The legendary Nilson Matta returns with a new ensemble, including vocalist Claudia Villela

STONINGTON — Opera House Arts is thrilled to return Brazilian jazz to its intimate stage at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, in what has now become an annual classic: “Samba Meets Jazz.” The one-night-only concert features legendary Brazilian bassist and ensemble leader Nilson Matta with a striking new quintet including vocalist Claudia Villela, percussionist Fernando Saci, pianist Matt King and saxophonist Harry Allen.

Matta is a premier Brazilian bassist and composer who has been based in New York City since 1985. He is known for his work with Trio Da Paz, Don Pullen African Brazilian Connection, Joe Henderson, Yo Yo Ma and Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage.

As a child in Rio de Janiero, singer Villela would fall asleep lulled by the music from a samba school that practiced nightly behind her grandparents’ home. Her singing styles range from Brazilian baroque to bossa nova to free jazz, the nostalgic and modern.

Sací’s musical career began at the age of seven when he learned to play the steel pan and tambourine at a small community center in Campinas, Brazil. Over the past 20 years, Sací has participated in numerous shows and recordings and has shared the stage with the likes of Gilberto Gil, Dona Ivone Lara, Leci Brandão, Bule-Bule, and Chico Gomes. His performances range from Afrofunk and jazz fusion to salsa, samba, and Brazilian country.

Premium reserved seating for the concert is $25. For more information, visit www.operahousearts.org or call 207-367-2788.


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