Hendrik Meurkens Paying Tribute To Toots Thielemans With Jobim’s Voce Vai Ver

by chipboaz on January 24, 2017

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Doing something different in jazz saddles a musician with the extra challenge of rising above the idea of novelty. Whenever people try musical ideas outside the norm, it always grabs our attention – the exotic piques our curiousity and inspires us to listen. We may even continue listening for a while, fascinated by the change of pace and inspired by the musician’s bold move. That’s the novelty piece – paying attention simply because we’re fascinated by something that we’ve never seen before. Keeping our attention over the long haul takes a bit more than simply being different, it requires strong musicianship and a consistent flow of creativity. That’s a bit more difficult than simply being different – that’s a lifetime of work, full of self-reflection, study, and growth. When you combine that continual growth with something new though, you’ve got the potential to change the music for the better.

Toots Thielemans certainly did something different in jazz – bringing the harmonica into the world of jazz improvisation – but one thing was for sure, he was never about novelty. Initially inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt, Thielemans picked up the guitar, which became a second musical skill to his already developed harmonica playing. After traveling to New York in 1948, he got a job playing guitar with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, his first time earning money from music. He followed that gig by working with a number of jazz greats, including Zoot Sims, Miles Davis, George Shearing, Ella Fitzgerald, and more. Throughout his career, his love for jazz was only equaled by his love for Brazilian music, a fascination that he pursued through a number of projects. Albums like The Brasil Project and The Brasil Project, Vol. 2 cemented his connection to Brazilian music and made the harmonica forever associated with Brazilian music. Thielemans passed away in 2016 at the age of 94, but his influence continues through the multitudes of musicians that he touched. Today’s video features one of those musicians, Hendrik Meurkens, paying tribute to Thielemans at the Festival Internacional de Jazz de Punte del Este with a performance of Jobim’s “Você Vai Ver.”

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Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
Poncho Sanchez & Terence Blanchard Pay Tribute To Gillespie & Pozo
The Thrill Of New Discoveries: Chico Pinheiro Performs Boca de Siri
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Exploring Dominican Music & Jazz: Socrates Garcia Latin Jazz Orchestra
Remembering Carlos Averhoff: La Molinaria (Variaciones Sobre La Opera) by Irakere

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