Sunday, May 13, 2018 | 2pm
First Unitarian Church (536 Linton St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)


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.


About the Artist: Phil DeGreg

Phil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist internationally. His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from mainstream to bebop to Brazilian jazz. A graduate of Yale and the University of North Texas, he toured with the Woody Herman Orchestra in the 1980’s, and has 10 CD’s to his credit as a leader. For 13 years he accompanied many national and international jazz artists in the house trio in Cincinnati’s famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club. He has been on staff with the renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1983, and has performed and taught in Europe and South America.

Phil DeGreg is the retired Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts study grants. In 2008 he was awarded a 4 month Fulbright Fellowship as a lecturer in Brazil.

His text “Jazz Keyboard Harmony” is a practical text for teaching jazz harmony for all musicians, and is used all over the world in universities and for private study.

Learn more about Phil DeGreg on his website