Cultural Percussionist

Airto Moreira Day

Airto Moreira (born August 5, 1941) is a Brazilian jazz drummer and percussionist. He is married to jazz singer Flora Purim, and their daughter Diana Moreira is also a singer.

Airto Moreira was born in Itaiópolis, Brazil, into a family of folk healers, and raised in Curitiba and São Paulo. Showing an extraordinary talent for music at a young age, he became a professional musician at age 13, noticed first as a member of the samba jazz pioneers Sambalanço Trio and for his landmark recording with Hermeto Pascoal in Quarteto Novo in 1967. Shortly after, he followed his wife Flora Purim to the United States.

After moving to the US, Moreira began playing regularly with jazz musicians in New York, including the bassist Walter Booker. Through Booker, Moreira began playing with Joe Zawinul, who in turn introduced him to Miles Davis. At this time Davis was experimenting with electronic instruments and rock and funk rhythms, a form which would soon come to be called jazz fusion. Moreira was to participate in several of the most important projects of this emerging musical form. He stayed with Davis for about two years, touring and participating in the creation of the seminal fusion recording Bitches Brew (1970).

 

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