Duduka Da Fonseca Trio: New Samba Jazz Directions

Duduka Da Fonseca’s story is that of a self-taught drummer who started playing at the age of thirteen. His passion lead him from his hometown of Rio de Janeiro to New York where in the 70s he became one of the few musicians who can be credited with the revival of the Brazilian Jazz scene. Over the course of his career he has appeared on over 200 albums and one of his own – Brazilian Trio album “Forests” – was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the “Best Latin Jazz Album” category.

Duduka da Fonseca’s newest album New Samba Jazz Directions is titled as an allusion to his approach to playing the Samba music he loves. “I believe that in Samba or Bossa Nova one can also choose to use the bass drum much more freely,” he writes, “without the obligation of playing the traditional ostinato pattern the whole time, using the bass drum to play syncopated accents as an accompanying voice.” Duduka alternates between the traditional and new more freely played Samba style throughout the album, even on individual songs. “Alana” – available for listening in the sidebar – is a great example of this: the song takes on a “Blue Rondo ala Turk” compositional style, switching between different themes and meters. David Feldman (piano) and Gutto Wirtti (bass) have fantastic chemistry with Duduka, allowing this elastic “New Samba” feel to blossom while staying true to the Samba roots.

Much of the music on New Samba Jazz Directions stays in a softer zone, though there are time when the pace picks up with David Feldman showing his incredible talent on the keys. If you’re a fan of Brazilian jazz then I encourage you to pick up this album. It’s especially pleasant for late night enjoyment.

Album Overview

For decades, Rio de Janeiro-born drummer Duduka Da Fonseca has been hailed as one of the leading drummer/band leaders in Brazilian Samba Jazz, the exciting hybrid of native Brazilian rhythms and American Jazz. “Growing up in Ipanema in the 50s was fantastic,” Duduka recalls. “Its beaches were beautiful and pure. Ipanema was a neighborhood of mostly family homes with very few buildings and cars. We played soccer in the streets and climbed trees. It was peaceful.”

“I was very fortunate that my parents loved good music. I was brought up listening to Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Dorival Caymmi, Luis Bonfá, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and many others.” Duduka began playing the drums at thirteen: “I am self-taught. My way to learn was playing along with the vinyl records of the Brazilian musicians and American Jazz masters.”


Duduka Da Fonseca, drums

Duduka Da Fonseca was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  on March 31st, 1951.  Rio was then enjoying the embryonic stages of Bossa Nova, which would eventually become a global phenomenon. Duduka began playing the drums at thirteen: “I am self-taught.  My way to learn was playing along with the vinyl records of the Brazilian musicians and American Jazz masters.”


David Feldman, piano

David Feldman was born in a family of classical and early-music musicians dedicada a música clássica e barroca. He started very early his musical studies, playing classical piano at the age of four. At that time, he would drive his piano teacher crazy, because he would never stick to what was written on the music sheet, always preferring to show his personal interpretation of the piece.


Guto Wirtti, bass


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