Manfredo Fest was a blind jazz pianist and group leader who co-founded the Brazilian bossa nova movement.
|Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Manfredo Fest's 86th birthday|
Fest was born in Brazil to parents who immigrated from Germany in the 1920s. He began studying classical music at the age of five with his father, who was head of the music department at the University of Porto Alegre. Blind since birth, Fest learned to read braille and play the piano, keyboard and saxophone. During his studies, he developed a strong interest in jazz and graduated from the University of Rio Grande do Sul with a degree in music.
He spent the beginning of his musical career playing in bars and clubs in Sao Paulo and participating in the emerging bossa nova movement in Brazil, a style of music in which samba has merged with jazz. In 1963, Fest composed and recorded his first bossa nova album, Nova Bossa. A few years later, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and toured the United States as an arranger and pianist with Sergio Mendes' 66-year-old Brazilian band. Fest continues to collaborate with popular music groups, including Flectones
Fest has released 19 albums throughout his career, experimenting with combinations of Brazilian and American styles. Music Fest - including 1976's jazz-funk gem, Brazil's Dorian Dream - is still performed by jazz musicians and bands around the world.
Happy Birthday to the innovative musician, the composer who has filled our lives with all that jazz.