A remarkably gifted saxophonist-composer and in-demand session player, Brazilian Sérgio Galvão is a talent worthy of wider recognition beyond his home base in Rio de Janeiro.
Sérgio Galvão is one of the most in demand Brazilian musicians since the mid-1980´s when he moved from his hometown Brasília to Rio de Janeiro. Along the past 30 years, Galvão has toured and recorded with many of the Brazilian colossus such as Rosa Passos, Roberto Menescal, Guinga, Roberto Carlos, Dori Caymmi, Djavan, Ed Motta, Jorge Benjor, Seu Jorge, Leny Andrade, Leila Pinheiro and many others.
His debut album as a solo artist was recorded and released in New York in 2013. The album is a watershed in his career and tells a bit of his path in music as well as his influences by putting together his own compositions with tunes from two of his biggest idols: Moacyr Santos and Baden Powell. Phantom Fish was produced by Brazilian bassist Amanda Ruzza who currently lives in NYC and featured Claudio Roditi, Leni Stern, Chris Stover, Leo Genovese, Aruan Ortiz, Mauricio Zottarelli and Alex Nolan. To complete this work of art, the album was mixed and mastered by the Grammy Awarded Dave Darlington.
This global set of contributors in an environment like New York brought to the album a very peculiar and powerful identity crafted by all the color and passion from the Latin Jazz combined with the robustness and strength from the American Jazz. The album was widely praised by the critics and audience and was shortlisted to the Grammy Awards 2014 in two categories: Best Latin Jazz Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo (for Sérgio’s solo in “Phantom Fish” and Leo Genovese’s solo on “Amphybious”). On the radio, Phantom Fish was played by over 250 stations in the U.S and reached a prime position among the Top 115 albums in 2013.
The following years have been very special for Sérgio Galvão. Consolidating himself as one of the main Brazilian jazz artists in the international scene, Galvão has toured in both East and West coasts in America, through cities like New York, New Jersey, San Francisco, Oakland, Anaheim, and legendary venues as the Blue Note and the Shape Shifter in New York. After his success in the US he explored Europe and Australia and decided to move to France in 2015.
The atmosphere of a new life in France has inspired Sérgio to write new compositions exploring other rhythms such as the manouche and mixing them with his Brazilian background. In 2017 Galvão teamed up with local French musicians (Clement Ladais - bass and Franck Enouff - drums) and a long-time partner from Brazil (Lupa Santiago - guitar) to create a brand new
project : 2x2 in which they showcase this new approach to Brazilian Jazz.
In 2018 the 2X2 recorded an album that was released by the renowned american jazz label ORIGIN, critically acclaimed and who also joined the Grammy Awards list as one of the best albums of the year and allowed Sergio the placement as 6 best tenors sax players of 2018 by JazzStation.
Despite France is his new home Sérgio Galvão didn’t forget his roots and apparently his roots did not forget him. He travels very often to Brazil to perform his show and record as a guest with many of his old friends and his latest show in Rio was as a special invite : he came all the way to Brazil to perform as the opening act for Gregory Porter in a crowded venue with over 1.500 people.
Nearly 30 years in the making, Phantom Fish heralds the arrival of a new saxophone colossus on the international jazz scene.
This bio has been written by Bill Milkowski
Photo credit : Daniel Chiacos - Alberto Locatelli