Born 1936 in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Died 08 Oct 1999 in Tampa, Florida
BIO: Manfredo Fest was one of the pioneers of bossa nova and helped define it during a long career that spanned continents. He is one of the group of Latin jazz musicians who took samba rhythms and American jazz and created a fusion that played out for four decades in his native Brazil. The pianist brought his hard-swinging sound to Minneapolis in 1967, joined the Sergio Mendes-produced Bossa Rio in Los Angeles and later relocated to Chicago, playing there and on the Playboy Club circuit.
The pianist, who was born legally blind, was classically trained, but at 17 plugged in to the work of the George Shearing Quintet and the Bill Evans Trio. After college, he dove into the Sao Paulo bossa nova music scene and found steady work recording and performing.
In 1998, he saluted legendary bossa nova composer Antonio Carlos Jobim with Just Jobim, a well-received work, backed by bassist David Finck, drummer Steve Davis and longtime collaborator Cyro Baptista on percussion. The collection, featuring vibrant interpretations of "Wave," "Desafinado," "The Girl From Ipanema" and other favorites, and was his fourth recording for DMP, the same label that released Fest's debut album, Jungle Cat, in 1978.
Along the way, he also released four widely praised albums for Concord, including 1995's Comecar De Novo and 1997's Amazonas, both featuring German-born
vibraphonist and chromatic harmonica wizard Hendrik Meurkens.
Fest and his bandmates played everywhere from the the Clearwater (Florida) Jazz Holiday to the Jazz Cafe in London, festivals in California and Pennsylvania, and other venues around the United States and Europe.
Fest worked with a variety of Brazilian and American musicians, including Lili, drummer Portinho, bassist Paul Socolow, saxophonist Scott Hamilton, trumpeter Claudio Roditi, and guitarist Richie Zellon.
The pianist, a semi-regular at Fandango's on Siesta Key, near Sarasota, Florida, where he was often joined by bassist Billy Pillucere and drummer Tom Carabasi, had a number of projects in the works – including live takes – and seemed to be on a career upswing just prior to his last illness and death.
Fest died of liver failure in Tampa, Florida, not far from his home in Palm Harbor, where he had lived for 12 years with his wife, singer-composer Lili Galiteri. His death at the age of 63 was another loss of a vital living link to the origins of bossa nova.
"Seresta (Serenade)", "Brazilian Dorian Dream"
George Shearing, Paquito Di Rivera, Buddy DeFranco and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
Dig the Samba, 1998 (Candid)
Jungle Cat, 1978 (DMP)
Just Jobim, 1998 (DMP)
Comecar De Novo, 1995 (Concord)
Amazonas, 1997 (Concord)