"An exceptional guitarist with a wonderful sound and great fluidity, a unique composer of originality and maturity."
Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Chico Pinheiro started playing the guitar when he was 6. At 14 he started working as studio session guitarist and soon began to be called to collaborate with a wide range of artists in his hometown, then in Brazil, then abroad. In 2002 Chico puts together a band of his own and starts recording as leader. His first album, 'Meia Noite Meio Dia' (Sony Music/ 2003) was released in 2003 with great reviews at all the most important newspapers and music magazines in Brazil and abroad, and was included in the 'Top 10 Brazilian albums of the year' in the major newspapers of Brazil: 'O Estado de São Paulo' , 'A Folha de São Paulo' and 'O Globo' . This well-received debut included performances from special guest vocalists Lenine , Ed Motta , Chico César , and Maria Rita .
His second release, 'Chico Pinheiro' (Biscoito Fino/ 2005) enjoyed great critical and audience acclaim, once more being included in the 'Top 10 Brazilian albums of the year' by newspapers 'O Estado', 'O Globo' and 'Folha de São Paulo'.
The third album, NOVA , was released in dec/ 2007 in collaboration with the american guitarist and composer Anthony Wilson . It was, again, celebrated by critic and audience.
His fourth album, There's a Storm Inside (CT Music Japan/ Sunnyside Records, NY, 2010) was released in 35 countries. It includes guests such as Dianne Reeves and Bob Mintzer, and was featured on theDownbeat, Revista Veja, O Estado de São Paulo, Folha de São Paulo, Jornal O GLOBO and Revista Rolling Stone among the 'best albuns of the year'. This record also won prizes as Best Brazilian Jazz Álbum of the year and Best Latin Jazz Composition of 2010 with 'Mamulengo', in the Latin Jazz Corner Association, USA. Chico also won as Best Latin Jazz Guitarist, in the same association.
In 2012 he released the CD 'TRIZ', in partnership with the pianist and composer André Mehmari and singer and composer Sergio Santos. The album received highly favorable reviews and was also listed among the best albums of the year.
Meanwhile, Chico was chosen three times as a Rising Star in the Guitar category in the Downbeat Magazine Annual Critics Poll - along with Julian Lage, Peter Bernstein and Adam Rogers.
In 2017 Chico releases "Varanda", a special collaboration project that again was included as 'best of the year' in all major papers and magazines in Brazil and abroad. His composition "Varanda" is performed by Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band on the Project "Focus on Brazil", along with Milton Nascimento, Edu Lobo, Gilberto Gil, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Villa Lobos.
Today Chico is considered a leading figure in - and outside the Brazilian music scene, who has distinguished himself as a guitarist, composer and arranger. Alongside with his main projects as leader, he also has collaborated with artists such as Placido Domingo, Brad Mehldau, Dave Grusin, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Danilo Pérez, Nnenna Freelon, Bob Mintzer, Herbie Hancock, Brian Blade (IJD), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Israel Chamber Orchestra, The Bob Mintzer Big Band, The Paris Jazz Big Band, The Swiss Jazz Orchestra, The Danish Radio Big Band, The Seasons Guitar Quartet with Anthony Wilson, Julian Lage & Steve Cardenas, Esperanza Spalding, Joyce, Ivan Lins, Rosa Passos, Dori Caymmi, Danilo Caymmi, João Donato, Johnny Alf, Chico César, Ed Motta, César Camargo Mariano, Elza Soares, Luciana Souza, Monarco, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Tom Scott, John Patitucci, Eddie Gomez, Gary Novak, Lee Ritenour, Abraham Laboriel, Paulinho da Costa, Sammy Figueroa, Cachaíto Lopez (Buena Vista Social Club), Roberto Fonseca, Ari Hoenig, Claudio Roditi, Duduka da Fonseca, Peter Erskine, Giovani Hidalgo, amongst others.
About Chico Pinheiro:
“If you enjoy adventurous, creative and contemporary Brazilian music, Chico Pinheiro is the man taking it to the next level.”
- WDNA, Miami , USA
“An astonishing guitarist whose technical skill and emotive feel for the instrument is above par for anything guitar-related I've experience of late.”
- Global Village, Savannah, GA, USA 2018
“One of the brightest lights on today's Brazilian jazz scene"
- The BOSTON GLOBE, Boston, MA, 2018
“Chico Pinheiro is a prodigy of guitar”
- Downbeat Magazine, USA, 2017