David Manson is one of the most versatile musicians around.
A trombonist, he has played in the orchestras of touring shows at performing arts centers in the area. A well-traveled symphony player, he sat in with the Florida Orchestra on numerous occasions. As a jazz man, he was a member of a free-bop group called Shim, and he has presented many avant-garde groups in the past 18 years through his concert series Emit. He was in the brass section and did arrangements for the Frank Zappa tribute band Bogus Pomp.
Now Manson is into Brazilian music with his crack seven-piece band called O Som Do Jazz, featuring his Rio de Janeiro-born wife, Andrea Moraes Manson, on vocals. They have a sparkling new CD out, A Kiss for Rio, that will be introduced Thursday at a concert in St. Petersburg.
"I always liked Brazilian music, but I didn't know it very deeply. A lot of what I heard was very Americanized — cool stuff like Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 — and it was Andrea who showed me the real Brazilian music," Manson said. The two met at a block party in St. Petersburg and were married in 2002.
A Kiss for Rio has a loungey bossa nova vibe, with a dozen tracks more or less equally divided among songs with Portuguese and English lyrics and instrumentals. The Mansons wrote nine of the tunes, and the others are by Brazilian masters such as Joao Donato, whose infectious Sambou, Sambou opens the album.
Andrea Moraes Manson, who was an architect in Brazil, is a languid, laid-back singer with a stylish mix of lyricism and rhythmic funk. Liberally sprinkled throughout the album are hot solos by band members, including sax player Austin Vickrey, guitarist Alfredo Rivero and Manson on trombone.
The CD was recorded at the Mansons' home in St. Petersburg. "Everything is so easy to do now in terms of recording," said Manson, who teaches a course on music and computers at St. Petersburg College. "You can set up your gear in your house and record and it'll sound as good as a professional studio 10 years ago."
Manson, 57, has seven albums to his credit, mostly free jazz, improvisation and electronica, and his foray into Brazilian music with O Som Do Jazz is a departure for him. "I like experimental music, but I really like this Brazilian music, which is the polar opposite," he said. "There's just something about it. It's heartfelt music."
Dance teacher honored
Suzanne Pomerantzeff, a longtime dance teacher in St. Petersburg, is this year's recipient of the Nancy Smith Award from the Florida Dance Association. Pomerantzeff is cofounder (in 1969) and artistic director of the Academy of Ballet Arts, whose students have gone on to perform with American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Houston Ballet, Moiseyev Dance Company, Cirque du Soleil and more. The award will be presented to Pomerantzeff Saturday night during intermission of the Florida Dance Festival performance by the Core Performance Company at Theatre 2 on the USF Tampa campus. Information: floridadanceassociation.org.
Studio@620 turns 10
St. Petersburg gallery and performance space Studio@620 celebrates its 10th birthday with a free party starting at 6:20 p.m. (naturally) Saturday with music by Urban Gypsies and a piece by artist in residence Alice Ferrulo. Information: studioat620.org.
John Fleming can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8716.