Matuto is a full time touring collective built around the core of Clay Ross (guitar) and Rob Curto (accordion). The band tours as a quartet, quintet, or sextet with a consistently phenomenal cast of NYC based collaborators.
Like a true southern preacher, Clay Ross delivers colorfully satirical lyrics reminiscent of David Byrne, Tom Ze, and Caetano Veloso. A virtuosic guitarist, his unique style combines the flatpicking prowess of bluegrass legend Tony Rice with the sonic depth of jazz master Bill Frisell, plucking three chord folk melodies or sophisticated Brazilian Choros with equal ease.
Rob Curto is widely regarded as forró’s foremost ambassador in the States. An early devotee of North American swing music, bebop piano, funk, rock, and blues, he has combined these influences with his mastery of their Brazilian counterparts forró, chorinho, samba, maracatu, and frevo to produce stunning new results. He spent years living and playing in Brazil, completely absorbing and interpreting the country’s musical traditions.
Touring Members 2016:
Aynsley Powell has performed and recorded with a diverse group of artists including St. Vincent, Kaki King, Autre Ne Veut, Lapland, and Tigercity. At home and eager to explore the freedom of acoustic improvisation, global rhythms, or the discipline of electronic dance music, Aynsley also has a penchant for songwriting as credited on recent albums by 70′s rock band, Wishbone Ash.
Bassist, Kevin, is a celebrated artist in Charleston’s vibrant jazz scene. He has performed internationally with diverse ensembles such as The Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Houston Person, Gregory Hines, and Rene Marie. Kevin Hamilton joined the U.S. Dept. of State’s OneBeat program in 2012 and holds a degree in music theory and composition from the College of Charleston.
Ze Mauricio grew up immersed in the percussive traditions of his homeland. He is an original member of “Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey” and performs with an eclectic blend of NYC bands. He is a master of the Pandiero (Brazilian Tamborine) and his vast palate of percussion sounds give Matuto a deep swinging dance groove.
Past Touring Members and Collaborators:
Josh Hari (bass) is a producer and music educator from Oakland, California and Guadalajara, Mexico. A long-time advocate of improving the music curriculum in public schools, Josh has helped found and teach at several after-school programs in the San Francisco Bay and Boston areas, and has done both Jazz and Hip-Hop master classes throughout the country. He has performed in a professional setting and/or recorded with: Dianne Reeves, Terri Lyne Carrington, Lalah Hathaway, Goapele, Lyrics Born, Killah Priest, Richie Rich, Phife Dawg, Joe Louis Walker, John Ellis, Gary Thomas, Nonah Hendryx, Julian Lage, Greg Osby, Living Legends Crew and many others.
Jordan Morton is a classically trained double bass player with a deep need to groove. She received her performance degree from Ithaca College, and then completed a year-long apprenticeship with virtuoso François Rabbath in Paris, France. Jordan performs classically, jazzily, folkishly, and all manners in between. On her debut solo release Cascadilla Creek, Jordan sings and shreds on bowed bass. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches privately at Cornell University.
Mazz Swift is a native New Yorker, who began playing the violin at age 6. She graduated from the High School of the Performing Arts, during which time she made her solo public performance debut on the stage of New York’s Alice Tully Hall, performing alongside members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. She later attended The Juilliard School of Music, but left in the middle of her 3rd year to pursue a more organic approach to music making. Consequently, she has recorded and performed with a wide variety of artists including Whitney Houston, Perry Farrell, Kanye West, Common, and Jay-Z.
Most noted for his work with the Herbie Hancock Quartet, Richie Barshay has established himself as a prominent musical voice of his generation and is regarded as “a player to watch” by JazzTimes magazine. On tour and on recordings, his eclectic resume so far includes Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Lee Konitz, The Klezmatics, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Natalie Merchant, David Krakauer, Fred Wesley, Claudia Acuña and Pete Seeger among others.
Michael Loren Lavalle
The son of two musicians, Michael Loren Lavalle was raised on all genres of American Music. Now, matched with a profound knowledge of musics from Brazil, he has become an in-demand bassist and percussionist on NYC’s creative music scene. He has worked with a vast and diverse array of artists and co-produced the album “Edge of Everything” by Greta’s Bakery which was released by Decca/Universal Music Group in 2009.