Chicago’s self-described “Brazilian Jazz Guy,” Luciano Antonio, took a field trip to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, on Jan 11. Antonio was invited by Nikki Whittaker Malley, instructor in music and director of the jazz program at Knox, to participate in the first Knox Winter Jazz Series — an educational and performance project that aims to showcase innovative voices in jazz from global perspectives.
“We were thrilled to bring Luciano Antonio to Knox for an educational workshop on samba percussion and for a performance by the Luciano Antonio Quartet,” said Malley in an email. “I have long had an interest in Brazilian musics and teach a unit on samba in my Music of the African Diaspora course, so the quartet’s performance was a fantastic way to connect our students’ academic work with live performance. The samba workshop was a joy: children, parents, and college students interacted in a rich educational experience that allowed everyone to learn about samba percussion through first-hand performance. The evening concert was outstanding — an exciting blend of traditional Brazilian styles and original compositions.”
Antonio, who has performed and held workshops at several colleges across the Midwest, said he and bandmates Jack Zara (bass), Neal Alger (Guitar) and Heitor Garcia (drums) were thankful for the chance to bring a piece of Brazilian culture to Western Illinois, and were particularly happy with the warm reception by the audience of about 300 at the concert. “It was fantastic, a 1 1/2 hour concert with a riveted audience,” he said. “You could hear a pin drop.”
Check out these shots of the workshop and performance by Michelle Orr of The Knox Student newspaper.