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Concert program for Choro and Samba with Ami Molinelli and Friends

Friday, May 14, 2021 at 8 pm

Download a copy of the program here.

Claudia Villela, voice
Harvey Wainapel, saxophone & clarinet
Brian Moran, guitar & cavaco
Ricardo Peixoto, guitar
Ami Molinelli, percussion


Donga (1890–1974), arr. Rogerio Souza
Pelo Telefone

Antônio Carlos Jobim (1927–1994) & Vinícius de Moraes (1913–1980)
Chega de Saudade

Pixinguinha (1897–1973) & Benedito Lacerda (1903–1958)

Cristóvão Bastos (b. 1946) & Paulinho da Viola (b.1942)
Um Choro pro Waldir


Dilermando Reis (1916–1977)
Tempo de Criança

Dona Ivone Lara (1921–2018), arr. Rogerio Souza
Nasci pra sonhar e cantar

Radamés Gnattali (1906–1988)


Pixinguinha & Hermínio Bello de Carvalho (b. 1935), arr. Rogerio Souza
De Mal a Pior

Jacob do Bandolim (1918–1969) & letras Hermínio Bello de Carvalho
Doce de Côco

Léa Freire (b. 1957) & Joyce Moreno (b. 1948)
Samba de Mulher

Luciana Rabello (b. 1961), Paulo César Pinheiro (b. 1949) & Cristóvão Bastos (b. 1946), arr. Harvey Wainapel
Valsa do Trovador

Baden Powell (1937–2000) & Vinícius de Moraes (1913–1980)

Zequinha de Abreu (1880–1935)
Tico Tico na Fubá

Claudia Villela & Ricardo Peixoto
Casca da Banana


Ami Molinelli, arr. on plates by Brian Moran
Frittata Deliciosa

This project of music with a theme of “Roots in choro and samba”  was made possible by an IAC grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.

About the artists

Claudia Villela’s voice gets all the attention, and it’s easy to understand why. Her glorious five-octave instrument is one of the wonders of jazz, lithe and startlingly beautiful in every register. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, she sings mostly in Portuguese, interpreting lyrics with keen emotional insight and supple rhythmic command. A supremely inventive scat singer, she has honed a vivid vocabulary of sounds that can evoke the hollow thump of a tabla drum, the muted trumpet of Miles Davis, the insistent twang of a berimbau, the ethereal call of a flute, or the distortion-laden Stratocaster licks of Jimi Hendrix.

Based in the Santa Cruz area since the mid-1980s, Villela has evolved into an expressive pianist and percussionist and an ingenious composer and lyricist with an astonishing body of original material, as well as a repertoire of jewels from the Brazilian songbook. Inspired by Brazilian songwriters, composers and multi-instrumentalists such as Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Pascoal and Milton Nascimento, Villela draws on a vast range of Brazilian traditions, from samba and bossa nova to the carnival groove partido alto, and baião, a highly syncopated northeastern song form popularized by Luiz Gonzaga in the mid-1940s. In recent years, Villela’s international reputation as a performer and composer has continued to grow through appearances at the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals and clubs.

Saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel has his feet firmly planted in two musical worlds. His jazz experience has led to performances and/or recordings with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, Joe Henderson, and the Metropole Orchestra. He has toured internationally with Ray Charles, Joe Lovano, and Airto Moreira/Flora Purim.

Equally at home in both jazz and latin guitar styles, Brian Moran is one of the Bay Area’s more versatile and accomplished musicians. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music Brian has made the San Francisco Bay Area his home. He currently plays with Grupo Falso Baiano, Oakland Samba Revue, Jorge Alabe and Grupo Samba Rio, and as a leader and sideman in various other jazz, blues, and world music groups.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, guitarist, composer and arranger Ricardo Peixoto came to the U.S. by way of a scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and later settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. His fluid melodic sense and original harmonic approach place him among the top representatives of Brazilian guitar in the U.S. today.

Ami Molinelli is a professional percussionist and educator specializing in Brazilian and Latin percussion. Ami received her Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.  Her performance and recording credits include theater, television (NBC).  She is a freelance performing artist as well.  She is endorsed by Latin Percussion (LP) and Rhythm Tech.

Here last album, História do Choro with Duo Violão Brasl + 1 was released in 2019 and was celebrated as one of the best jazz albums from the Bay Area for 2019. (Andy Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News) She is a two-time San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Recipient 2018 and 2020.

She co-leads the Brazilian and Jazz ensemble, Grupo Falso Baiano with three albums to their credit: Depois released in 2017, Simplicidade – Live at Yoshi’s and Viajando em Choro e Jazz. Grupo Falso Baiano have been featured on NPR’s The California Report, Radio Latina and Pandora LIVE!

Her percussion curriculum has been used and published in clinics and education workshops including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The San Francisco Jazz Center, Los Angeles Music Center, Music in Schools Today, Young Audiences of Northern California, UFBA Ouro Preto, Brasil, HeadStart (San Mateo County), Los Angeles Music Academy, California Brazil Camp, Jazz Camp West, etc. Her curriculum, “Recycled Rhythm” was created for her artist residency of 7 years at the Los Angeles Music Center. Currently Ami is a music integration and curriculum specialist with organizations such as The San Francisco Jazz Center, Living Jazz and San Francisco Unified School District.

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