Amaro Freitas (BR)

From the slums of Recife in Brazil’s North-East to international jazz icon, Amaro Freitas has worked tirelessly to become the artist he is today.

What drives him in life is experience. In 2020 the pianist was drawn to Manaus, located in the Amazon basin, some 4600 kilometers to the west. His experience in that lush wilderness led him into a new realm of musical creation, one rooted in magic and possibility and tempered by a sense of stewardship for the earth’s bounties and a connection to the Sateré Mawé indigenous community. Crucial to the experience for Freitas was the maintenance of a true exchange of knowledge. According to Freitas, in the resulting album, Y’Y (pronounced: eey-eh, eey-eh and released March 1st), he pays “homage to the forest, especially the Amazon Forest, and the rivers of Northern Brazil: a call to live, feel, respect, and care for nature, recognizing it as our ancestor.”

He continues, “It is also a warning about the need to be aware of the impact we cause, based on the concepts of civilization and modernity that keep us away from this connection, and its importance for the balance of life on the planet.” In addition to serving as a call to nature, Y’Y expresses lessons Freitas learned in the Amazon about the incandescent power of enchanted spirits who intervene on behalf of the community in times of struggle.

“Trying to rescue things that came before coloniality”, as he notes, is a theme that has been woven into Freitas’s work for years.​

While Side A of Y’Y serves as an expression of connection to the earth and to the ancestors, Side B serves as proof of connections between the global Black avant-jazz community, featuring Shabaka Hutchings, Brandee Younger, Aniel Someillan, Jeff Parker and Hamid Drake.

With Y’Y, Freitas further codifies his fresh, “decolonized” interpretation of Brazilian jazz, one that may well shatter preconceived notions of what jazz can be.




Amaro Freitas — piano





2024fri12jul20:20Amaro Freitas TrioNorth Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam (NL)