"Faquini is an uncannily masterful composer"
- Paul de Barros, Seattle Times
Ian Faquini is a Brazilian composer, guitarist, and vocalist who was born in Brasília and has lived in Berkeley, California since the age of eight. He was a member of the renowned Berkeley High School Jazz program, and at the age of 15, Ian met the legendary Brazilian composer Guinga, who became his mentor and inspired him to pursue a career in music, drawing on the rich musical traditions of his Brazilian heritage. Ian went on to study at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and immediately after graduating joined the faculty there. He is also on the faculty at California Brazil Camp, alongside musical legends including Ivan Lins, Guinga, Chico Pinheiro, and Spok. Ian has become one of the most unique and respected guitar players in the San Francisco Bay Area, with his distinct compositional style and harmonic sense. He is also a brilliant accompanist, which has made him an in-demand collaborator with vocalists in the Bay Area and beyond.
In 2014, he released his debut album with flautist Rebecca Kleinmann, entitled Brasiliense, which features all original compositions by Faquini and draws from a wide range of musical sources from the 20th century, from impressionism and jazz to the great Brazilian songwriting tradition.
Faquini released his second album, Metal na Madeira, in 2016, this time in collaboration with acclaimed vocalist Paula Santoro, who hails from Minas Gerais. The image that ultimately emerges from Metal na Madeira is more than a portrait of two artists creating together. It also conjures the timeless landscape of the Brazilian Northeast, from which both artists draw immense inspiration. Into that space, Faquini and Santoro invite 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 player Sergio Krakowski.
The album consists of nine original compositions by Faquini and presents a fresh take on traditional Northeastern rhythms such as Maracatu, Frevo, Baião, Xote, and Toada. Faquini’s music keeps one foot firmly planted in the past while stepping briskly towards the future with modern harmonic and melodic structures. The duo captivated audiences in Brazil and across the United States on their first tour together in the fall of 2016, receiving critical acclaim from the Seattle Times, Berkleyside, UK Vibe, and others, including The Mercury News’ “Best of 2016” list.