Nilson Matta, a bassist best known for his work with Trio da Paz, presides over a flexible ensemble dedicated to the music of his native Brazil. Matta has developed his own musical signature making him a first-call bass player of Brazilian music and jazz musicians. Therefore, it’s not surprising that when Yo Yo Ma sought band members for his Brazilian project, Nilson was the obvious choice for bass. A founding member of Trio Da Paz (Romero Lubambo, Duduka da Fonseca, drums) and Brazilian Trio (Helio Alves, piano; Duduka da Fonseca, drums) – Matta has emerged in recent years as bandleader, composer, arranger and producer. Nilson Matta’s Samba Meets Jazz performed at the Jazz Forum on Friday, February 23 and Saturday, February 24 with Fabiana Masili, vocals, Helio Alves, piano, Marcello Pellitteri, drums and guitarist Dave Stryker (Fri.) and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander (Sat).
Salina: What would you like to say to your fans?
Nilson Matta: My fans are my friends. I’d say keep the music alive and keep coming to the club. The energy here is positive energy. And for me, playing the bass for people like you is something important for me. So that’s why I say my fans are my friends.
Salina: What do you think about the club?
Nilson Matta: I think my first impression was that there was no stage here, but I feel comfortable and the sound’s good. And it seems that people enjoy watching and listening. The most important thing is that people listen. I think the club offers nice food and a nice environment. You know, it’s very interesting because the format of the club is like a letter “V.” We play for two audiences — one over there and one this way. The audience was friends with us. We got a lot of good energy, positive energy from this crowd.