Richard Boukas

Artist Website


A unique contemporary performing artist, composer, educator, author and journalist, he has led original music ensembles for over thirty years. Recognized as one of this country’s most important exponents and advocates for Brazilian music, his compositions merge traditional genres with Jazz and Classical styles. A virtuoso guitarist and vocalist, his collaborations with top Brazilian musicians include most notably a ten-year association with Grammy-nominated pianist Jovino Santos Neto. His latest ensemble, Quarteto Moderno, features the acclaimed saxophonist-composer Felipe Salles Leonardo Cioglia (bass) and Adriano Santos (drums). His trios have included bassists Nilson Matta, Santi Debriano and drummers Paulo Braga, Portinho and Vanderlei Pereira.

Boukas was chosen “Best Brazilian Jazz Guitarist in the U.S.” by GuitarOne Magazine, and his extensive writings on Brazilian music in Just Jazz Guitar magazine and other publications are read worldwide. He was cultural guest artist-professor at Campos do Jordão Winter Festival in São Paulo, where he performed and taught with notable Brazilian Jazz artists Roberto Sion, Nenê, Amilton Godoy, Vinícius Dorín, Theo de Barros and top Classical musicians. Subsequent trips to Brazil have included performances, recordings, scholarly research and cutting-edge collaborations.Richard’s Duo with Jovino Santos Neto has presented concerts, educational residencies and workshops throughout the U.S. Their recording Balaio (Malandro Records) featured their original compositions and those of Jovino’s mentor, the brilliant Hermeto Pascoal. Richard also produced a landmark recording, Tudo de Bom, featuring Pascoal’s music from the historic collection Calendário do Som. His three previous recordings as leader on the Jazz Essence label are Amazôna, Embarcadero and Commitment.

An artist-faculty member at New York City’s New School Jazz Program since 1989, he teaches in several course areas including Brazilian and World Music, Improvisation, Ear-Training, Jazz Vocal and Renaissance Choral Music, and is founder of the school’s Brazilian Jazz Ensemble. A four-time recipient of the NEA Grant in Jazz Performance, his solo artist residencies include Harvard, Cornell, Univ. Denver, Casper College, Univ. of Toronto, Univ. Louisville, Cincinatti Conservatory, Univ. Arizona/Tucson and seminars at National Guitar Workshop and American Institute of Guitar.


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