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Sérgio Mendes

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Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (February 11, 1941 – present)

Sérgio Santos Mendes, pron. IPA: [’sɛxʒiu ‘sɐ̃tus ‘mẽ’dʒis], (born February 11, 1941 in Niterói, Brazil) is a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian musician. He has released over thirty-five albums, and plays heavily crossed with and .

Mendes is married to Gracinha Leporace who regularly performs vocals for her husband and can also be heard on his 2006 version of the song Mas Que Nada with the Black Eyed Peas.

Early career

The child of a physician in Niterói, Brazil, Mendes attended the local conservatory with hopes of becoming a classical pianist. As his interest in jazz grew, he started playing in nightclubs in the late-1950s just as bossa nova, a jazz-inflected derivative of , was taking off. Mendes played with Antônio Carlos Jobim (whom he regarded as a mentor) and many U.S. jazz musicians who toured Brazil.

Mendes formed the Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded Dance Moderno in 196. Touring Europe and the United States, Mendes recorded albums with Cannonball Adderley and Herbie Mann and played Carnegie Hall. Mendes moved to the U.S. in 1964 and cut two albums under the name Sergio Mendes and Brasil ‘65 with Capitol Records and Atlantic Records.

Brasil ‘66
When sales were tepid, he replaced his Brazilian born vocalist Wanda de Sa with the distinctive voice of Chicago native Lani Hall (who learned Mendes’ Portuguese material phonetically), switched to Herb Alpert’s A&M label, and released Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil ‘66

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