Concerned with the virtuosic, harmonic, and melodically rich renovation of the choro genre, following in the steps of the Camerata Carioca and of Radamés Gnattali's teachings, the Trio Madeira Brasil intersperses classic music (being symptomatic the evident absence of the pandeiro or any other rhythmic instrument in the group's formation) in its performances, but tries to remain attentive to Brazilian traditions. The group, formed by mandolinist Ronaldo do Bandolim, a former member of the Época de Ouro and considered the best interpreter of Ernesto Nazareth; the classically trained José Paulo Becker (violão, or acoustic guitar); and Marcello Gonçalves (seven-string guitar), launched their first album, Trio Madeira Brasil, in 1998, which had compositions by Ernesto Nazareth and Jacob do Bandolim, and by contemporary composers such as Edú Lobo, Egberto Gismonti, and Chico Buarque. The album got them two nominations for the 1998 Sharp prize for Best Group and the Best Album. The next year, they performed at the Free Jazz Festival and in 2001 in the ample choro panel realized at the CCBB (Banco do Brasil Culture Center) in Rio, with representatives of the genre from Brasília, São Paulo, the Northeast, and Rio.
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