Photo by Mary Jindra
If there is any certainty to life in the modern world, it’s that we are all everywhere.
From Miami to New York and Minnesota, people from around the world are making their presence known, and embracing each other’s experiences.
That’s particularly true in music, where the blues, jazz and hip-hop — all largely African-American inventions — have international audiences and practitioners.
Such is the dynamic that a few decades ago inspired Pavey Jany, then a young guitarist in the Czech Republic, to embark on a musical journey that would lead him to Brazilian jazz, fusion and bossa nova – genres he now explores in the Twin Cities.
“What I’ve found in Brazilian music was everything that I really wanted to include in my guitar playing,” said Jany, who leads Trio Bossa Nova and a larger fusion group called Ticket To Brazil. “All of the sudden there was this door that opened to the world which was so rich for me in which I could apply everything I loved: classical music, fusion and jazz.
“Brazilian guitar music was really the perfect music for me. I think it was a springboard for me.”
Trio Bossa Nova performs at 8 p.m. tonight at Café 318 in Excelsior, Minn. Joining Jany on stage will be percussionist and vocalist Lidia Berman, a native of Honduras, and Andrew Foreman, one of the Twin Cities’ best bassists.
The small setting allows the three musicians to focus on the intimacy of bossa nova standards that Jany first heard as a young man, beautiful songs from Brazilian guitarists Bola Sete, Baden Powell and Luiz Bonfa. He is also inspired by contemporary artists Egberto Gismonti and Raphael Rabello.
Jany, who studied classical guitar in his homeland, discovered Brazil’s musicians after spending three years in the West African country of Gabon, a former French colony. He learned of the African roots of Brazilian music and how they were transported to the western hemisphere by African slaves.
“I had a chance to play with African musicians,” Jany said. “That bridge between Brazilian guitar music and west African music ended up in one pot with Brazilian fusion.”
Although none of the trio’s musicians are from Brazil, Jany said they have adopted its musical culture and made it part of their lives.
“We are Brazilians in our hearts,” he said.