Franco, Guilherme

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Franco, Guilherme

Franco, Guilherme, jazz percussionist, drummer;b. Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 25, 1946. He had begun dabbling with the piano when, as a 13-year-old, he became inspired to study with a drummer he saw at a party during Carnival. Practicing 14 hours a day, he managed to squeeze in time for club dates, television performances, studio recordings, and even appearances with the national symphony orchestra. In 1971, answering an invitation from some musician friends, he moved to N.Y. and within a week, he had been asked to join Keith Jarrett’s ensemble. After a year with Jarrett, he began a seven-year affiliation with McCoy Tyner. In 1978, Guilherme Franco was ranked second overall jazz percussionist in both the Down Beat Reader’s and Critic’s polls, and in 1979, the “New York Jazz Award” named him as the Best Jazz Percussionist in the tri-state area. In 1981 he formed Pe De Boi (literally in Portuguese “foot of ox,” but meaning as steady as an ox), comprised of seven drummers and two dancers. It was the featured band at the opening night in 1982 of S.O.B/s (Sounds of Brazil). In 1996 he co- founded Nova Bossa Nova with Brazilian bassist Alberto Beserra, who lives in Japan and whom he met there while with Tyner in 1975.

Discography

Jazz Influence (1987); Pe De Boi (1989).

—Lewis Porter