Thursday, November 01, 2007

Luíz Bonfá

One of the best known Brazilian musicians probably is Luíz Bonfá (1922-2001), composer, arranger, singer and exceptional guitarist.
Bonfá was born on October 17, 1922 in Rio de Janeiro. He began teaching himself to play guitar as a child; he studied in Rio with Uruguayan classical guitarist Isaías Sávio from the age of twelve.
Bonfá first gained widespread exposure in Brazil in 1947 when he was featured on Rio's Radio Nacional, then an important showcase for up-and-coming talent. He was a member of the vocal group 'Quitandinha Serenaders' in the late 1940s. Some of his compositions were recorded and performed by Brazilian crooner Dick Farney in the 1950s. It was through Farney that Bonfá was introduced to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, the leading songwriting team behind the worldwide explosion of Brazilian jazz/pop music in the late 1950s and 1960s. Bonfá collaborated with these and with other prominent Brazilian musicians and artists in productions of de Moraes' anthological play 'Orfeu da Conceição', which several years later gave origin to Marcel Camus' legendary film, 'Black Orpheus'.
As a composer and performer, Bonfá was at heart an exponent of the samba-canção style that predated the arrival of João Gilberto's bossa nova style.
Bonfá lived in the USA from the early 1960s until 1975. He worked with American musicians such as Quincy Jones, George Benson, Stan Getz, and Frank Sinatra, recording several albums while in America. Bonfá remained well-connected in the US after returning to Brazil, but his profile receded into relative obscurity during his final decades.
Bonfá died in Rio de Janeiro on January 12, 2001, 78 years old.
Bonfá's major legacy continues to be his compositions from the 'Black Orpheus' soundtrack, most notably the instantly recognizable classic 'Manhã da Carnaval.' But Bonfá's huge discography also attests to his uniquely inventive mastery of various Brazilian guitar styles.
--- above info excerpeted from a profile article in Wikipedia ---
Recently the radio feature 'O Violão Brasileiro' by Fábio Zanon devoted a program to the music and guitar playing of Luíz Bonfá, the program may be downloaded from Fábio Zanon's blog, click here to download.

Fábio Zanon also points to three video performances featuring Luíz Bonfá, inserted below.

The first video is from an American TV-program hosted by Perry Como and recorded 1963, Bonfá plays 'Sambolero' and his arrangement of 'Tenderly':

From another TV-program hosted by Mike Douglas in 1966, Bonfá plays his composition 'Menina Flor':

Also from the 1966 TV-program, Bonfá plays 'Batucada' and performs 'Manhã de Carnaval' together with Mike Douglas:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jo for the film fragments. Great !!

Hope you and Theo will enjoy Ton's finger picking on Saturday. Say hello to all of them !!

Keep swinging


02 November, 2007  

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