Baden Powell (Roberto Baden Powell de Aquino) was a brilliant Brazilian guitarist who merged classical, American jazz, and popular music with Brazilian rhythms. Born in 1937, in Varre-e-Sai, a small town in the interior of the state of Rio, his family was descended from slaves, his grandfather organized the first black orchestra in the region, and his father played the guitar at home.
The family moved to Rio de Janeiro when Baden was still young and he began to play classical guitar at the age of six; his father sent him to study classical music at the Rio conservatory, and by the age of 15 he was playing professionally.
Baden Powell was a pioneer of the "bossa nova" sound. African rhythms and ritual were fundamental influences in Baden's work, while he was also influenced by classical composers such as Villa-Lobos, Bach, and Scarlatti, Brazilian samba, "choros," American jazz and blues, and popular music. He composed more than 50 songs in partnership with the diplomat and poet Vinicius de Moraes, one of the great names of the bossa nova period. With Baden writing the music, Moraes the lyrics, together they fused samba with Afro-Brazilian forms such as candomblé, umbanda, and capoeira, creating many of the classics of Brazilian bossa nova and popular music.
Baden Powell composed nearly 500 pieces with his unique blend of samba, jazz and classical influences.
This master class will explore popular and lesser-known guitar music of Baden Powell, along with a discussion of his influences, in particular the Afro-Brazilian cultural influences on his compositions and performances.
Compositions by Baden Powell, unless noted.
Berceuse a Jussara
Manhã de Carnaval (Morning of the Carnival) - Luis Bonfá
Asa Branca - Luiz Gonzaga
Canto de Ossanha
Serenata de Adeus
Canto de Xango