Dircect from Brazil: AMILTON GODOY and LÉA FREIRE

PLease join us on Saturday, Nov. 18 When Avonova presents  Dircect from Brazil: AMILTON GODOY and LÉA FREIRE.  These fine Brazilian musicians will be joined by locals Harvey Wainapel, Jane Lenoir and Ricardo Peixoto.  The show starts at 8 PM and the admission is set at $20 – $25 sliding scale. Doors open at 7:15.

This swinging instrumental duo is making a rare visit to the USA. They represent the best of their respective generations. Their delightful original compositions bridge the gap between beloved Brazilian styles (such as samba and choro) and modern chamber music. (Tonight, together with their dear friends, they will create a mix-and-match of solos, duos, trios, quartets, and quintets, celebrating the great music of Brazil!)


Pianist Amilton Godoy has influenced Brazilian instrumental music  and musicians ever since he founded the Zimbo Trio in 1964, one of the  first “Brazilian jazz” trios; this group has made 51 recordings and performed in over 40 countries. At 76 years young, Amilton continues to play with the energy of a teenager (a very experienced one!).


Flutist/pianist Léa Freire is also a major figure on the scene, having created award-winning groups, compositions for orchestras, and a highly-respected record label based in São Paulo, which has produced 50 releases over the past 20 years. She is one of Brazil’s most prolific and creative composers.


Founder of the Berkeley Choro Ensemble, flutist JANE LENOIR has performed with symphony orchestras, new music ensembles, chamber and early music groups, as well as jazz, latin and Brazilian artists such as Paulo Sergio Santos, Rogério Souza, Caio Marcio Dos Santos, Netinho Albuquerque, and Alessandro Penezzi.

Originally from Rio de Janeiro, RICARDO PEIXOTO came to the US on a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and subsequently settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ricardo has recorded, performed, and collaborated with, among others, Claudia Villela, Flora Purim and Airto, Bud Shank, Sivuca, Claudio Roditi, Raul de Souza, Toots Thielemans, Guinga, and Dori Caymmi.


Harvey Wainapel has toured internationally with Ray Charles, Joe Lovano, and Airto Moreira & Flora Purim. Wainapel’s deep connection with Brazilian music has also resulted in performances with such masters as Guinga, Jovino Santos Neto, Spok, Filó Machado and Paulo Bellinati. To date Harvey has presented his work in clubs, festivals and studios in 22 countries.

The Deep Brain Stimulators

Please join us on Saturday October 14 when Avonova presents the poetry and spoken word program The Deep Brain Stimulators.  The show begins st 7:30 and the admission is set at $ 10 – $20 sliding scale.  Doors open at 6:45

The poets Mare’ Simonet and Gary Turchin collaborate as THE DEEP BRAIN STIMULATORS.  The two artists have survived a combined 29 years living with Parkinson’s disease.  They have stated that while they are not the disease, they are uable to separate from it completely.  Turchin has won many local awards, and Simonet delares that the muse visited her the evening she was born and placed a  paint brush and pen in her chubby left hand.

Join us for a delightful peek at the humor, magic and wisdom that assists them in navigating through life with a neurological disability.

Claudia Villela and Vitor Gonçalves

Please join us on Saturday September 30 when Avonova presents the return of  Claudia Villela and Vitor Gonçalves.  The performance starts at 8 PM and the admission is set at $25.  Doors open at 7:15.  You may have other opportunities to see these amazing musicians, but at Avonova you are practically on the stage with  the artists.  RSVP here to ensure your seats…Claudia and Vitor typically sell out houses wherever they appear.  I expect another dazzling performance.

Vocalist, multi-instrumentizt and composer Claudia Villela‘s talent for musical exploration knows no limits. Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, she absorbed the sounds of Brasil all around her: Samba, Bossa Nova, Partido Alto, Choro, Baiao, Maracatu, as well as influences of music from all over the world, Jazz, from traditional to classical to avant garde. For Villela, music is a spiritual exercise to be embraced openly, without premeditation, in a search for inspiration and spontaneity. Her compositions and vocal improvisations encompass the full range of human emotion, sometimes dramatic, sometimes humorous, but always fascinating. Jazz Times magazine has described her as “a female Bobby McFerrin”.

Music bursting with flavors from Brazil’s richest heritage of rhythms and moods, Claudia Villela’s  performances, compositions and improvisations earn rave reviews from critics and spellbound audiences all over. Both nostalgic and contemporary, her sensual music transcends its language, exploding in creativity, intelligence and depth.

Vitor Gonçalves is a pianist, accordionist, composer and arranger, also from Rio de Janeiro. After an illustrious career as an in demand musician in Brazil, playing with such icons as Hermeto Pascoal, Maria Bethânia, Itiberê Zwarg, and many others, he made the move to New York City, where he currently resides.  Since coming to the U.S. in 2012, he has garnered much acclaim and built an impressive resume, including features in NPR’s Jazz Night in America, hosted by Christian McBride, The New York Times, and Fox News. A frequent resident on the stages of Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Jazz Standard, and the Jazz Gallery, he both leads his own projects, and collaborates with figures in the New York scene such as Anat Cohen, Vinícius Cantuária, Kate McGarry, Anthony Wilson, John Zorn, Cyro Baptista, and many others.

