photo by BradWalseth
May 1st, 1979 Paulinho Garcia arrived in Chicago, Illinois, USA. That was the beginning of a new life and a re-start of his musical career. With him were his wife Maria Angelina Seta Garcia (Teka) and his 5 years old son Paulo Garcia Junior. Teka passed way in December 1996 but her children Paulo Garcia Junior and Paula Setta Garcia and 3 grandchildren Elias, Eliana and Eliza Garcia survive her. Paulinho was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on August 16th, 1948 from father Heitor Gianizelli Garcia and mother Isabel da Silva Garcia. His first contact with music came very early in life, around 9 years old, when he started singing in a Sunday’s children program at Radio Inconfidencia in his hometown. In his teens he played first the drums and then moved to the bass, which became his main instrument until 1991 when he then switch to the guitar. Paulinho was well known in his hometown as a jingle composer, arranger and performer. He led the band “Os Agitadores” for many years, one of the top bands in the TV program “Brasa 4” and played bass for the Celio Balona group, a wedding band and the house band at Emissoras Associadas TV Itacolomi-Radio Guarani.Before coming to the USA Paulinho under graduated in Physics and was pursuing electrical engineering at the Universidade Federal de Belo Horizonte. Being a self taught musician Paulinho started his bassist career when an amateur band needed a bass player at the last minute and Paulinho took the instrument. About two years later, already a well-known bass player and the house musician for the television network Paulinho was asked by a famous bassist touring his town if he could borrow his instrument, it was then that Paulinho found out that all that time he was playing with his own tuning since he used the bass as it was, out-tuned, when he first started. It didn’t take long to re-learn the right way though. Paulinho was 16 when his father got him a used guitar in a trade. Not knowing anything about the instrument he tried very hard to play his first chords by watching other guitar players but little he knew that the difficulty in getting a clear sound was due a bent neck which made the action of the strings too high. Besides the problem he learned many songs on that guitar and on 1973 his wife present him with a Di Giorgio guitar and from then on playing was comparably a breezy. In 1978 some of his friends musicians moved to Chicago and the opportunity to come to the USA came through his long time friend and drummer Dedé Sampaio who was at the time playing for Breno Sauer Brazilian Sounds. In need of a bass player Breno arranged a working visa for Paulinho and the band Made in Brazil was formed.Paulinho played with Made in Brazil until 1991 when he started his own band Jazzmineiro whose eponymous 1996 CD received excellent reviews in the Chicago Tribune, Jazziz magazine, the Brazilian Music Review, and The Brazilians. (…Paulinho ought to be considered a Chicago treasure… Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune). Also in the mid 90’s Paulinho for 5 years lead a 20-piece carnaval band for the Brazilian cultural center of Chicago for their annual carnaval party, one of the largest and best organized in the USA. Paulinho performs and records as a solo musician, with his group Jazzmineiro and three well-know duos: Two for Brazil with Greg Fishman, Dois no Choro with Julie Koidin and Paulinho Garcia-Grazyna Auguscik duo. He is a world-touring musician performing in renowned theaters, jazz festivals and clubs in Asia, Europe and America. With Greg Fishman Paulinho was the winner of the 2001 best jazz entertainer award given by the Chicago Music Awards. His 50 years of Bossa Nova concert at the Chicago Millennium Park on July 24th 2008 alongside João Donato was seen by a record audience of 12000 people and in December of the same year he shared the famous Esplanade Hall stage in Singapore with Jeremy Monteiro and Toots Tielemans for a sold out audience of 1600 people. He has been regularly performing in Poland with Grazyna Auguscik and in many prestigious jazz festivals such as the North Sea jazz festival in Holland, Elite and Fujitsu jazz festivals in Japan, Singapore jazz festival, Jazz w museum and Jazz nad Odrq in Poland, Central Pennsylvania friends of jazz, North Beach and Sarasota jazz fest in the USA just to mention a few. He has also performed many times at the jazz cruise and jazz party at sea.Paulinho is also a clinician and has given workshops and concerts at many prestigious universities such as Northwestern, Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Cornell, Hope College, etc. In June-July of 2009 he taught at the Moscow College of Improvised Music. In November 14 - 22 Paulinho performed at the Jazz Party at Sea jazz cruise, Poland Nov. 23 - December 2 and Russia Dec. 3 - 16. Paulinho presently teaches Brazilian guitar and vocals at Old Town School of folk music and coaches a Brazilian combo at Roosevelt University.