Gerson Galante is a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, composer and arranger,
whose musical fluency spans many genres, including Latin, Brazilian, Jazz, Classical, Theater,
Modern, and Pop. He is currently lead tenor saxophonist with Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica do
Estado de São Paulo, the top jazz orchestra in South America, and has toured with some of the
most famous Brazilian musical artists for four decades.
· Banda Mirim Baeta Neves ( 1972-1976)
· Fundação das Artes de São Caetano do Sul, Brazil (1976-1979)
· Escola Municipal de Música, São Paulo, Brazil (1979-1981)
· Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo lead tenor, saxophone soloist, flute, clarinet (2002-present)
· InterXchange Ensemble, bandleader / co-founder (2016-present)
· Orquestra Arte Viva, São Paulo (2012-presente)
· CompCord Big Band, New York City (2016)
· Banda Urbana,SP [Brazilian music, Jazz, Latin] (2005-2015)
· Lilian Carmona Ensemble, SP [Brazilian music, jazz, Latin Jazz (2014)
· Speakin’ Jazz, SP (2013)
· Divina Caffé Ensemble, SP [World music and Classical music] (2003-2013)
· Banda Cacique, SP [Latin Jazz, Jazz, Brazilian music] (2010)
· Banda Jazzco, SP (2010)
· Banda Savana, SP (2003)
· SoundScape BigBand, SP (2002)
· Comboio Jazz,SP [Brazilian music, Jazz, Latin] (2004)
· Edwin Pitre Ensemble ( Cuba, Latin Jazz) (1997)
· Zérró Santos Big Band Project, SP (1992)
· The Duke Ellington All Stars Big Band, San Francisco USA (1991)
· Silvio Mazzuca, Dancing orchestra (1986-1991)
· The Duke Ellington All Stars, San Francisco, CA (1990)
· Orquestra Silvio Mazzuca, SP [Jazz, Brazilian Music, Dance Music] (1987)
· Shining Brass Band, São Paulo (1979-1981)
Pelos Ares, Band Urbana, featuring the music of Rafael Piccolotto (2015)
Jazz Sinfônica 25 Anos, Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (2015)
Na Base do Improviso, Amilson Godoy (2015)
Uncle Charles, Soundscape Big Band (2007)
Maybe September, Soundscape Big Band (2001)
Novo Brasileiro, Bandazul (2006)
Divina Caffe, Divina Caffe ensemble (2005)
Divina Caffe 2, Divina Caffe ensemble (2006)
Banda Brazuca, João Cristal (2001)
Tributo a Pixinguinha, Itacir Bocato (1997)
BemDito, Itacir Bocato (1996)
501, Gerson Galante, featuring guest artist Ivan Lins (1993)
Orquestra Jazz Sinfônica de São Paulo, Royal Albert Hall, London, England (2016)
Lilian Carmona Ensemble, Jazz Festival de Maringá, Maringá, Brazil (2012)
Orquestra Arte viva, Teatro Solis, Montevideo, Uruguay (2008)
Gerson Galante, CD 501 State Tour São Paulo (1993)
Pery Ribeiro, São Paulo State Tour, Brazil (1984)
Cauby Peixoto, São Paulo Capital, Brazil (1983)
Raul Seixas, São Paulo Capital, Santos, Brazil (1982)
Sá e Guarabyra, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (1981)
Ponte Aérea Ensemble, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte (1980-1982)
Ivan Lins Novo Tempo Tour, Teatro SESC Consolação and São Paulo State Tour (1980)
1º São Paulo-Montraux Jazz Festival, Grupo Obus Brazil (1978)
2º São Paulo-Montreux Jazz Festival, Grupo Ponte Aérea Brazil (1980)
Wilson Simonal, Paraguai Tour and São Paulo State Tour, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1979-1980)
São Paulo-Montreaux Jazz Festival, Grupo Obus (1978)
New York, New York, Teatro Sergio Cardoso, SP (2014)
Bibi Ferreira in Concert, Teatro Sergio Cardoso, SP (2011)
Sweet Charity, Citibank Hall, SP (2006)
Chicago, Teatro Alfa, SP (2004)
Victor/Victória, Teatro Cultura Artistica, SP (2001)
Blow, Gersinho, Blow by José Américo Dias
This kid’s a hotshot. Put a sax in his hand and you’ll see…
Since he was a little boy, Gerson was mesmerized by the “pipe.” But it wasn’t until he was six years old
that someone told him the name of it was saxophone. And he learned – to speak and to play. Today,
at age 13, with 7 years of experience, he dominates the alto, tenor and baritone saxes, and even
maintains a certain intimacy with the clarinet. He plays in a variety of bands, in an orchestra, a big
band dance ensemble, and a jazz ensemble. He’s really thin, super skinny. How does he withstand it
“When I play at carnival, the older guys go to bed, and I still have to study or read. I almost never feel
tired,” he says.
