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The Music of Paulo Bellinati


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#1 Eugenio

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 10:13 PM

Paulo Bellinati was born in São Paulo in 1950. Over the past 30 years, he's been one of the most active and creative guitarists Brazil has ever genereated and his contribution to the instrument's literature is yet to be measured. Paulo managed to learn music from a wide variety of sources, from classical to Jazz, from raw African percussion to folkloric songs.

The result is a work that's very diversified and rich. He produced and arranged a couple of CDs for some of the most acclaimed Brazilian singers, winning several awards. Paulo also worked as a musicologist and wrote two volumes of pieces written by Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha). Those pieces were recovered from old recordings made by Garoto himself and that were being kept in Ronoel Simões' private collection. This work launched Paulo's carreer as a concertizer and divulged Garoto's music all over the world.

As a composer, he wrote dozens of pieces and some of them became very popular and admired among guitarists. Those pieces are very well written and architected, they are refined and fun to play, with levels of difficulty that go from relatively easy to very hard. One of his compositions, Jongo, won the first prize on the composition contest at the "Carrefour Mondial de la Guitare" in Martinique in 1988. Paulo later wrote multiple versions of the piece for guitar duo and quartet. The version for two guitar was dedicated to the Assad brother and also recorded by John Williams and Timothy Kain.

Here's a video of the guitar duo Silvana Saldaña & Javier Bravo playing Jongo. Notice the use of percussion effects in the music, as well as the creative use of chord progressions and counterpoints. We apologize for the mistakes in the subtitles in the video, we have no control over that.



Now Paulo Bellinati himself playing one of his arrangements of a song by Antonio Carlos Jobim: Surfboard. That was part of a project where he arranged 12 of Jobim's songs for the solo guitar.



The last piece is an excerpt of Paulo Bellinati playing Desvairada, a fast-paced waltz originally written by Garoto, which requires a lot of virtuosism from the performer.




Related links:
Bellinati's official web site: http://www.bellinati.com
Bruce Gilman interviews Paulo Bellinati: http://www.brazil-br...om/musmay98.htm

#2 Julian J. Ludwig

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:27 AM

Link relacionado com vídeos: http://brazilianguit...p?showtopic=117

#3 Eugenio

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 04:18 PM

There's a new CD by Paulo Bellinati coming out this year, to be released by GSP anytime. He plays arrangements of Brazilian standards.

#4 Kristi_Shannon

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 08:19 PM

I've only got 1 CD by Paulo Bellinati, "Afro-Sambas", but what a CD it is!

After having listened to Baden Powell's own versions of songs from "Afro-Sambas" recently, it seems to me that Paulo Bellinati has an incredible gift for harmony and counterpoint; he really dresses up basic melodies in such a tasteful way. I mean, he really puts his individual stamp on every one of those tracks and makes a single guitar sound like an orchestra. I didn't realize how much of his own creativity and genius was being displayed until I heard the original Baden Powell recordings(which are also wonderful but completely different stylistically...more impressionistic or minimalist compared to Bellinati's versions which are harmonically lush). Of course, I haven't heard enough other guitarists to compare but I do think he's pretty special. smile.gif

#5 Eugenio

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 03:15 PM

Baden's recording, especially the original one, made in the 1960's, is very raw, crude and even messed up masterpiece.

Paulo Bellinati made the opposite, creating highly refined and sophisticated arrangements. Both are very interesting, although I tend to prefer Baden's version.

#6 Kristi_Shannon

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:19 PM

Hmmm...I am sad to hear that Bellinati suffers from focal distonia ( I just read this in the Portuguese forum)...I can't imagine how difficult it must be to adjust to something like this. sad.gif

If I understood correctly, it seems he has adjusted by changing his style of playing, and is now playing electric guitar with a pick?

#7 Eugenio

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:28 PM

He's playing mostly acoustic and didn't abandon the nylon strings. As a matter of fact, he worked around the dystonia and simply reinvented his technique. He keeps writing arrangements and performing. He .

His next concert in Jan 29th will be a trio of guitars, where he plays the traditional seresta guitar along with another musician on the 7-string and one more guy on the 6-string.

#8 Kristi_Shannon

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:44 PM


Ahhh....that's good. If he ever comes to Los Angeles that would definitely be worth the drive for me...I once flew out to San Francisco a couple of years ago just to see Joao Gilberto play(a once in a lifetime pilgrimage, really), so I'm crazy enough to do that type of thing! tongue.gif

I guess the bad news is I need to improve my Portuguese a bit more(it seems like I totally misunderstood the postings)! smile.gif



#9 Eugenio

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:11 PM

As a matter of fact, he's going to California with singer Monica Salmaso in April. I'll check the dates and let you know!

#10 fdoucette

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 03:20 PM

Hi Eugenio,

Yes! Please do let us know when Paulo and Monica will be out here.

Kristi, I've probably run into you at concerts and not known it. I live in LA near Glendale. Let me know when and where your next open mic would be. I'd love to get out and hear you.

Take care!

--Frank