world.

He is known for being the first Brazilian to reach the top of Billboard magazine’s World Music charts in 1990 with his album Txai, Downbeat magazine’s World Beat Artist of the Year 1991 and 1992, a Grammy in 1998 for his CD Nascimento, Latin Grammy awards and countless other important awards in Brazil and abroad, but mostly, for being part of the lives and dreams of people in every corner of the world and going where the people are.

His music is rooted in the street corners of the world and spreads outward, growing into one of the most solid and fertile stories in contemporary music with many pages yet to be written.

Oscar Castro-Neves
 
Being in on the development of bossa nova with Antônio Carlos Jobim and its subsequent takeover of the music world in the 1960s, Oscar Castro-Neves is in a unique position to interpret the music of Brazil. For one thing, bossa was but one facet of the incredibly creative musical movement of which Oscar was a seminal member.

The young guitar virtuoso and his genius friends were interested in fusing folk and popular elements with classical and jazz concepts. As the resident Dean of Brazilian Sounds in his adopted home of Los Angeles, his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Stan Getz, Toots Thielemans, and many others speak to his incredibly wide range of interests and talents.

As Leonard Feather put it, “Castro-Neves is incapable of creating a dull moment, but that is an understatement: He is only capable of generating rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic joy.”
 
Claudia Acuña
 
As a teenager launching a music career in Chile, vocalist Claudia Acuña first discovered the sounds with which she most felt at home: the music of Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, and Erroll Garner. Fusing her classical and folk experience with jazz, she made quite a name for herself in the Santiago jazz world, sitting in with visiting artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Michel Petrucciani, and Joe Lovano.

She moved to New York and immersed herself in the jam session scene, and soon began working with Tom Harrell, Billy Childs, George Benson, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Joey Calderazzo, and many other top artists.

Her solo albums Wind From the South, Rhythm of Life, and Luna have garnered her a huge following. The L.A. Times said, “Although Acuña did not come to the U.S. until she was in her 20s, she has mastered the essential elements of jazz with startling effectiveness.”
 
With a pure, compelling, and original voice, Chilean singer and songwriter Claudia Acuña draws upon the culture of her homeland by fusing Latin rhythms with her instinctive jazz sensibilities. Singing mostly in her mother tongue, Acuña makes it clear that music crosses all barriers – particularly when sung with her distinctive brand of authentic emotion.
 
Edmar Castaneda
 
Transforming a folk instrument tradition into major creative force in modern jazz begins to hint at the remarkable achievement of Bogota native and harpist Edmar Castaneda. But it doesn’t prepare you for the impact of his mind-blowing music. Edmar strums, and cascades of polyrhythms and polychordal harmonies stream from his harp, percussive yet melodic, logical yet spontaneous.

Edmar’s frequent collaborators include Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, John Scofield, John Pattitucci, and Chico O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band.

He’s also on SJW faculty member Taylor Eigsti’s album, Let It Come To You. JazzTimes has said, “That the harp sounds so natural in this context makes you wonder why so few have thought to utilize this many-stringed instrument as a viable lead instrument.”
 
Service:

Concerts at the Stanford Jazz Festival are in intimate venues with limited seating, so be sure to order your tickets early.
 
Milton Nascimento and His Band of Four: Two Shows!
June 30, 8 p.m. and July 1, 8 p.m.
Lincoln Continentino (p), Wilson Lopes (g), Gastão Villeroy (b) & Lincoln Cheib (d)
Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford University
Tickets: $35-$65, available at 650-725-ARTS (2787) and www.stanfordjazz.org
For directions and additional information, visit www.stanfordjazz.org
 
Oscar Castro-Neves Duo
June 26, 7:30 p.m.
Inside Jazz pre-concert talk: The Origins of the Bossa Nova – June 26, 6:30 p.m.
Gary Meeks – keyboards & saxophone
Campbell Recital Hall, Stanford University
Tickets: $30-$40, available at 650-725-ARTS (2787) and www.stanfordjazz.org
For directions and additional information, visit www.stanfordjazz.org
 
Claudia Acuña
July 8, 8 p.m.
Campbell Recital Hall, Stanford University
Tickets: $30-$40, available at 650-725-ARTS (2787) and www.stanfordjazz.org
For directions and additional information, visit www.stanfordjazz.org

Edmar Castaneda
July 26, 7:30 p.m.
Campbell Recital Hall, Stanford University
Tickets: $18-$28, available at 650-725-ARTS (2787) and www.stanfordjazz.org
For directions and additional information, visit www.stanfordjazz.org

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