The Group: SF Bay Area musicians who have played together in various Brazilian and jazz groups for over 20 years.
The Players: Peter Spitzer, tenor sax and clarinet; Jim Witzel, guitar; João Neves, percussion and flute; and special guest Rich Kuhns, keyboards.
The Music: Four classic Brazilian tunes (Jobim's "Two Kites" and "Wave", Herivelto Martins' "Segredo", and Geraldo Pereira's "Sem Compromisso"), along with seven originals by Peter and João. Styles include bossa, samba, marchinha, bolero, samba-cancão, and jazz choro. Played with a jazz interpretation and a great group rapport.
João Neves (percussion, flute) was born in Bahia and grew up in Rio de Janeiro and Santos. He began his musical career playing with his high school marching band and jamming at parties. João came to the United States to attend Yale, where he studied flute with Salvatore Amato. After moving to California he became active with the Bay Area's Brazilian music scene. He is currently jazz coordinator at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, California.
Peter Spitzer (tenor sax, clarinet) has performed throughout the Western US in a wide range of musical settings, and played for many years with Bira Almeida's group Corpo Santo, a pioneering band in the Bay Area's Brazilian scene. Peter has an MA in Jazz Studies, and studied with Joe Henderson and Eddy Flenner. Author of the "Jazz Theory Handbook" and several other music books for Mel Bay Publications.
Jim Witzel (guitar) has recorded with Ernie Watts, John Pattitucci, and John Abercrombie. He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and toured in Europe and China. Jim currently teaches at San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University, as well as privately. Jazz Times magazine has called him "a greatly gifted young player whose musical instincts are fresh, free, and flowing."
Rich Kuhns (keyboards) has played and/or recorded with Steve Erquiaga, Claudia Villela, Richie Cole, and Harry Belafonte, and has contributed to soundtracks for Merchant/Ivory films and others. We have known and performed with Rich for many years, and are honored to have his help on this project! (Rich plays all the bass parts too, in real time.)
We enjoy performing live, and are available for gigs in the SF Bay Area. Contact us with the link at the left.