Artist Links

Poetry/Jazz interface

Please join us on Saturday September 9th at 7 pm when Avonova  presents David Erdreich’s fifth annual Poetry/Jazz interface.  The admission is set @ $20; Strawberry Creek Lodge seniors $10; all  previous artist participants are invited for free, donations welcome.  Three poets with improvised musical accompaniment.  Poets include Dr. Lige Dailey, Tureeda Mikell, and Clara Hsu.  Jazz musicians include  fabulous Marcus Shelby on bass, formidable Dylan Vado on Vibes, effervescent Shanna Carlson on piano, scintillating Jeff Weinmann on drums, leader/alto sax/singer David Erdreich, Mark Stikman singer, sound engineer. Women singers/Cloudettes Deena Levy, Patti Paul, Catherine De Cuir, and Suzanne Fox.

Duo Violao Brazil with Rebecca Kleinmann and Ami Molinelli

Please join us on Friday August 25 when Avonova hosts Duo Violao Brazil with Rebecca Kleinmann and Ami molinelli.  The show starts at 8 PM and admission is $20 general, –  $15 Students.  The program will be An evening of Brazilian Choro and Samba with guitarists Rogerio Souza and Edinho Gerber, percussionist Ami Molinelli and flutist/singer Rebecca Kleinmann.

Anton Schwartz and Josh Nelson in concert

Please join us on Friday July 14 when local saxophone treasure Anton Schwartz teams up with SoCal piano phenom Josh Nelson as a jazz duo,  The show starts at 8 PM and the admission is set at $15 – $20 sliding scale.

Anton Schwartz, a Bay Area favorite now based in Seattle, has earned a national name for his big tone and his smart and soulful compositions and improvisations. Over the past two decades Schwartz has performed at jazz’s most prestigious clubs and festivals, from the Blue Note in New York City and Yoshi’s in Oakland to Washington D.C.’s Blues Alley and the Monterey Jazz Festival. His recent performances include a feature as soloist with the Boston Pops in Symphony Hall and two sold out shows at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Each of his five CDs as a leader has drawn sterling reviews and strong airplay; his most recent release Flash Mob earned a four star DownBeat review and a long run on the jazz radio Top 10 chart.  “Warm, generous tone, impeccably developed solos and infectious performance energy.” –San Francisco Chronicle.

 PIanist Josh Nelson, based in Los Angeles, has performed extensively with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Natalie Cole, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Dave Koz, Seamus Blake, Sara Gazarek, Jack Sheldon and Tom Scott. Josh has recorded on countless albums, films, and television, and has released five acclaimed CDs of his own. “There’s a lightness in Nelson’s touch reminiscent of Red Garland, an Oscar Peterson dazzle to his technique.” –Jazz Times Magazine.

Harvey Wainapel & Alegritude

Please join us on Sunday June 4 when Avonova presents the Brazilian ensemble Alegritude. The show starts at 3 PM and the donation is a $15-$20 sliding scale.

The group ALEGRITUDE was born out of saxophonist/clarinetist Harvey Wainapel’s desire to share the joy and beauty of music he has discovered in over a decade of months-long stays in Brazil; besides well-known rhythms such as samba and bossa nova, ALEGRITUDE presents other fresh aspects of Brazilian jazz, based on folkloric genres of that country, so rich and varied in its musical traditions. This exciting group has performed at Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Stanford University, and the San Jose Jazz Festival, among other venues.

HARVEY WAINAPEL (pronounced wine-apple) has performed with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Joe Henderson, and Johnny Coles. His heavy involvement with the music of Brazil has led to performances with top level musicians such as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Dori Caymmi, Guinga, Paulo Bellinati, Nelson Ayres, and Jovino Santos Neto. Besides working with these and numerous other leaders, Harvey has toured extensively under his own name, and has performed in 22 countries.

Guitarist/composer/arranger JEFF BUENZ has performed and/or recorded with Viva Brasil, Toninho Horta, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Stanley Turrentine, and Rebecca Mauleon. Electric bassist SCOTT THOMPSON’s performance credits include Chico Pinheiro, Marcos Silva, Omar Sosa, Toninho Horta, and Jovino Santos Neto. Brazilian native CELSO ALBERTI has been living in the USA since 1982. He has drummed for such greats as Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Herbie Mann, Joyce Cooling, and Steve Winwood.

Brazil’s major daily newspaper O GLOBO, reviewing a live performance in Rio de Janeiro, writes “Wainapel displayed incredible intimacy with the language of Brazilian music and great stage presence.”

