João had something priceless to offer the world.
But he was impossible for the world to find.
João do Boi

Royalty work in NYC for
Aretha Franklin, Gilberto Gil
Mongo Santamaria, Airto Moreira
Astrud Gilberto, Barbra Streisand
Led Zeppelin, Philip Glass
Carlinhos Brown, Richie Havens
Jim Hall, Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)
Ray Barretto, Wah Wah Watson
The Cadillacs, The Flamingos...
I built this matrix beginning with João do Boi.
[email protected]


"I am thrilled to receive your email! Thank you for including me in this wonderful matrix."
Susan Rogers

Personal recording engineer: Prince, Paisley Park Recording Studio
Director: Music Perception & Cognition Laboratory, Berklee College of Music
Author: This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You

from Brazil, with love
THE MISSION: Beginning with the atavistic genius of the Recôncavo (per the bottom of this page) & the great sertão (the backlands of Brazil's nordeste) — make artists across Brazil — and around the world — discoverable as they never were before.

HOW: Integrate them into a vast matrixed ecosystem together with musicians, writers, filmmakers, painters, choreographers, fashion designers, educators, chefs et al from all over the planet (are you in this ecosystem?) such that these artists all tend to be connected to each other via short, discoverable, accessible pathways. Q.E.D.

"Matrixado! Laroyê!"
✅—Founding Member Darius Mans
Economist, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
✅—Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
President of Brazil

The matrix was created in Salvador's Centro Histórico, where Bule Bule below, among first-generation matrixed colleagues, sings "Chegou a hora dessa gente bronzeada mostrar seu valor... The time has come for these bronzed people to show their worth..."

Music & lyrics (Brasil Pandeiro) by Assis Valente of Santo Amaro, Bahia, Brazil. Video by Betão Aguiar of Salvador.

...the endeavor motivated in the first instance by the fact that in common with most cultures around our planet, the preponderance of Brazil's vast cultural treasure has been impossible to find from outside of circumscribed regions, including Brazil itself...

Thus something new under the tropical sun: Open curation beginning with Brazilian musicians recommending other Brazilian musicians and moving on around the globe...

Where by the seemingly magical mathematics of the small world phenomenon, and in the same way that most human beings are within some six or so steps of most others, all in the matrix tend to proximity to all others...

The difference being that in the matrix, these steps are along pathways that can be travelled. The creative world becomes a neighborhood. Quincy Jones is right up the street and Branford Marsalis around the corner. And the most far-flung genius you've never heard of is just a few doors down. Maybe even in Brazil.

"Many thanks for this - I am  touched!"
✅—Julian Lloyd Webber
That most fabled cellist in the United Kingdom (and Brazilian music fan)

"I'm truly thankful... Sohlangana ngokuzayo :)"
Nduduzo Makhathini
Blue Note recording artist

"Thanks, this is a brilliant idea!!"
Alicia Svigals
Founder of The Klezmatics

"This is super impressive work ! Congratulations ! Thanks for including me :)))"
Clarice Assad
Compositions recorded by Yo Yo Ma and played by orchestras around the world

"Thank you"
(Banch Abegaze, manager)
Kamasi Washington


Bahia is a hot cauldron of rhythms and musical styles, but one particular style here is so utterly essential, so utterly fundamental not only to Bahian music specifically but to Brazilian music in general — occupying a place here analogous to that of the blues in the United States — that it deserves singling out. It is derived from (or some say brother to) the cabila rhythm of candomblé angola… …and it is called…

Samba Chula / Samba de Roda

Mother of Samba… daughter of destiny carried to Bahia by Bantus ensconced within the holds of negreiros entering the great Bahia de Todos os Santos (the term referring both to a dance and to the style of music which evolved to accompany that dance; the official orthography of “Bahia” — in the sense of “bay” — has since been changed to “Baía”)… evolved on the sugarcane plantations of the Recôncavo (that fertile area around the bay, the concave shape of which gave rise to the region’s name) — in the vicinity of towns like Cachoeira and Santo Amaro, Santiago do Iguape and Acupe. This proto-samba has unfortunately fallen into the wayside of hard to find and hear…

There’s a lot of spectacle in Bahia…

Carnival with its trio elétricos — sound-trucks with musicians on top — looking like interstellar semi-trailers back from the future…shows of MPB (música popular brasileira) in Salvador’s Teatro Castro Alves (biggest stage in South America!) with full production value, the audience seated (as always in modern theaters) like Easter Island statues…

…glamour, glitz, money, power and press agents…

And then there’s where it all came from…the far side of the bay, a land of subsistence farmers and fishermen, many of the older people unable to read or write…their sambas the precursor to all this, without which none of the above would exist, their melodies — when not created by themselves — the inventions of people like them but now forgotten (as most of these people will be within a couple of generations or so of their passing), their rhythms a constant state of inconstancy and flux, played in a manner unlike (most) any group of musicians north of the Tropic of Cancer…making the metronome-like sledgehammering of the Hit Parade of the past several decades almost wincefully painful to listen to after one’s ears have become accustomed to evershifting rhythms played like the aurora borealis looks…

So there’s the spectacle, and there’s the spectacular, and more often than not the latter is found far afield from the former, among the poor folk in the villages and the backlands, the humble and the honest, people who can say more (like an old delta bluesman playing a beat-up guitar on a sagging back porch) with a pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine) and a chula (a shouted/sung “folksong”) than most with whatever technology and support money can buy. The heart of this matter, is out there. If you ask me anyway.

Above, the incomparable João do Boi, chuleiro, recently deceased.



Why Brazil?


Brazil is not a European nation. It's not a North American nation. It's not an East Asian nation. It straddles — jungle and desert and dense urban centers — both the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn.


Brazil absorbed over ten times the number of enslaved Africans taken to the United States of America, and is a repository of African deities (and their music) now largely forgotten in their lands of origin.


Brazil was a refuge (of sorts) for Sephardim fleeing an Inquisition which followed them across the Atlantic (that unofficial symbol of Brazil's national music — the pandeiro — the hand drum in the opening scene above — was almost certainly brought to Brazil by these people).


Across the parched savannas of the interior of Brazil's culturally fecund nordeste/northeast, where wizard Hermeto Pascoal was born in Lagoa da Canoa (Lagoon of the Canoe) and raised in Olho d'Águia (Eye of the Eagle), much of Brazil's aboriginal population was absorbed into a caboclo/quilombola culture punctuated by the Star of David.


Three cultures — from three continents — running for their lives, their confluence forming a scintillatingly unprecedented fourth. Pandeirista on the roof.


Nowhere else but here. Brazil itself is a matrix.