Our hero is invincible. It is certain that he counts on a valuable aid of his mother. And a mom is a
mom: when he leaves school - seventh grade - there she is with the car, waiting to take him to clarinet
class with Professor Rafael Gagliardi, or to Arts Foundation of São Caetano do Sul, or to The Municipal
Music School of Cambuci, or to rehearsals or shows…
Wherever he goes, his mother and the three saxophones go, too. It’s a love affair that began early, but
took off into an unbridled passion because of a musician named Casé, José Ferreira Godinho Filho,
considered one of the best alto sax players in the world (once he was even ranked the second best
player in the world by Down Beat Magazine). Gersinho met Casé at the age of 10, shortly after
Carnival. A “nice to meet you” here, a “the pleasure is all mine” there, and right off, they started the
first lesson, which would finish 9 hours later, with both exhausted and amazed.
Actually, that lesson lasted a year. And it would have lasted a lot longer if, in 1978, cirrhosis hadn’t cut
the life of the master short, at 46 years old.
Anyway, it was enough time to provoke an incredible transformation in the boy. Gerson spent whole
days in the bedroom where Casé lived, playing, doing exercises to develop the diaphragm. It was a
total dedication. In school, of course, he was left back. But he gained incredible breath control, and a
little belly – a consequence of the enormous development of the diaphragm.
In a short time, more experienced musicians were commenting on the changes in him. It got to the
point where the student replaced the master, as second tenor in the Clóvis e Eli Orchestra, that
performed every Sunday afternoon, in the Club Horn Ballroom, on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo.
Gerson makes a point of acknowledging other teachers: Irineu Negri, of the Mirim Baeta Neves Band,
in São Bernardo do Campo, and the Argentinian Hector Costita. But it was with Casé that he
discovered that he could never live without music. Casé, the master, knew this. And he also knew that
he would not live to see the fully mature musician he imagined Gerson would become. Shortly before
he died, he recorded tapes and wrote letters as a way to continue teaching his student the secrets of
To Gerson’s mother, Casé left this advice: “If he wants to drink alcohol one day, give him a beating. If
he insists, give him another one. And if he continues being stubborn, take his saxophone away.”
It was a needless worry: Gerson doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t intend to live the life of the
stereotypical Bohemian musician.
On his debut disc, saxophonist Gerson Galante boasts 13 tracks, six of his own authorship, and
the special participation of first-rate musicians. From ballads to jazz fusion, it is the sax,
obviously, that dominates. But the musician doesn’t make that an imposition and opens space
for other instruments, like the bass of Zeli, on Severino Boy, by Marcelo Gomes.
501 is, in large part, melancholic, owing to the ballads, but there is also a place for jazz fusion,
for which the trombonist Bocato is greatly responsible. Three of the tracks on 501 are of his
authorship: Melancólica, Ronda and Salsa Barnabé. Although the first is a ballad, the other two
open possibilities for a real jam.
Ronda has already been recorded by the band Metalurgia as Ronda Ostensiva, and Salsa
Barnabé is a version of Monga, A Mulher Macaco, also recorded by Bocato’s band. Since the
structure of both were adapted for a small combo, they earned new names.
The title track, by Galante himself, is samba-jazz, just like Em Órbito, authored by the late
Brazilian saxophonist Casé, considered one of the best in the world by Down Beat Magazine in
the 1960s. This piece was unpublished and recording it was a way for Galante to pay homage
to one of his professors.
The ballad Love Dance, by Ivan Lins, is one of the best tracks on 501. It is also proof that
words are not missed that much. This is the first time that Love Dance appears as an
instrumental version, and Galante, assisted by Ivan Lins on the keyboard and Celso Pixinga on
the bass, achieves a striking result.
The influence of Miles Davis,Tom Jobim, Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso brings an
eclectic repertoire today to the stage of Elis Regina Theater, in São Bernardo. The attraction is
saxophonist, flautist and clarinetist Gerson Galante, who is doing a show under the auspices of
The Instrumental Project, which has been occupying the space for a month exclusively for
artists from that city. Accompanied by Marcelo Gomes (guitar), Zeli (bass) and Paulo Melo
(drums), Gerson presents himself only with his sax, his instrument of choice, which he has been
refining for two years during his travels through the United States. With ballads and his own
compositions, the multi-instrumentalist is taking advantage of his return to Brazil to exhibit some
of his work with Ivan Lins and the trombonist Bocato.
