Photo above courtesy of Glenn Nelson Pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto will perform Brazilian jazz and classical music at The Merc.

Photo above courtesy of Glenn Nelson

Pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto will perform Brazilian jazz and classical music at The Merc.

By Marcy Stamper

Pianist/composer Jovino Santos Neto and flutist Paul Taub will present an evening of Brazilian jazz and classical music featuring compositions by the influential Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal, also a pianist and flutist, on Saturday (March 12) at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp.

Santos Neto is described as “an intuitive keyboard player and flutist” and “among the most brilliant Brazilian musicians.” One reviewer called him “a warm, high-energy player, as fun to watch as he is to hear.” He has been nominated for three Latin Grammy awards.

Photo right courtesy of Paul Taub Flutist Paul Taub often collaborates with Neto in performances throughout the West.

Photo right courtesy of Paul Taub

Flutist Paul Taub often collaborates with Neto in performances throughout the West.

Flutist Paul Taub brings still more diversity to the concert. Taub has a background in classical music, but his interests and repertoire encompass styles from the Baroque to the avant-garde. He is active in the Seattle contemporary music scene as a soloist and flutist and has performed and recorded premieres with orchestras and chamber ensembles in the U.S. and around the world.

The program also features Santos Neto’s own compositions and music by Brazilian composers including Antônio Carlos Jobim and Pixinguinha.

Featured composer Pascoal was fascinated by natural and urban sounds from an early age, and that immersion comes through in his imaginative, refined compositions and arrangements. He was so prolific that in the 1990s he wrote one composition every single day for a year.

Jobim is known for his graceful, moving melodies and harmonies and for his contributions to the development of bossa nova. Pixinguinha, a virtuoso flutist who had a prominent role in the development of small jazz ensembles in Brazil, was also a master arranger and improviser.

Santos Neto and Taub are frequent collaborators in performances throughout the West. They are also colleagues on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

“Here is your chance to experience one of the most vibrant, joyful, heartfelt and exciting presentations of Brazilian jazz on the scene today,” said local musician and composer Lynette Westendorf, who has collaborated with Santos Neto and Taub and is organizing the concert. “Paul Taub is a true master of tone and technique on the flute, and working in tandem with Jovino’s infections rhythms, this promises an evening of superb music,” she said.

The concert is a benefit for the Methow Valley Education Foundation and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in honor of those injured or killed in last summer’s Twisp River Fire.

The education foundation provides scholarships to local students for post-secondary studies and the firefighter foundation supports firefighters and their families.

Santos Neto and Taub both have connections in the valley and requested to perform a benefit concert. All proceeds go to these two organizations, since all expenses are being donated by Methow Valley community members.

The concert is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available in advance at eventbrite.com and at the door.