Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Franco, Guilherme

Franco, Guilherme, percussionist, drummer; b. Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 1946.

He had begun dabbling with the piano when, as a 13 year old, he became inspired to study with a drummer he saw at a party during Carnival. Practicing 14 hours a day, he managed to squeeze in time for club dates, television performances, studio recordings, and even appearances with the national symphony orchestra. In 1971, answering an invitation from some musician friends, he moved to N.Y. and within a week, he had been asked to join Keith Jarrett's ensemble.

After a year with Jarrett, he began a seven-year affiliation with McCoy Tyner. In 1978, Guilherme Franco was the Number 2 jazz percussionist in both the Down Beat Reader's and Critic's polls, and in 1979, the "New York Jazz Award" also acclaimed him as the Best Jazz Percussionist in the tri-state area. In 1981 he formed Pe De Boi (literally in Portuguese "foot of ox," but meaning as steady as an ox), comprised of 7 drummers and 2 dancers. It was the featured band at the opening night in 1982 of S.O.B.'s (Sounds of Brazil). In 1996 he cofounded Nova Bossa Nova with Brazilian bassist Alberto Beserra, who lives in Japan and who he met there while with Tyner in 1975. 

Nova Bossa Nova: Jazz Influence (1987); Pe De Boi (1989)

"From Jazz to Rock", by J. Berendt

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