Rockwired.com's ‘Jazzed and Blue' Presents: Jazz Pianist Gilson Schachnik and Drummer Mauricio Zottarello and Their New Musical Project ‘Mozik'
The latest edition of Jazzed and Blue: Profiles in Blues and Jazz is now available for download at Rockwired.com and features an exclusive interview jazz pianist Gilson Schachnik and bassist Mauricio Zottarelli and their new musical project 'Mozik'. In the opening segment Zottarelli and Scachnik discuss the intoxicating Brazilian sounds and rhythms that are evidenced on their self-titled CD, the inspiration behind the original tracks, and aligning themselves with first rate musicians on this oh-so-adventurous musical outing. The second half of this edition of Jazzed and Blue will feature music from such jazz and blues artists as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tracy Nelson, Veronneau, The Dangling Success and more. "Listeners have really taken a liking to the free form segment of the show and quite honestly so have I." says Jazzed and Blue host Brian Lush. "It's a real treat to end a long week with a show like this and to kick back and listen to some great music."
While pianist Gilson Schachnik and drummer Mauricio Zottarelli were both born in the state of Sao Paulo, it wasn't until they landed in Boston that Brazilian music seized their imagination.Reared on hard rock, European classical music, blues, funk and jazz, they independently found their way to Berklee College of Music, earning scholarships to study at the prestigious institution. After swimming in a sea of Brazilianness, moving to the United States provided a sudden, jarring perspective shift, and a reappraisal of their relationship to their musical birthright. Their captivating new album Mozik reflects their deep engagement with Brazilian rhythms and forms, filtered through their love of the early fusion of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. The CD will be released October 28, 2011 on Mozik Records. Recorded in Boston with the support of a faculty grant from Berklee, the album features a fascinating international cast of US-based musicians, including Brazilian guitarist Gustavo Assis-Brasil, Russian flutist Yulia Musayelyan and Argentine bassist Fernando Huergo. The quintet navigates the intricate grooves with such precision and power it sounds like a working ensemble, though some of the musicians had never played together before. "A lot of non-Brazilian musicians who play Brazilian music are obsessed with being authentic," says Schachnik, who wrote most of the album's arrangements. "That's not our goal at all. We're not trying to recreate bossa nova. We want to play with all the information that we've gathered over the years. I grew up listening to Return to Forever and Headhunters."
Born and raised in the Sao Paulo, South America's largest city, Schachnik started playing organ at 11, inspired by his love of Deep Purple and the band's keyboardist John Lord. He broke into the Sao Paulo nightclub scene in his early 20s, and a few years later started accompanying pop singer Patricia Marx and touring with Rosa Maria. A busy studio musician, he also composed jingles for commercials and scores for an award-winning children's television show. In 1990, Schachnik won a scholarship to Berklee, where he graduated with a degree in jazz composition. Since settling in Boston, he's played or recorded with some of the most significant artists in jazz and Brazilian music, including Claudio Roditi, Bill Pierce, Romero Lubambo, Yoron Israel, Jerry Bergonzi, Luciana Souza, Mick Goodrick, John Lockwood, Paulo Braga, Peri Ribeiro, Antonio Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, and Cafe. Schachnik released his critically acclaimed debut CD, Raw in 1998. He has long worked at Berklee as an Associate Professor in the Ear Training department, and is also the accompanist for Wellesley College's jazz choir, Body and Soul.
Mauricio Zottarelli grew up in the town of Rio Claro in the state of Sao Paulo, immersed in music. He earned a degree in computer science in 1997, but his love of music led him to apply for and earn a scholarship to a summer program at Berklee. When he came to Boston in 1999 he thought it was just for a season, but he kept earning new scholarships to study film scoring, arranging, and performance, and by 2002 Zottarelli had graduated from Berklee. With his versatility and wide rhythmic palette Zottarelli has become one of the most sought after drummers on the scene since moving to New York City in 2006. He's toured internationally with Japanese pianist Hiromi's Sonicbloom, while performing and recording with an international array of artists, including Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson, Prasanna, Esperanza Spalding, Keiko Matsui, Richard Bona, Claudio Roditi, Chuck Loeb, Rosa Passos, Jovino Santos Neto, Nilson Matta, Toninho Horta, Filó Machado, Cidinho Teixeira, Marc Rossi Group, Hendrik Meurkens, and Oriente Lopez.
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