Gerson Galante is one more beneficiary of the junior marching bands of the region, limited
today to only that of Rudge Ramos. He grew up in the Mirim de Baeta Neves Band, just like his
colleague Isqui, who played at Elis Regina Theater last week. He entered as a child in 1972,
learning saxophone, and stayed until he turned 13 - the legitimate age for entering the band -
and later took his first steps at The São Caetano Arts Foundation, where he earned diplomas in
harmony, orchestra practice, music theory, and, of course, saxophone.
It was always the instrument with which he had the most affinity and ability. “The rest of my
studies only served to give support to my preference,” Gerson justifies. His training was also
echoed internationally after Gerson studied with Casé, considered by the American magazine
Down Beat as one of the three best saxophonists in the world. From experience arose
opportunities, like participating in two International Jazz Festivals in São Paulo, in 1978 and
Tonight, it is with the saxophone that the instrumentalist intends to present unexpected fusions
like the jazz waltz Elgin. He also intends to pay homage to samba in 501. His most evident
influences - David, Charlie Parker, Coltrane - will appear on Full Moon and Winter Time.
Eclectic, he also wants to recall his old shows with artists Sá and Guarabira, Ivan Lins, Fábio
Jr., Cláudia, Pery Ribeiro, among others.
In all, there will be eight supporting musicians among the band members, that Gerson hopes
one day will grow into a big band. Until then, he will be freelancing, traveling through Canada,
Italy and the United States, where he performs in festivals, jazz clubs and social clubs. Most
recently, he arrived carrying in his luggage the CD he played on with the Duke Ellington All-
Stars, the superstar jazz orchestra.
The composer plays piano on a track of the first disc of saxophonist Gerson Galante,
that will be released in May.
Singer and composer Ivan Lins comes to Santo André today, to record a track on the first disc
of saxophonist Gerson Galante, on the Camerati label. The disc, still untitled, will have a
thousand copies released in the month of May.
Also invited were the trombonist Bocato, responsible for the production, Maestro Zaccaro and
the band Terra de Ninguém. The first meeting between Gerson Galante and Ivan Lins
happened in 1980, during the Novo Tempo tour. At that time, Galante was only 13 years old.
“The baritone sax was bigger than Gerson and he had to stay seated in a chair to support
himself,” remembers the composer, who established himself with music of political protest from
the end of the 1970s to the middle of the 1980s. Afterwards, the two followed different paths.
Ivan Lins went to Rio.
The recording will be pure improvisation, much to the taste of Ivan Lins, who will play piano and
sing. The music will be chosen at the time. Beyond improvisation, sound quality is a great
concern to Galante.
The technical treatment of the disc will be the same shown to artists like Arrigo Barnabé and
Eliete Negreiros, that had their Camerati recordings mastered in the United States. Mastering is
the process that transforms the recorded sound from the studio into the final product, CD and
Among the repertoire are four pieces that Galante composed in 1990, the period during which
he lived in New York. The ballads Full Moon and Winter Time boast the participation of guitarist
Marcelo Gomes and bassist Zeli, both members of the band Terra de Ninguém, and drummer
The samba 501 refers to the number of the New York apartment Galante lived in, and the waltz
Elgin is the name of the theater he played at in Toronto, Canada. To escape the traditionalism
of the genre, Elgin has altered measures, which opens space, according to Galante, to forge a
jazz concept with a Brazilian language.
The disc even pays homage to Arrigo, with the recording of Salsa Barnabé, composed by
Bocato, who participates on guitar, and also to bassist Edu Fiori, who died last December.
The Camerati label is preparing to officially enter the national and international record market
starting in March, with a series of releases. The recordings were done last year in their Santo
For that, the label is counting on weighty names in the São Paulo musical scene, like Arrigo
Barnabé, Eliete Negreiros, Ná Ozetti, Pixinga, TNT, Groupo Rumo, O Beijo, and Gerson
The company Interdisc was contracted to do the distribution in Brazil and in the United States,
Germany, France, Holland, Italy, England, Japan, Chile and Argentina.
One of the marketing strategies to be adopted by Camerati, according to the owner Cláudio
Lucci, is to not sell the product in Brazil in magazines and supermarkets, preserving their brand.
Another bit of clout that the label is using to earn its place is the reinforcement of Doctor Toby
Mountain, an expert in mastering who has worked on discs by the Rolling Stones, David Bowie
and Frank Zappa, among others. Doctor Toby receives the material recorded by Camerati in
his studios in Boston, USA.
The first to be released are Arrigo Barnabé, Pixinga, and TNT, anticipated in March. The discs
will go out on CD and vinyl, in an initial media edition of three thousand copies.