Paul Winter’s “My Brazil” Quintet

PaulWinter1-225x300Paul Winter’s musical realm has long embraced the traditions of the world’s cultures, as well as the extraordinary voices of what he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth.” His concert tours and recording expeditions have taken him to 52 countries and to wilderness areas on six continents, into which he has traveled on rafts, mules, dog sleds, horses, kayaks, sailboats, steamers, tug-boats and Land Rovers.

PWbyBeverlyHallPaul’s journey started in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where he began playing drums, piano and clarinet after the age of five, and then fell in love with saxophone in the fourth grade. Playing in small bands with his schoolmates, first in ‘The Little German Band’, PWbyBeverlyHallthen a Dixieland band, and finally a nine-piece dance band known as ‘The Silver Liners’, he became enthralled first with big band music, and by the small be-bop groups of the 1950s, and embarked on his first professional tour at the age of seventeen.

At Northwestern University in Chicago Winter formed a jazz sextet, which won the 1961 Intercollegiate Jazz Festival and was signed to Columbia Records by the legendary producer John Hammond. In 1962 the Paul Winter Sextet was sent by the U.S. State Department on a six-month goodwill tour of twenty-three countries of Latin America.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy shakes Paul Winter’s hand afte the concert

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy shakes Paul Winter’s hand after the concert

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy shakes Paul Winter's hand afte the concert

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy shakes Paul Winter’s hand after the concert

The success of this tour led to an invitation by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to play at the White House. The Sextet’s performance in the East Room on November 19, 1962, happened to be the first ever jazz concert in the White House. (See Count Me In, The Paul Winter Sextet 1961 & 1962)

The Sextet had spent a month in Brazil during the tour, at the time that a new genre of music was blossoming there, called “Bossa Nova,” and following its return to the US, the group recorded an album of Bossa Nova. In the mid-1960s, Paul went to live for a year in Brazil and it became a second home for him. He recorded several albums. Brazilian guitar, Afro-Brazilian percussion, and the symphonic music of Villa-Lobos inspired the aural-vision of the new ensemble he would call the Paul Winter Consort. Launched in 1967, the Consort became the forum for the whole world of diverse music that Paul loved. Paul Winter remembers, “I borrowed the name ‘consort’ from the ensembles of Shakespeare’s time, the housebands of the Elizabethan Theater, which adventurously blended woodwinds, strings and percussion, the same families of instruments I wanted to combine in our ‘contemporary’ consort.” With this group, Winter became one of the earliest exponent’s of world music.

Hearing recordings of the songs of Humpback Whales in 1968 further expanded Winter’s musical community.

They not only opened the door to the whole symphony of nature, but turned Paul into an activist and changed the course of his musical life. Exploring ways to con-sort with the beguiling voices of the whales, the haunting, bluesey communal celebration of a howling pack of wolves and other voices of the wilderness led the way to Paul pioneering another new genre – his unique “earth music.” Described as “ecological jazz” by fans in Russia, “La Fusion Animal,” in Spain, and “earth jazz” in Japan, it interweaves classical, jazz and world music elements with voices from nature. His landmark album Common Ground in 1977 was his first endeavor to incorporate the voices of whale, eagle and wolf into his music.

(L to R), Paul Winter, Scott and Helen Nearing at Forest Farm, by KathyThornwood

(L to R), Paul Winter, Scott and Helen Nearing at Forest Farm, by Kathy Thornwood

The Consort recorded twelve albums for major labels during the 1960s and ’70s. Four albums for A & M were produced by Paul Stookey and Phil Ramon, and one for Epic, named Icarus, produced by Beatles mentor George Martin, who claimed in his autobiography it was ”the finest record I ever made.” Astronauts of Apollo 15 took the Consort’s album Road to the moon with them and named two craters after the songs “Ghost Beads” and “Icarus.”

Icarus was recorded in the summer of 1971 in the unhurried, unpressured atmosphere of a rented house near the sea, an experience, which underscored the importance of establishing a place where Paul could nourish his music and his community. Annual visits to the exemplary Maine homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing also inspired Paul to find land of his own where he could really live his music. In 1980 Paul founded his own label, Living Music Records, as a forum for his developing musical-ecological sound-vision. The name alludes to his primary intentions of striving toward timeless music; recording in natural acoustic spaces, like stone churches, canyons, or the loft of a barn; and creating music that would embrace the vital traditions of music he reveres, from Bach to Africa, and cello to wolf.

In the early 1980s, Paul began traveling to Russia to seek out its wilderness beauty and listen for the voices of the Russian earth. He ventured as far as Lake Baikal in Siberia, in 1984, where he found such beauty that it lured him back many times to help raise awareness about the threats facing Russia’s sacred sea and its significance as a symbol in the growing environmental movement. Paul was part of the UN’s Beyond War Spacebridge and other efforts to join Russian and American people in peaceful collaborations. On a tour of the Soviet Union in 1986, the Consort met the Pokrovsky Ensemble when they performed together a concert at Moscow University. The two groups felt an immediate kinship, and the following year recorded the album EarthBeat in Moscow and New York — the first album of original music created by Americans and Russians together.

