“If purveyors of the high lonesome sound had hunkered down
in northeast Brazil, the result might be something like Matuto.
— The Chicago Sun Times
Imagine the sound of a Brazilian Carnaval high up in the Appalachian Mountains where dynamic percussion instruments rumble beneath blues-drenched vocals, virtuoso guitar, and folksy fiddle tunes. Imagine these sounds in the hands of some of New York City’s finest young improvisers as they light up club and festival stages around the world. Combining the syncopations of Brazilian music with the folk traditions of the American South, Matuto is “Bluegrass meets Brazil” – and on the dance floor, it just feels right.
Emerging as a festival main stage sensation, Matuto is a full-time touring collective built around the core of Clay Ross (guitar) and Rob Curto (accordion), with a phenomenal cast of NYC based collaborators. Clay Ross delivers colorfully satirical lyrics reminiscent of David Byrne, and Tom Zé. A virtuosic guitarist, his unique style combines the flatpicking prowess of bluegrass legend Tony Rice with the sonic depth of jazz master Bill Frisell, plucking either three-chord folk melodies or sophisticated Brazilian Choros with equal ease.
Dos Nordes Tres:
Rob Curto is widely regarded as forró’s (NE Brazil’s accordion-driven country roots music) foremost ambassador in the States. An early devotee of North American swing, bebop, funk, rock, and blues, he combined these influences with his mastery of their Brazilian counterparts to produce a stunning new genre of music.
Matuto (ma-two-toe: Brazilian slang for country bumpkin) has toured North America and Brazil, were featured showcase artists at the prestigious annual world music gathering, WOMEX, and have toured as U.S. State Department musical ambassadors in Africa, Europe, and The Middle East. They’ve recorded three highly regarded albums, including most recently The Africa Suite, a series of original pieces.