I’m a jazz woodwind player (saxophone, flute, clarinet) and composer, and have been an 802 member since the 1980s. I grew up in California, and the relaxed California vibe might be one of the reasons that I love and identify with Brazilian music and culture. For as long as I’ve been a musician, I have been attracted to Brazilian music, but it was really when I started getting serious about being a composer that my interest really peaked. Brazil has no shortage of talent in the composition department, and I soon discovered that Brazilian music became the focus of my musical interest and passion.
Luckily, New York has a great Brazilian music community, which I was able to tap into. I started performing and writing Brazilian Jazz over 25 years ago, and the latest incarnation of my band, “Laura Dreyer and the Manhattan/Rio Connection,” has performed at clubs and festivals both locally and nationally. My first trip to Brazil, where I performed with pianist Dom Salvador’s sextet at the Copafest in Rio de Janeiro, was life changing.
I have since been made several more trips where I have performed with some of Rio’s top jazz artists, as well as to record an album. The recording, entitled “Vida. Arte. Amor.,” (Mayimba Jazz) is available on Amazon and itunes. I recently produced a live concert for Manhattan Neighborhood Networks featuring myself on woodwinds, Klaus Mueller on keyboard, Itaiguara on bass, and Mauricio Zotterelli on drums. The show can also be seen on Vimeo and Youtube.
Laura Dreyer and the Manhattan/Rio Connection performs original contemporary Brazilian jazz, as well as arrangements of Brazilian jazz classics. Laura's compositions combine catchy, lyrical melodies in a variety of Brazilian styles such as samba, bossa nova, baião, afoxé, maracatu, partido alto, and more. The band will perform at both concert and music venues as well as private events. The quartet can be augmented with vocals and percussion, and will perform both arrangements of Brazilian classics and original music.
Recent performances include: The Sound Room, Oakland, CA, The Montpellier Arts Center, Laurel, MD, The Montavilla Jazz Festival, Portland OR, An Die Musik Live, Baltimore MD, Twins Jazz, Washington DC, Cornelia Street Café, NYC, Zinc Bar, NYC, Triboz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Santo Scenarium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.