Brazilian icon IVAN LINS says “Harvey is amazing; he undersands Brazilian music in a way that’s very unusual, maybe because he loves it so much. He’s got the spirit. He’s a great musician

Alegritude is thrilled and honored to be joined for this concert by a fantastic Brazilian pianist/composer FELIPE SENNA is briefly passing through the area; he has arranged (and will perform) a Choro Suite for the Echo Chamber Orchestra, featuring the Berkeley Choro Ensemble (that concert will take place on Sunday, June 11)



Ricardo Peixoto and Duo Violao

Please join us on Saturday, March 18 when Avonova presen  Ricardo Peixoto and Duo Violao ts Brasil.  The show starts at 8 PM and the admission is $20.  Doors open at  7:15 PM.

Bay Area-based Brazilian guitarist Ricardo Peixoto returns to Avonova alongside Rio de Janeiro-based guitarists Rogério Souza and Edinho Gerber  (Duo Violão Brasil). The trio will be performing new arrangements of music by Pixinguinha and Radamés Gnattali as well as original compositions, and well traditional popular Brazilian music repertoire.

Duo Violão Brasil

A master of 6- and 7-string guitars, Rogério Souza is one of the foremost representatives of music from Rio de Janeiro. He has worked as musical director and producer with a multitude of world-class Brazilian musicians, including Baden Powell, Paulinho da Viola, Sivuca, Ney Matogrosso, Altamiro Carrilho, João Bosco, Paulo Moura, Ivan Lins, Guinga, and Turíbio Santos. Rogério performs regularly throughout Latin America, the United States, Europe, and Asia.


The son of a Brazilian mother and an American father, guitarist/composer Edinho Gerber possesses a rich musical vocabulary developed in the two countries. Navigating effortlessly between the genres of choro, jazz, samba, and blues, he is always in search of the intersection points within his dual cultural identity. A staple in the Chicago music scene for many years he currently resides and performs regularly in Rio de Janeiro.


Goulderlocks and the Bears

Please join us on Saturday December 3 when Avonova presents the Return of Goulderlocks and the Bears.  The show starts at 8 PM and the admission is set at $15.

New on the scene, the singer/songwriters of this trio are hardly newcomers. Longtime East Bay musicians Lisa Goulder, Pete Elman and Michael DeWall have combined their talents to create a healthy mix of originals and carefully chosen covers. Pianist/vocalist Goulder has released solo albums and had her songs performed by many artists, including Bobby McFerrin. Elman, a producer/writer veteran of the rock and roll wars, contributes bass, piano and a wealth of experience. Guitarist/vocalist DeWall spent his formative years in Argentina and brings a Latin feel to the group. Featuring rich harmonies and accessible pop-oriented songs, their eclectic-acoustic repertoire is sure to delight audiences. Together they form Goulderlocks and the Bears

Ted Falcon & Eduardo Souza, with Ami Mollinelli

Please join us on Saturday November 5, 2016 when Avonova presents Ted Falcon & Eduardo Souza, with Ami Mollinelli and their choro band.  The show starts at 8 pm and the admissions is $15-20 sliding scale..  Doors open at 7:15

US born Violinist, mandolinist, teacher and composer Ted Falcon grew up listening to jazz and the Brazilian music of Villa-Lobos, Tom Jobim and Luiz Bonfá. He has lived and worked as a professional musician in New York City, Los Angeles and São Paulo, and for the past 7 years, he has lived in Brasília, the capital of Brazil.

Ted has written several books about Brazilian choro music for the Escola de Choro Raphael Rabello, (Clube do Choro) the nation’s most respected choro school. He performs regularly throughout Brazil with various music projects including Jambrosia, Trio Oblivion, Gypsy Jazz Club, Kervansarai, and the duo Ted and Pablo, with harmonica player Pablo Fagundes. He has performed with Hermeto Pascoal, Dominguinhos, Armandinho Macêdo, Thiago Espirito Santo, Hamilton de Holanda and many other incredible Brazilian musicians. In the U.S., he has performed along side of David Grisman and Mike Marshall and has recorded with Suzanne Vega and Ben E. King. Ted is one of the few innovators on the violin, an instrument rarely used in Brazilian popular music.

In 2014, Ted released his 7th CD called Retratos Abstratos, with virtuoso guitarist Felix Junior. that featured many of his original songs and abstract paintings. This year, Ted will teach at the Centrum Choro Workshop in Port Townsend, WA with the choro group Trio Brasilieiro and Anat Cohen.

Eduardo Souza, Brazil, performs with the choro group Folha Seca as well as with Tiago Tunes, Sérgio Morais and Ted Falcon. He leads his own samba trio where he sings original compositions and plays guitar. His musical influences include great Brazilian artists such as Chico Buarque, Villa-Lobos, Dilermando Reis, Adoniran Barbosa as well as artists from other styles and nationalities ~ Manu Chao, Piazzolla, Bach, Flaming Lips, Camarón de la Isla.  Eduardo is the guitarist in the group Gypsy Jazz Club, in Brasilia.

Ami Mollinelli is a first-call Bay Area percussionist, accompanying the best of the Brazilian players who come to town.  She is s founding member of  Grupo Falso Baiano whose choro music delights audiences everywhere on the West  Coast and beyond.  Her resume of performing, teaching and recording is extensive.