2009 Grammy nominee Nilson Matta has been a creative force in the evolution and popularity of Brazilian Jazz in the United States. It was not long after he came to New York in 1985, that he was performing and recording with Grammy-winning jazz greats Kenny Barron and Joe Henderson, as well as Herbie Mann, Lee Konitz, Claudio Roditi, Paul Winter Mark Murphy , Slide Hampton, Paquito D’Rivera, Nancy Wilson and many more. Drawing from these collaborations, and from his work with Brazilian luminaries such as Hermeto Pascoal, Joao Gilberto, Luis Bonfa, and Johnny Alf in Brazil, (to name a few), Matta has developed his own musical signature making him a first-call bass player of Brazilian music and jazz musicians. It’s not surprising therefore, that when Yo Yo Ma sought band members for his Brazilian project, Nilson was the obvious choice for bass. Their recording of two Grammy CDs(ObrigadoBrazil and Brazil – Live in Concert) prompted a two-year worldwide touring every corner of the globe.
A founding member of internationally acclaimed group – Trio Da Paz. Matta has emerged in recent years as bandleader, composer, arranger and producer. In 2008, he released Walking With My Bass, an autobiographical CD incorporating special guests from his long and distinguished career. His next release, Nilson Matta’s Brazilian Voyage – Copacabana on Zoho Records takes the listener on a musical journey through Brazil’s diverse geographic regions–via Matta’s artful arranging of classics masterpieces (e.g.,VillaLobos), not to mention Matta’s original compositions such as Baden and Copacabana which have earned him wide acclaim as a composer.
February 12TH 2013 Nilson released on MOTEMA Records his 3rd CD as a leader “NILSON MATTA’S BLACK ORPHEUS” revisiting the music from the film 1958 and the play 1956.
Matta is committed to passing on his talents and experiences to the next generation of bassists. He is a member of the International Society of Bassists, making frequent appearances as a featured guest and performer at the ISB conventions.
He has taught at NYC’s Bass Collective, Litchfield Jazz Camp, and has conducted master classes worldwide. As Artistic Director of Samba Meets Jazz Workshops in Bar Harbor Maine (SmJ-Bar Harbor) and Samba Meets Jazz Workshops – Brazil (SmJ-Brazil), he has become a leading figure in promoting the music he is passionate about – Brazilian Jazz.