Amazona / Brazilian Jazz

AMAZONA Audio Player

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AMAZONA was Richard Boukas's celebrated Brazilian jazz ensemble between 1990-96. 

Its challenging repertoire using through-composed forms represented a key phase in Boukas's compositional development.
Melding traditional Brazilian genres such as samba and choro with rich jazz harmonic vocabularies was a key element throughout the project.

AMAZONA's original members:

• BOUKAS - guitars, cavaquinho, guitar synthesizer, lead & background vocals, percussion

• TONY REGUSIS - piano, keyboards, synthesizers

• JOHN ARBO - electric basses, background vocals

• RAY MARCHICA - drums, percussion




The identity of AMAZONA was embodied in their 1993 debut CD of the same title. Recorded in New York City at Crystal Sound by Steve Vavagiakis (now at BangZoom Productions), the elaborate production employed extensive overdubbing- creating complex polyphonic/polyrhythmic textures which gave each composition a distinct identity.

• ATRÁS DE NOS is an exuberant SAMBA featuring Boukas's lead vocal (in Portuguese), background vocals (shared by bassist John Arbo), guitars and cavaquinho. Guitar and piano solos on the original form exhibit a Bebop approach to improvising on samba.

• FEITICEIRO is an extended CHORO form (AABACCDDA + solos & coda) dedicated to the unique Brazilian master HERMETO PASCOAL. The lead piccolo theme is played on guitar synthesizer. Solos by Boukas (synthesizer and vocal) and Regusis (accordion synth) culminate with trading 8's and 4's before the final coda.

• MONTUNOMORPHOSIS is an expansive SALSA SUITE featuring Boukas's scat solo, seven-part group vocals and piano solo by TONY REGUSIS.

• AMAZONA is the title track. Winding its way through diverse grooves and moods, this piece is dedicated to preservation of the Brazilian rainforest.

• IT MIGHT AS WELL BE FALL is a playful CHORO in AABA form. Solos by Boukas (accordion synth) and Regusis (piano) feature modulatory harmonies and rhythm section accents.


SCORES of the pieces are in the process of being engraved. Please check back on this page for availability updates.