Paul was a member of the Lindisfarne Association, founded by William Irwin Thompson, of scientists, artists, scholars, and contemplatives devoted to the study and realization of a new planetary culture. Through this organization, he met the Very Reverend James Parks Morton, Dean of New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, who asked Paul to become artist-in-residence there, to build bridges between spirituality and the environment with his music. St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in the world and known as “the green cathedral.” In the 1980s and 1990s, it became the center of a vital community of thinkers and seekers working on issues of ecology and environment and world peace. Cosmologist Father Thomas Berry greatly influenced Paul’s musical-ecological vision, and helped shape his intent to awaken in people a sense of relatedness with the larger community of life.

Winter Solstice Celebration, with the musical "tree of life" and Earth globe, at New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Dec. 13-15, 2012. Photo by Clifford A. Sobel

Winter Solstice Celebration, with the musical “tree of life” and Earth globe, at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Dec. 13-15, 2012. Photo by Clifford A. Sobel

Since 1980, Paul and the Consort have presented over 100 special events, at the Cathedral, including annual Winter and Summer Solstice Celebrations, Carnival for the Rainforest, and their ecological mass, Missa Gaia/Earth Mass, which is performed annually each October as part of the Feast of St. Francis.

With his various ensembles, Paul has toured the world, performing over 3,000 concerts in 52 countries. With his music, he has found a means to connect people to a sense of place, promote relatedness to the larger community of life, and assist groups supporting local cultural and biological diversity. Hundreds of his benefit concerts and various compositions have served environmental causes in a range of countries, including Russia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, and Spain. He has produced 45 albums for his Living Music label, seven of which have won Grammy Awards. In recognition of musical and ecological work, he has received a Global 500 Award from the United Nations, the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal from the United States Humane Society, the Peace Abbey’s Courage of Conscience Award, the Spirit of the City Award presented at New York’s Cathedral of St John the Divine, and an honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Hartford.

Peter Slavov – Bass

Bassist Peter Slavov came from Bulgaria in 1999 when he received a scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music. In 2001, he was awarded Berklee’s John Neves Memorial Scholarship Award for Outstanding Musicianship. He has performed and/or recorded with Joe Lovano, Quincy Jones, George Garzone, Chucho Valdes, Danilo Perez, Kevin Mahogany, and Simon Shaheen.



Rogerio Boccato – drums

Brazilian percussionist and educator Rogério Boccato plays in projects led by some of today’s leading jazz players, among them Maria Schneider, John Patitucci, Fred Hersch, Brian Blade, Danilo Perez, Jimmy Greene and many others. He has also collaborated with top-ranking Brazilian artists, such as Toninho Horta, Moacir Santos, Zé Renato and Vinicius Cantuária.

He is featured on two Grammy-award winning albums: “The Thompson Fields“, with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and on Billy Childs’  “Rebirth”. He is also featured on three Grammy-nominated albums: Kenny Garrett’s “Beyond The Wall”, John Patitucci‘s “Remembrance“ (alongside Joe Lovano and Brian Blade), and on Alan Ferber’s “Jigsaw“.

As a longtime member of the “Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo”, Brazilian percussionist Rogério Boccato has played with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hermeto Pascoal, Milton Nascimento, Egberto Gismonti, João Bosco, Joe Zawinul, among many others.

Rogério Boccato has been a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music, NYUand of the Percussion department of The Hartt School (University of Hartford) teaching Brazilian Music and Ritmica.

Gabriel Globus-Hoenich – percussion

Percussionist Gabriel Globus-Hoenich blends a multitude of musical influences together in his work as a performer and educator.  During his residency, audiences will explore rhythms, melodies, songs, and dances from around the world, ultimately discovering the inherent joy of music and culture.  A Montreal native, Gabriel is now based in New York City where his career continues to reflect a deep love for the worlds of jazz, classical music, and world music. Gabriel has performed on drumset and percussion with a wide variety of artists including Morgan James, Jim James, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Omara Portuondo, Telmary Diaz, Roberto Fonseca, Tirso Duarte, Steve Hackman, Tessa Lark, the Philly Pops, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, among others.  He collaborates frequently with Teddy Abrams and the Sixth Floor Trio, serving as principal percussionist and education director at the trio’s chamber music festival, GardenMusic, in South Miami.   An active composer and arranger, Gabriel has written for Achilles Liarmakopolous of the Canadian Brass, grammy nominated Tiempo Libre, and the Louisville Orchestra.  In 2018, Gabriel performed Julia Wolfe’s percussion concerto riSE and fLY with Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra with the composer present.

