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Oscar Castro Neves

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Oscar Castro-Neves (15/5/1940 - Rio de Janeiro) is a gifted Brazilian musician settled in the U.S. since 1966. Besides his important contribution to the movement usually known as bossa nova, he has also taken part in projects with Joe Henderson (including their performances at the JVC Jazz Festival) and other great names of jazz, such as Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and others. As a producer, arranger, and orchestrator, he has worked in many artists’ albums, conducting some of them; at the same time, wrote music for American movies and TV series. As a composer, enjoyed great success with his “Onde Está Você,” recorded by various important interpreters.

Beginning his musical discovery very early, at six he already played a little violão and cavaquinho. With a group formed with his brothers, Leo (drums), Ico (bass), and Mário (piano), he performed in 1954 at Rádio Difusora, Petrópolis, RJ. The musicians interested in renewing Brazilian popular music were bringing classical influences from Ravel, Debussy, and others, incorporating altered chords into the bittersweet samba-canção of those times, and Castro-Neves was taken by it. Johnny Alf, deeply influenced by American jazz, was presenting his unusual piano playing at Cantina do César, where Castro-Neves would go to learn from him, as would all musicians who would be known as bossa nova proponents.

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