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Ian Faquini


"Faquini is an uncannily masterful composer"

                                                             - Paul de Barros, Seattle Times

Ian Faquini writes exquisitely sophisticated Brazilian pop music in the omnivorous tradition known as MPB (música popular brasileira), which has often been deeply influenced by jazz. Born in Brasília and raised in Berkeley, Faquini is a protégé of Guinga, the revered Brazilian guitarist and songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by dozens of MPB stars.


In 2014, Faquini released his debut album with flautist Rebecca Kleinmann, Brasiliense, which features his original compositions reflecting his love of jazz and Impressionism and his growing mastery of Brazilian musical forms. He followed up with 2016’s Metal na Madeira, a collaboration with acclaimed vocalist Paula Santoro, who hails from Minas Gerais. Conjuring the physical and cultural landscape of Brazil’s northeast with maracatu, frevo, baião, xote, and toada rhythms, the project features an all-star cast of collaborators, including Brazilian saxophone great Spok (leader of Recife’s Spok Frevo Orquestra), Bay Area multi-reedist Harvey Wainapel, trombonist Jeff Cressman, keyboardist and accordion player Vitor Gonçalves, bassist Scott Thompson, drummer/percussionist Rafael Barata, and pandeiro master Sergio Krakowski.

Since then, Faquini has focused on his partnership with trombonist, vocalist, and lyricist Natalie Cressman, with whom he was a finalist for duo of the year in 2023’s Jazz Journalists Critics Poll. They’ve recorded three albums, 2019’s Setting Rays of Summer, 2022’s Auburn Whisper, and the soon-to-be released Guinga, a tribute that features the maestro on five tracks.


With a singular set of skills, highly personal compositional style, and lush harmonic palette, Faquini is one of the most respected guitar players in the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s also a brilliant accompanist, which has made him an in-demand collaborator with vocalists around the U.S. and Brazil. Beyond his work with Guinga, he has performed with some of the most illustrious figures in jazz and Brazilian music, including Fleurine, Spok, Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, and many others. Faquini has performed throughout Europe, Japan, Brazil and the United States, including Montreux Jazz Festival, Enjoy Jazz Festival, Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Birdland (NYC), and The A Trane (Berlin).


After spending his early years in Brazil, Faquini moved to Berkeley at the age of eight. A member of the renowned Berkeley High School Jazz program before going on to study at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, he joined the CJC faculty immediately after graduating. He is also on the faculty at California Brazil Camp, working alongside musical legends including Guinga, Hermeto Pascoal, Joyce and Ivan Lins.

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