Viva América! Or better, Americas, in plural, because there are many and not only one.
Joined by love and curiosity over the diverse musical universe of Latin America, Fuensanta Méndez, Gabriel Milliet, Pedro Ivo Ferreira and Gianfranco Mascayano perform to celebrate and honour their roots and ancestry, to share and enjoy the groovy rhythms, the strength of the people translated into sometimes subtle sometimes sharp poetry, the multiethnic aspect of the continent so clear in its music.
Classic songs from Brasil, Mexico, Chile can be expected, but also hidden pearls from this infinite repertoire.
Fuensanta Méndez (Vocal – Double Bass)
Gabriel Milliet (Vocal – Guitar – Flute)
Gianfranco Mascayano (Guitar)
Pedro Ivo Ferreira (Double Bass)
Singer, bassist and composer Fuensanta Méndez was born and raised in the water forest of Veracruz (México) to an artistic family. She grew up surrounded by traditional Latin-American and contemporary European music, books, dance, and theater. At thirteen she decided to be a singer and began studying and performing jazz, at fifteen she started writing poetry. Méndez moved to the Netherlands to study at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, from which she graduated summa cum laude in 2019. She debuted her compositions at the Prinses Christina Jazz Concours in 2016, and was awarded the 1st place and press prize, as well as an invitation to perform with her quintet at North Sea Jazz 2017. This became a springboard to perform regularly around Europe and Mexico as a bandleader, sidewoman and solo artist in various situations related to improvised music. Fuensanta was granted Jóvenes Creadores 2019 from FONCA, a national award for young composers in Mexico.
Her current projects are her own Ensamble Grande (large ensemble) and solo performance, the co-lead trio with Alistair Payne and José Soares, as well as the Teis Semey XL and Brodie Jarvie Quintet, amongst others
Gabriel Milliet is a multifaceted artist born and raised in São Paulo, a beautiful and energetic concrete jungle in Brasil. As a performer he focus his work in the diversity and richness of the Brazilian songwriting tradition, and as a producer/composer he has made music for short and feature films, TV series and orchestral ensembles. Among his work there is the music for the short film Porfotto (2019, Edson Da Conceição, produced by De Nederlandse Filmacademie), three albums released with the groups Memórias de Um Caramujo and Grand Bazaar (both in São Paulo, Brazil), and the collaboration with the music creative team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Cerimonies.
Amsterdam based guitarist Gianfranco Mascayano was born in Valparaiso / Chile and raised in Sweden from the age of one. This gave him the opportunity to grow up surrounded by a sea of cultures and musical identities. Gian began playing Latin-American music / classical guitar at early age and soon gravitated towards Jazz and other improvised music.
After graduating high school, Gian start playing, recording and touring with bands and genres including but not limited to Jazz/Latin/ HipHop/Pop/Soul/Afrobeat. He was simultaneously traveling the world, playing on some of the most prestigious Cruise Ships. At this time Gianfranco was also awarded the 1st price in the competition “Universal Guitarist”, judged by Swedish jazz guitar virtuoso Andreas Öberg.
After intense traveling, Gian decided to take his educational experience to the next level by studying music in Sweden, Spain, England and the Netherlands at the prestigious Conservatorium Van Amsterdam where he graduated in 2017. With a baggage of musical and cultural experiences, Gianfranco is currently based in Amsterdam actively performing around Europe; currently leading and composing for his own quartet.
Pedro Ivo Ferreira
Born in Juiz de Fora (Brazil), Pedro began to learn bass at 15 in local bands. At the age of 21, he moved to Sao Paulo to study music and double bass. He then played a lot of jazz and Brazilian music and recorded and co wrote his first album with the quartet “In bloco”. He moved to Paris in 2012 and entered the Paris conservatory. During his time in France, he worked with Anissa Bensalah, Catherine Falagyrac and Alexandre Gismonti. After graduating at the regional conservatory, he decided to pursue his studies in Amsterdam where he started new musical projects such as the trio “Canvas” and his “Noneto Desconcertante”.