From the slums of Recife in north-eastern Brazil to an international jazz icon, Amaro Freitas has worked tirelessly to become the artist he is today. Already with his debut album Sangue Negro (2016), he was immediately acclaimed by the press and gained international attention for "an approach to the keyboard so unique that it astounds" (Downbeat). Following his second album Rasif (2018), his latest album and most impressive and sincere work to date, Sankofa, was released in 2021 - a spiritual search for the forgotten stories, ancient philosophies, and inspiring personalities of black Brazil.
Backed by Jean Elton (bass) and Hugo Medeiros (drums), who formed his trio from the beginning, Amaro employs intricate rhythms and beat variations as if reinterpreting the ancient designs of his ancestors, and each track is imbued with a message or story that Amaro is eager to tell. These people, places and stories are Amaro's starting point. "I start from these theories, from these ideas, but then emotions start flowing into the notes; it's my interpretation of this knowledge translated into music." Amaro's influences include the evangelical church, his hometown of Recife, funk music, samba, maracatu and frevo. But like the Sankofa bird, Amaro's music, while looking back, is essentially contemporary music. "It's a continuation, it connects with the people of today and represents what's happening now."
Like all of Amaro's albums, Sankofa took about two years to make, with the trio spending eight hours a day, four days a week in the studio. "We value the creative process. We know it takes time to reach another place, and then it takes time to understand and translate that place. If we want to leave our comfort zone, the most important factors are time, dedication, discipline, and wisdom. Months go by and ideas start to fall into place. Time is the most important thing. Without it, we will not get where we want to go. I want to pass this message on to future generations as well: Let's slow down, let's give more time, let's do deeper things. Let's stop swimming on the surface, let's dive."
This constant and profound journey continues relentlessly; in 2024 we can look forward to the next album of the extraordinary piano master.
Amaro Freitas - Piano
Hugo Medeiros - Drums and Percussion
Jean Elton - Double Bass
Germany, Austria, Switzerland