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The Kennedy Center

André Mehmari



Biography

Since his trio’s last U.S. performances five years ago, pianist, composer, and improviser André Mehmari has given acclaimed solo performances throughout the country, taking audiences on journeys drawn from three continents of music – Europe, North and South America – and from his own catalog of compositions as well as those of masters from Monteverdi to Gershwin and Jobim. As scintillating as these performances have been, there is something special about the sound of the piano trio that propels master pianists to another level. The trios of Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau – to whom Mehmari is often likened – provide evidence of the power of piano trio alchemy.

For his January 2019 U.S. tour, Mehmari brings forth his piano trio with a new recording, Na esquina do Clube com o Sol na Cabeça / Sunbakeheaded at Clube da Esquina, devoted to the Brazilian artists who became known by the name of the 1972 album Clube da Esquina. He sees their work, led by Milton Nascimento, as the “utmost representation of humanism” in Brazilian music. Drawing from diverse musical currents – pop, folk music, bossa nova, jazz, and avant-garde classical – their open minds blended ideas organically, creating hymns honoring friendship and dialogue.

A longtime admirer of this “metaphysical club,” Mehmari’s trio explores, extends and refines its work into new and compelling interpretations. Alongside Mehmari’s piano are his drummer of over twenty years, Sérgio Reze, and the superlative talent of bassist Neymar Dias. The result is fluent, soulful, good-humored music that will touch the hearts and souls of people from every part of the globe.

Mehmari is considered one of Brazil's most talented musicians, recognized in both the realms of popular and classical music. As his compositions have been performed by leading orchestras such as Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and chamber ensembles such as the São Paulo String Quartet, his career in Brazilian popular music has attained wide attention in all of Brazil's major festivals and abroad at Umbria Jazz in Italy, Juan Les-Pins in France, and in Japan.

Born in 1977, he began studying music with his mother at age five. By age ten he had already taught himself improvisation and wrote his first compositions. He entered São Paulo State University in 1995 and won its competition for original Brazilian popular music. Two years later, the same honor was awarded to him in classical music. In 1998, he won the first national Prêmio VISA de MPB competition, the most important award for popular music in Brazil; and, in 2007, won the Carlos Gomes award in classical music. The album Nonada was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2008, and he was featured as composer and instrumentalist with Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in 2013.

Watch Past Performances

Video 1/13/2019: Andre Mehmari Trio

Andre Mehmari Trio, a group of Brazilian artists, blend ideas from pop, folk music, bossa nova, jazz, and classical avant-garde to create hymns honoring friendship and dialogue that are among the treasures of Brazilian music.

André Mehmari