Jazz@First: The Colors of Samba-Jazz
Sunday, May 13, 2018 @ 2pm | First Unitarian Church

Phil DeGreg’s samba-jazz band Brasilia has been a lively presence on the Cincinnati scene for over a decade. Their repertoire includes songs in various Brazilian styles: samba, bossa-nova, choro, baião and frevo. Brasilia plays works by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Edu Lobo, João Donato, Hermeto Pascoal and others. In this band, South American rhythms merge effortlessly with fluid jazz improvisation.

Jazz@First Series Sponsor: Al Harris

About Brasilia

Brasilia performs regularly in Cincinnati and around the Midwest. The band includes pianist Phil DeGreg, trumpeter Kim Pensyl, and vibraphonist Rusty Burge, and bassist Aaron Jacobs who are all professors at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Drummer John Taylor from Dayton, OH is a very busy freelance musician in southern Ohio.

Brasilia was formed in 2008 following Phil’s four-month Fulbright Fellowship residency at the University of Campinas, near Sao Paulo Brazil. The group performs classic popular Brazilian repertoire and original music with plenty of room for improvisation. Their repertoire includes songs in samba, bossa-nova, choro, baião and frevo styles, including works by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Edu Lobo, João Donato, Hermeto Pascoal and others. They have recently performed for the Jazz Educator’s Network Convention, the Paramount Theatre in Huntington West Virginia, the University of Evansville, The Xavier University Master’s of Swing Series concert series, the Louisville Jazz Society, Cincinnati’s Blue Wisp Jazz Club, the 5/3 Commonly Jazz Series in Eden Park, The Thompson House, and in concert at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Phil DeGreg toured with Woody Herman and has accompanied a great variety of leading jazz artists, ranging from Dave Liebman to J.J. Johnson to Scott Hamilton. He has made ten CDs as a leader, and is a frequent visitor to Brazil, where he recorded two CDs with leading Brazilian players. Kim Pensyl is a prolific jazz recording artist, composer and arranger who has twice been named one of Billboard’s Top-20 Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Year. Vibraphonist Rusty Burge is a virtuoso performer, who is equally comfortable in both the jazz and classical worlds, and has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Their newest CD is entitled “Brazilian People” (2014). It includes two tracks with guest Brazilian guitarist Bruno Mangueira, a top tier player from São Paulo.