Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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(b 2 August 1944, Recife, Brazil; d 9 March 2016) Percussionist and vocalist. He worked in a quartet with singer/songwriter Geraldo Azevedo late '60s, then toured with saxophonist Gato Barbieri to New York and Europe. In the '70s he worked in Paris with disturbed children, using music as therapy; subsequently he was one of those responsible for a strong Brazilian influence on the jazz scene, not only of rhythmic density but in an ability to make music of rustles, whispers or any other sound, and to combine sounds to make unique textures. He was a master of the berimbau (wooden bow, metal string and gourd resonator). His own albums included Saudades '76 on ECM (with the Stuttgart RSO), solo Zumbi '83 on Europa and mostly solo Bush Dance '86 on Antilles; he was co- founder of the trio Codona (three albums on ECM '80-2, with trumpeter Don Cherry and percussionist/sitarist/clarinettist Collin Walcott; see also Cherry's entry). Vasconcelos worked prolifically as a sideman, recording with Barbieri '71; with Arild Andersen, Egberto Gismonti (quintet Sol do Meio Dia '77, duet Duas Vozes '84), Pierre Favre (Singing Drums '84), Jan Garbarek (Eventyr '80) and Pat Metheny (three albums), all on ECM; with Barbieri '71, Woody Shaw '79, also Jeremy Steig, Jean-Luc Ponty, Jack DeJohnette, trumpeter Terumasa Hino, clarinettist Rolf Kühn, keyboardist Joachim Kühn, Paul Simon (Rhythm Of The Saints '90) and many others. Storytelling was released on EMI's Hemisphere label '96.