G. Thiago de Mello

Pra dormir ne Rede

Chant # 2 – Uirapurú do Amazonas (with guitar) 

O Canto da Yara

Chants to the Chief #10

A Hug for Pixinga 

Canoa Furada


Choro Alegre

August 20, 1933 – November 11, 2013

Gaudêncio Thiago de Mello, composer/percussionist who was born and raised in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest, has experimented with a variety of styles, combining the timeless, primitive musical elements of the Amazonian jungle, and the contemporary jazz language of New York.  He created a special collection of instruments called “Organic Percussion” which he uses in concerts, recordings and in master classes around the world.

He studied classical guitar and founded the Guitar Society at the United Nations in 1970, which he directed for 10 years. He also founded and directed the Jazz Ensemble at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, where he taught for 29 years, and is a Downbeat award-winner both as percussionist and for his recording. He is a frequent collaborator with Sharon Isbin, both on recordings and in performance worldwide.  Thiago de Mello’s compositions have been featured in films and documentaries, theater and dance as well, and have been recorded by leading jazz artists.

Thiago has composed a vast repertoire including a series of pieces called “Musical Embraces” and a series of chants called “Chants for the Chief”, premiered by Brazilian classical guitarist Carlos Barbosa Lima with Thiago playing percussion. Besides playing the guitar and singing, Thiago also played many percussion instruments with his band “Amazon”, a 12-piece orchestra based in NYC, and as a special guest with performing and recording artists. He recorded some of his music on Paul Winter’s Grammy Nominee Recording “Earth, Voices of a Planet”.  He can be heard on Luis Bonfa’s album “Magic” on the Caju/Polygram label and has also recorded on Concord Records, Virgin Records, and Abracos. NBC chose two of his pieces to air during the 1992 Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona , Spain. Quintet of the Americas is proud to have commissioned four songs from Thiago which were premiered on May 10, 2007 at Merkin Concert Hall. Thiago joined the Quintet for concerts thoughout the borough of Queens including Flushing Library, the United Nations School in Jamaica, the Center for  Mediation Services in Jamaica, the Sunnyside Senior Center, the Sunnyside After-school program at P.S. 150, the Beacon Program in Elmhurst, at the N.Y. Hall of Science in Flushing Meadow Park, and the Jewish Center in Jackson Heights.

photo credit : Thomas Myller