"There's no longer such a thing as pure Brazilian mainstream music ...so there's no point in chasing that myth. I concentrate on making a music that reflects my roots and where I find myself now..."
composer . performer . email@example.com
Bruce Jones is a musician of Canadian/Brazilian descent. He grew up near Sao Paulo and first picked up a guitar at the age of 13, very quickly developing proficiency as a player and composer. Jones began his formal musical training at the Academia Paulista de Musica (Sao Paulo) and later pursued studies in classical guitar, orchestration and composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
His classical training ironically led Jones to discover that his real roots were in the rhythms of his Brazilian youth, including Bossa Nova, Maracatu, Samba, Olodum and Axe. In Toronto he began a teaching career at the Eli Kassner Academy in 1978 and for the next 10 years contributed to the growth of many talented local guitarists.
At the same time, Jones was the leader of Toronto’s foremost Brazilian rhythm outfit, Cocada and later Da, both of which enjoyed large followings of music and dance aficionados and featured on the worldbeat and jazz festival circuits in Canada and Brazil, as well as in Cape Verde and Argentina. In Toronto in the late 80s and throughout the 1990s, Jones’ bands featured at annual Harbourfront festivals, WOMAD, Hispanic festivals, The Bamboo Club and Caribana, where Jones’ Samba school outfit GRES Unidos do Canada won Best Traditional Ensemble for seven years running. Cocada opened for the likes of Zap Mama, Djavan, Youssou N’Dour and Gilberto Gil.
Musicians with whom Jones collaborated during this time included Perry White, Steven Donald, Chi Sharpe, Lionel Williams, Rick Lazar, Bill McBirnie, Ron Allen, Amarando Borg, Eliane Abolicao, Etric Lyons, Zulema Class, Daniel Barnes, Bill Norman, Art Avalos, Mike Sereny and Phil Dwyer.
Jones has recorded numerous CDs of original work, which highlight his remarkable versatility and outstanding talent as a composer, arranger, instrumentalist and producer. His song, Africa Feliz placed third in the 1997 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in New York City and his CDs Sarava Criola and Canada Eh! were released to critical acclaim.
• Songs/Accidents/After the love was gone, 2009
• Flash of Fuchsia, 2006
• Vaca Malhada, 2004
• Amazon Dreams II, 2004
• Proyecto Patagonico, 1999
• Sarava Criola, 1995
• Canada Eh!, 1993
• Amazon Dreams, 1992
• Vela e Barco, 1991
• Da, 1990
• It Changes All, 1989
• Where Two Waters Meet, 1988
• Dialects, 1986
• Dancing with Sarina (TVO), 2002
• Time is on my Side (directed by Jacques Holender), 1995
• Latin Nights (directed by Anthony Azzopardi), 1993
• Latino Che! Jaime Lopez, Toronto, 2003
• Salva Te, Grupo Enigma, Patagonia, Argentina, 1998
• Extreme Flute/Desvio, Bill McBirnie, Toronto, 1998
• Amor e Evolução, Dudu Araújo, Cape Verde, 1992
• Adventures of a Red Crocodile, Yana, Toronto, 1992
• Beaches, Ian Scott, Toronto, 1991
Awards and Grants
Third Place, John Lennon Songwriting Contest (New York City) – Africa Feliz 1997
FACTOR Professional Publishers Award, 1994
FACTOR New Talent Demo Award, 1993
Ontario Arts Council Popular Music Grant, 1995
Toronto Arts Council Composers Grant, 1995
Toronto Arts Council Cultural Incentives Grant, 1995
FACTOR Touring Grant, 1994
Ontario Arts Council Popular Music Grant, 1992
"My experiences in Brazil have taught me that there are different angles to different music. It doesn't always have to be the bass, drum, guitar setup. Some songs can have just guitar and percussion.... a kind of raw feel with a little more sophistication ... The diversity really comes from using different people at different points along the route. That is something I am always looking for."