MacDonald-Salles Quartet

Earl and Felipe Salles met in 2015 as instructors at the Jazz-in-July summer jazz camp hosted by UMASS Amherst. A friendship and musical camaraderie developed and they decided to form a band together. Earl half-jokingly refers to this group as his “angry tenor band,” as the group plays in the aggressive, “no holds barred” tradition of John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Jerry Bergonzi.

Aside from having played together at Jazz-in-July faculty showcase concerts, their first quartet performance took place on April 2, 2017 at the Hartford Public Library’s Baby Grand Jazz Series.

Earl MacDonald, Felipe Salles, Avery Sharpe and Winard Harper performing at Jazz-in-July. Amherst, MA. July, 2016.

For those who aren’t yet aware of Felipe Salles’ saxophonic feistiness, his bio is listed below.

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Felipe Salles is an Assistant Professor at of Jazz and African-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2010. Being an active musician in the US since 1995, he has had the opportunity to work and record with prominent jazz artists like Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Lionel Loueke, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Sam Rivers, Herb Pomeroy, Jerry Bergonzi, Jovino Santos Neto, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza, and Bob Moses.

Felipe Salles is a 2009-2010 winner of the French American Jazz Exchange Grant from FACE, and Chamber Music America, and a 2005-2006 winner of the Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program, both projects sponsored by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He has also been awarded First Place in the Concurso SGAE de Jazz “TETE MONTOLIU”, 2001, with the composition “The Return of The Chromo Sapiens”.

As a composer and arranger, Felipe Salles has had arrangements and compositions performed by The Metropole Orchestra, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Violas, Meta4 String Quartet, University of Massachusetts Amherst Jazz Orchestra and Studio Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, and New England Conservatory Jazz Band.

Felipe Salles’ fifth release, “Departure”, on the Capri/Tapestry Label, has received raving reviews. In its four star review, Downbeat Magazine calls Felipe’s music “crafting pieces that juggle intriguing complexity with buoyant rhythms and lush colors” and describes “his success in translating that approach to a more nimble small band without losing any of the richness or diversity.” A feature review on JazzTimes Magazine says “Felipe Salles blends the visceral and the cerebral on his fascinating fifth album, infusing classical modernist strains with the buoyant rhythms of his Brazilian homeland.”

His sixth album, “Ugandan Suite” (Tapestry), has been described by jazz guitarist extraordinaire Lionel Loueke as follows: “This is one of the best progressive works I have heard in a long time. What a great blend of classical, African and Jazz music! The compositions and the arrangements are so well done, and in the most natural way. This music needs to be heard by the largest audience possible.”

Dr. Salles is a D’Addario Woodwinds Select Reeds Artist/Clinician and an Andreas Eastman Saxophones Artist/Clinician. He currently works as  a member of the New World Jazz Composers Octet, Kyle Saulnier’s Awakening Orchestra, Alex Alvear’s Mango Blue and Gonzalo Grau’s (Grammy Nominated) La Clave Secreta.

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