In May 2015 we realesed Pablo Lapidusa's Trio debut album "P.L.I.N.T. Live in Johannesburg".

Produced by João Carlos "Joni" Schwalbach, the live album was recorded at "The Orbit Jazz Club & Bistro" in September 2014. The CD comprises of 8 original songs composed and arranged by all the band members. A DVD with extra material will follow with the release date planned for September.



JAZZ: Pablo Lapidusas International Trio


LIKE most current jazz players, Brazil-based pianist Pablo Lapidusas is wary of the label: "One critic described my music as ‘between classical and pop’ — and, you know, he may be right."

One of last weekend’s dilemmas was that his trio’s brief visit to Johannesburg clashed directly with the musical riches at the Joy of Jazz festival. But if you missed Lapidusas, bassist Leo Espinosa and drummer Marcelo Araújo live, don’t worry — the next album will include recordings made at their Orbit performance.

If there’s wariness about "jazz" as a label, there is even more for the envelope "latin jazz". "Yes, it’s where we are from," concedes the pianist. "But often I feel our music has more of the imprint of European jazz." Though Lapidusas admires, for example, Brad Mehldau, he relishes the individuality and quirkiness of European players, as opposed to the prevailing common language that often makes a recording instantly identifiable as American.

Lapidusas was born in Argentina, but his family moved to Brazil when he was eight. There, he studied classical piano until he hit his early teens. By 15, he was playing professionally in pop bands, and the syncretic influence of MPB (musica popular brasiliera: the post bossa nova genre that fuses Brazilian and imported pop music styles) has stayed with him. His current solo album, Estrangeiro includes compositions by Chico Buarque, Antonio Jobim — and the Beatles — as well as Duke Ellington, Herbie Hancock and his own originals. With the trio, Araujo also contributes compositions.

LAPIDUSAS split his performance into a solo and two trio sets, with local guests including trumpeter Marcus Wyatt, singer Melanie Scholtz, reedman Mthunzi Mvubu and more. He was impressed by the pin-dropping silence for his solo set, but perhaps not more than the audience was by his startling technique, mercurial tempo changes, delicate light and shade, and a rock-solid, rhythmic left hand.

"I always feel the necessity of keeping a dance feel moving along. I looked for a way… and it’s in the left." As for where that left-hand style comes from: "Maybe from Schubert or Brahms?"

"However, in the trio," Lapidusas explains, "the feeling is different. I can’t do that very heavy left hand because it’s no longer only my music, but our music."

Neither he nor Araujo composes for the trio — "my inspiration comes from all the musicians I’ve played with," says the drummer — but both select tunes that suit the characters in the trio. After that, musical democracy takes over: "Marcelo brings the tune, but then we put away the paper as we rehearse and perform," says Lapidusas. Espinosa joins in: "We usually change everything. OK, it’s good, but couldn’t we change this? Or that? Maybe there are two or three tunes we respect and don’t change…"

"Really?" chorus the others.

So even if the trio returns to SA, as they hope, there will not be a repeat performance of last weekend. "Our music has to be open," says Lapidusas. "Leaving the score behind gives us freedom, so that each night is a different night."

After last weekend — too full of music to hear even half of it — this week’s live events offer a schedule more conducive to sanity. In Johannesburg, the formerly Cape Town-based Breathe Sunshine Music Conference runs all day on Friday at the Market Theatre. Kesivan Naidoo, hosts a short season starting tonight at The Orbit in Braamfontein (; 011-339-6645), working with a different group each evening — including the Carlo Mombelli Stories quartet on Friday — and culminating in the launch of a second Kesivan and the Lights album on Saturday. The Orbit also presents eclectic German jazz outfit Cnirbs next Tuesday. In Cape Town, Straight No Chaser (076-679-2697) and The Crypt (079-683-4658) present full programmes, accessible at their websites.


"Estrangeiro", the new album of Pablo Lapidusas, produced by João Carlos Schwalbach was released last November (2013) by Ekaya's ManInGroove. 

Watch Pablo recording "Blackbird" for this new album at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Graduated Bachelor of Popular Music at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and currently pursuing Masters in Jazz Performance at the University of Aveiro (Portugal), Pablo has performed in prestigious theaters and jazz clubs in Brazil and abroad.

Residing in Rio de Janeiro between 2001 and 2011, collaborated with countless artists of MPB and international instrumental scene: Eugene Friesen, Victor Biglione, Marcelo D2, Cy Quartet, Wanda Sa, Jimmy Dludlu, Edu Lobo, Carlos Malta, Sandra de Sá, Eduardo Dusek, Bebel Gilberto, Zeze Motta, Celia Vaz, among others.

In the solo piano performances, either in Brazil or abroad, often teach master classes to complement HIS work. In the second half of 2008 made his debut with orchestra, performing with the prestigious I Musici de Montreal, under the baton of Russian Maestro Yuli Turovsky.

Invited to participate in the Solo Piano Series, Pablo shared the stage with the renowned pianist Cesar Camargo Mariano in the room Cecilia Meireles (Rio de Janeiro), in presenting the two pianos.

Recently initiated a series of solo recordings in several cities: Los Angeles, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires,Maputo and Lodnon, resulting in a album to be released in 2012. The aim of this new album, more jazzy, it is precisely to capture the different performances, taking into account the diversity of concert halls, pianos, and especially the different reactions of the public.