Ricardo Peixoto’s fluid melodic sense and original harmonic approach place him at the forefront of brazilian guitar in the world today. An inspired improviser with a keen compositional sense, Ricardo’s unique and eloquent style evokes images far beyond his brazilian territory.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, guitarist/composer/arranger Ricardo Peixoto’s first instrument was the piano which he began studying as a child. In his early teens he switched to guitar, influenced by the pop music of the day, especially the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Cream. He was soon very active in Rio’s busy music scene, playing in many jazz and rock groups, as well as accompanying various popular singers. By the time Ricardo came to the US on a Berklee College of Music scholarship, he had also begun studying the classical guitar. While at Berklee he was able to perfect his jazz skills gigging in and around the Boston area, and through his studies at the school. Soon after graduating, Ricardo moved to San Francisco and continued his study of the classical guitar at the San Francisco Conservatory.
Though grounded both in the jazz and Brazilian music traditions, Ricardo has ventured well beyond their borders. With influences ranging from Egberto Gismonti to Villa-Lobos and Miles Davis, guitarist and composer Ricardo Peixoto regularly uses a broad range of instruments in a wide variety of musical dialects. ‘I like to explore the use of many types of guitars, using each one’s unique voice’, says Ricardo. ‘I often prefer to create textures with various stringed instruments, in lieu of synthesizers.’ Working as a solo artist, or in collaboration with others, he draws on a huge stylistic palette. Whether playing classical or electric guitars, Brazilian 7-string, 12 string, octave guitar, cavaquinho, or tenor banjo, Ricardo’s music combines rich melodies, unusual harmonies, and the unmistakable rhythms of Brazil.
From his home base in the San Francisco Bay Area, in addition to his current work with vocalist/composer Claudia Villela, Peixoto has recorded and toured with Flora Purim and Airto, alto saxophonist Bud Shank, percussionist Dom Um Rom√£o, keyboardist Marcos Silva, as well as with his popular ensemble, Terra Sul.
In addition to his work as a performer and composer, Peixoto is also well respected for his work as a teacher and lecturer on Brazilian music.