?In 2017 Gabriel founded People of Earth, a 15 person Latin fusion group filled with some of NYC’s best musicians representing a myriad of countries.  People of Earth has performed at Brooklyn Bowl, Rockwood Music Hall and other top NYC venues.  For more information visit

In addition to his work in the orchestral and jazz music worlds, Gabriel has completed extensive world percussion studies having studied Afro-Brazilian percussion in Salvador, Bahia with Gabi Guedes and Mario Pam, as well as Cuban percussion with Girardo Piloto, Rociel Riveron, and Adonis Panter.

Gabriel continues to work as a teaching artist for the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Philadelphia Orchestra, 92nd Street Y, and Marquis Studios.  He was formerly a teaching artist with Play On Philly! as well as musician-in-residence at The Please Touch Museum.  He is a co-founder of PlasticBand, a community drumming group based in Harlem, New York and received a Carnegie Hall NeON Arts Grant to build this program.   He is a 2008 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Don Liuzzi and Robert van Sice.

Paul Meyers – guitar

“…one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists since Kenny Burrell…”
–James Gavin, New York Times

Paul Meyers has been active in the NY Jazz scene for many years and has performed and/or recorded with an ever growing list of jazz greats such as Geri Allen, Harry Allen, Karrin Allyson, Kenny Barron, Gene Bertoncini, Ron Carter, Ray Drummond, Eliane Elias, Clare Fischer, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Gomez, Marc Johnson, Nancy King, Wynton Marsalis, George Mraz, Rufus Reid, Claudio Roditi, Annie Ross, David Sanchez, Frank Wess, Jack Wilkins, Kenny Werner and many more.. He’s also toured for years with two of the greatest jazz singers ever – Jon Hendricks since 1993, and Andy Bey from 1997 to 2008. In NYC he has worked at all of the major jazz clubs. Paul was also part of the trio that performed nightly at Windows on the World and was the featured solo guitarist at the Rainbow Room Bar for one summer.

International performances include Japan and Hong Kong with the Salute to Duke Ellington Orchestra (along with Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis and Joe Wilder) – Spain with the great percussionist Cafe – Brazil, France, Germany, Switzerland, England, and Italy with Jon Hendricks – Brazil, England, Spain. Portugal, Macedonia, Greece and the Netherlands with Andy Bey (also a duo performance with him in Paris, opening up for McCoy Tyner) – Japan with Pablo Ziegler and again w/Karrin Allison, and Argentina with Gary Burton. Mr. Burton also recorded Paul’s tune Panama on his “Reunion” CD with Pat Metheny.

Paul has made a number of critically acclaimed CDs – I Let a Song Go (2012), Welcome Home (2011) – Paul Meyers Quartet featuring Frank Wess (2010) – World on a String (2010) – Dusk to Dawn (2004), Brasil & Company (2001) Spirit and Samba (2000) – Euforia (1998), Blues for the Millennium (1997). – [please visit the media kit to see all reviews, hear tracks from the CDs in the CDs section, and read descriptions of thesevarious projects as well as upcoming ones in the news pages.]

As a sideman, Paul has contributed to many CDs, notably three with Andy Bey, the Grammy nominated American Song, Tuesdays in Chinatown, and Shades of Bey. Others include Hearts and Minds with Susannah McCorkle,w 4 on 6 x 5 with the New York Jazz Guitar Ensemble, and three Latin/Brazilian jazz recordings featuring all original music – Lucky with Hans Teuber, Obeah with Santi Debriano, and Utatuba with Kimson Plaut.

A very active player in New York’s vibrant Brazilian and Latin jazz scenes, working with such greats as Eliane Elias, Jovino Santos Neto and Emilio Santiago. Paul was also a long-time member of the Terra Brasil, which featured pianist/composer Cidinho Teixeira and vocalist Vera Mara, both veterans of the great Gilberto Gil’s band. He later co-led Brasil & Company with Ms. Mara, and they released a highly regarded CD as well. He has performed in New York and Tokyo with the great Tango-jazz pianist and composer Pablo Zeigler (Astor Piazzola’s pianist) and is featured along with Stephon Harris on the live CD Tango meets Jazz. He returned to Tokyo to play the Blue Note with vocalist Karrin Allison, performing music from her Brazilian CD Imagina. Recently he played with Brazilian greats Marcos Valle and Paula Morelenbaum at Birdland as part of the BossaBrasil festival. Paul was also featured on Deodato’s soundtrack for the film Bossa Nova

Paul received a 1990 / 91 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for jazz composition and holds an Masters of Music in jazz guitar from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelors of Music with honors from the New England Conservatory. He studied with Gene Bertoncini, Jackie Byard, Barry Galbraith, George Russell, Chuck Wayne and Jack Wilkins. Paul teaches jazz guitar, improvisation and coaches jazz and Brazilian ensembles at William Patterson University (since 1988) and at New Jersey City University (since 1993), and he also taught at the first year of the Jazz for Teens program at NJPAC in Newark.

He has given numerous clinics, master classes and workshops, traveling as far away as Argentina, Hawaii and Alaska. Paul also endorses Fishman amplifiers.