Brazilian jazz artist Carlos Henrique Pereira, a former Windsor resident moving to Healdsburg, received Creative Sonoma’s Next Level grant of $3,000.
Grantees are Sonoma County bands and musicians who have shown they’re ready to take their careers to the next level, according to Creative Sonoma.
The Next Level grant also provides Pereira with 10 hours of consulting one-on-one with a music industry expert.
Pereira, who plays guitar and piano, said he plans to use the money to record an album and form a quartet with multicultural musicians.
The artists collaborating with Pereira are Mexican violinist Ernesto Villa Lobos, Albanian cellist Rubin Kodheli and Brazilian drummer Mauricio Zottarelli.
“What’s going to get us to be able to play together is they all have the language of jazz. That will make it possible to sift through many different ideas,” Pereira said.
Creative Sonoma Director Kristen Madsen said Pereira’s new project is one of the reasons he was recommended by the grant’s peer reviewers.
“It’s an exploration, experimentation about his art form, relying on influences that will help expand what his vocabulary is in jazz and music,” Madsen said.
Pereira said there wasn’t a jazz school or a lot he could learn from books while growing up in Brazil. He listened to jazz records to understand the genre better.
After moving to the United States in the ’90s, Pereira began producing, playing and composing jazz music in New York. He got married in 2001, moved back to Brazil in 2005, but returned to the U.S. in 2012 to be closer to family.
“That’s how I ended up in wine country, which is very interesting because I don’t know if a Brazilian musician, composer, ever lived in this area,” Pereira said.
Pereira’s family sold their Windsor home in May and are staying with in-laws in Geyserville while renovations are done to their Healdsburg house. He’s only met one person from Brazil in all three cities, who’s a real estate broker.
“For me it’s exciting, to be the first Brazilian musician, composer, inspired by the culture and the life in the wine country, it’s kind of interesting,” Pereira said.
Madsen said she likes when Creative Sonoma musicians from more niche art forms are recognized for their talents.
“This is Carlos’ third time applying, I’m glad he made it through, and to see him get some visibility for this because that will also help his career,” Madsen said.
Pereira said even after hearing about receiving the grant two weeks ago, he still hasn’t announced it to anyone.
“I’m really trying to explore some unknown territory for me, and that’s what makes me excited about composing,” Pereira said.
Creative Sonoma is a division of Sonoma County’s Economic Development Board, located on 141 Stony Circle, Suite 110 in Santa Rosa. For more information call 707-565-6120 or visit creativesonoma.org.