Rob Curto’s Forró For All is a band dedicated to Northeastern Brazil’s traditional “forró pé de serra” performedwith a style born out of New York City’s diverse and dynamic musical culture.. Forró is the accordion-based party music of the serão, the dry interior of the Brazilian Northeast. Led by rising accordion star Rob Curto, with musicians from Brazil and the U.S., the band creates a sound that deeply respects the great masters of forró. Curto’s virtuoso accordion playing and the band’s diverse musical influences bring a fresh perspective to forró with improvisation, original compositions and innovations in rhythm and harmony. Forró is lyrically romantic yet excitingly syncopated music.
The rhythm section, consisting of: zabumba (a kind of drum), triangle and bass-guitar, churns out grooves such as baião, xote and arrasta-pé, while the accordion constantly improvises accompaniments and plays exciting solo lines. The songs tell of romance, friendship, love of one’s land, and life in the Northeast. A forró party brings everybody in the community together with couples dancing locked in a sensual embrace.
In the 20th century Luiz Gonzago, the “King of Baiãd”, reinterpreted the music of the Northeast, and popularized it throughout Brazil, firmly establishing forró in the vocabulary of Brazilian popular music. Rob Curto’s Forró For All continues in his tradition and is sharing the music that pulses in the veins of millions of Brazilians with the world.
Rob Curto (Accordionist and Composer): Forró For All’s founding member, Rob Curto, is a musician who both respects and transcends idioms, mixing elements of jazz with language and feel that is distinctly Brazilian.
A native New Yorker and important member of that city’s world music and jazz scene, Rob has also spent years intimately involved with the music and culture of the Brazilian, Northeast. He has spent years working as a musician in Brazil and developed a reputation there as an extremely skillful and artistic forró accordionist. In addition, his work includes playing and collaboration with heavy-weights of world music such as Lila Downs, David Krakauer, Cyro Baptista, Frank London and Omar Faruk Tekbilek.
Rogerio Boccato (Percussionist/Drum Kit): Brazilian percussionist, drummer and educator, Rogerio Boccato has played with Antonio Carlos, Jobim, Hermeto Pascoal, Milton Nascimento, Cláudio Roditi, Egberto Gismonti, João Bosco, Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, and Dionne Warwick among many others and as a longtime percussionist with the·Jazz Symphony Orchestra of the Sao Paulo State. Rogerio Boccato is currently a guest percussion faculty member of The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford.
Pedro Ramos (Vocalist and Cavaquinho player): Pedro Ramos is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has a degree in classical composition from Brooklyn College, CUNY and also plays guitar and tenor guitar.
Mike laVale (Electric Bassist): Mike laVale is quickly making a name for himself on the Brazilian and improvised music scene at home in New York City and beyond.
Scott Kettner (Percussionist): Kettner is the leader of the Nation Beat Ensemble and Maracatu NY. Scott was elected a 2006 Latin Jazz Ambassador by The U.S. State Department.