Felipe Salles – Bio

Felipe Salles is a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who currently lives and performs in New York City. His group, The Felipe Salles Group is the result of this cultural fusion, a blend of elements from two of the richest musical traditions in the world: Brazilian/Latin music and Jazz.

Felipe Salles has been an active musician in the US since 1995, leading his own group. He has had the opportunity to work and record with prominent jazz artists like George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Sam Rivers, Herb Pomeroy, Jerry Bergonzi, Jovino Santos Neto, David Liebman, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza, Bob Moses and Fernando Brandão. In addition, Felipe Salles has studied with such world-renowned musicians as David Liebman, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Mintzer, George Garzone, Charlie Banacos, Michael Abene, Ludmila Uhlela and Kenny Werner.

Felipe Salles is a 2009-2010 winner of the French American Jazz Exchange Grant from FACE, Doris Duke Foundation and Chamber Music America, and a 2005-2006 winner of the Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program, a component of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project, Sponsored by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He has also been awarded First Place in the Concurso SGAE de Jazz “TETE MONTOLIU”, 2001, with the composition “The Return of The Chromo Sapiens”, and Fifth Place at the III Premio SGAE Iberoamericano de Jazz Latino, with the composition “Freudian Slip”, 2002. He has also been awarded the Boston Jazz Society Scholarship Award for the year of 1997, and was a featured performer at the Boston Jazz Society 22nd annual Jazz Festival in 1998, where he opened for and performed with Stanley Turrentine, as well as an act at the BJS 23rd annual Jazz Festival for the year of 1999, leading his group, featuring Bob Moses, John Lockwood, Alain Mallet and Tony D’Aveni.

As a composer and arranger, Felipe Salles has had arrangements and compositions performed by The Metropole Orchestra, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Violas, Meta4 String Quartet, University of Massachusetts Amherst Jazz Orchestra and Studio Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, New England Conservatory Jazz Band, Five Towns College Jazz Orchestra, Five Towns College Concert Band.

In his fifth recording as a leader, Felipe Salles brings back his long time musical partnership with Nando Michelin on piano, Keala Kaumeheiwa on bass and Bertram Lehmann on drums as a platform to feature jazz trumpet player extraordinaire Randy Brecker. The compositions are fresh and haunting, mixing, with mastery, elements of Brazilian music, jazz, classical music and pop, in an ever lyrical and stimulating manner. Felipe takes us listeners on trips around a world
of both mysterious and revealing tunes ranging from Maracatu to Schoenberg, from Bartók to the blues, from Hermeto to straight ahead, always bearing his unmistakable mark.

Felipe’s music has been described by David Liebman as follows: “Felipe Salles has truly taken a step into the future with this CD. He has found a way to incorporate the rich musical heritage of his native country, Brazil (with more than a nod to the genius Hermeto Pascoal), while at the same time incorporating sounds and colors from the advanced harmonies of 20th century contemporary classical music. Possessing a gift for orchestration and arranging, Felipe’s music is definitely pointing to the future.”

Felipe is currently a member of the New World Jazz Composers Octet, Kyle Saulnier’s Awakening Orchestra, Alex Alvear’s Mango Blue and Gonzalo Grau’s La Clave Secreta.

Felipe Salles holds a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory and is the first candidate ever to graduate with a Doctoral Degree in Jazz Advancement from Manhattan School of Music. He is currently on faculty at University of Massachusetts, Amherst Jazz Department and Manhattan School of Music Precollege Jazz Division.

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