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SAN - SÃO TRIO (SAN Francisco - SÃO Paulo) | LÉA FREIRE (flute), AMILTON GODOY (piano) | HARVEY WAINAPEL (sax/clarinet)

Combining the worlds of Brazilian music and jazz, in a chamber music type setting, these three instrumentalists have produced a body of work that blends the swinging exuberance and charm of the many different rhythms of Brazil along with that country's characteristic tender lyricism. Mix all this with the spontaneous discoveries of Jazz improvisation and you have a unique trio! 

AMILTON GODOY, resident of São Paulo, is a major figure in the development of Brazilian instrumental music. A classically-trained virtuoso, at an early age he shifted his focus to Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) and American Jazz. In 1964, at the age of 23, he formed the influential Zimbo Trio, one of the first “Samba-Jazz” groups to combine these two compatible genres. The group went on to make 51 recordings and tour in 40 countries, and has also partnered with countless luminaries, from legendary singer Elis Regina to jazz giant Sonny Stitt. Now in his seventies, Godoy still performs with the enthusiastic energy and joy of youth, combined with decades of hard-earned wisdom and experience. In addition to his active artistic career, in 1973 Godoy founded the first school to focus on these styles, the Centro Livre de Aprendizagem Musical (CLAM), which has nurtured generations of Brazilian musicians, including Léa Freire.

Hermeto Pascoal: “For me, Amilton is one of the best pianists in the land – always has been and always will!” 

João Bosco: “Amilton is one of the greats in the history of our music.”

LÉA FREIRE started her studies at CLAM at the age of 16. Although not a student of Amilton Godoy, she got to know him at the Zimbo Trio's open rehearsals held at the school. Many years later, Léa invited Godoy to record a solo CD of her innovative compositions, an invitation he readily accepted. When it came time to release the CD, Amilton suggested they appear as a duo, and the new formation was an instant success. Freire has performed her original music throughout North and South America, as well as Europe, in various formats: duo with Amilton; the new San-São Trio with Amilton and Harvey; her quintet; and full orchestra. In 1997 she founded the Maritaca recording label, which has released 40 CDs by some of Brazil’s strongest instrumentalists. In the country’s still sexist society, Freire has broken many barriers and inspired countless Brazilian women to follow their artistic visions. 

Egberto Gismonti calls Léa “a strong reminder of a Brazil that so many wish for, including myself.” 

Singer/composer Joyce Moreno, commenting on Léa’s group Vento em Madeira, praises “the repertoire, mostly written by the amazing Léa Freire, a hidden Brazilian treasure to be discovered.”

Californian saxophonist/clarinetist HARVEY WAINAPEL has toured internationally with Airto Moreira & Flora Purim, Joe Lovano, Ray Charles, and Jovino Santos Neto, and has presented his own work in 23 countries. Since 2000, Harvey has spent 1-2 months per year in Brazil, researching, meeting and collaborating with great musicians. These encounters have led to recordings and performances with major figures such as Guinga, Paulo Bellinati, Nelson Ayres, Marco César, Filó Machado, and Spok. On Harvey’s very first day in Brazil, he met Léa Freire, and a deep friendship developed over the years. Many informal musical encounters followed, and in 2017, Godoy and Freire invited Wainapel to join forces.The San-São Trio has since toured in Brazil and also the west coast of the USA, as well as recording their new CD, “Novos Caminhos.” 

Ivan Lins says “Harvey understands Brazilian music in a way that’s very unusual; he’s got the spirit, he’s a great musician!” 

The World Music Report, reviewing Wainapel’s 2014 CD “Amigos Brasileiros vol. 2,” writes “If HarveyWainapel has not been made an honorary Brasilian already, then it is time he is made one.”