Dom Salvador is the unassuming godfather of Brazilian Soul music, having created one of the first bands, Abolição, in the early seventies that fused jazz, soul, funk, samba and other Brazilian styles into a unique hybrid for the 1971 album Som, Sangue e Raça (Sound, Blood & Race). This jazz pianist, who got his start playing samba jazz in the same narrow alley that launched the career of Sergio Mendes, mentored some of the best afro-brazilian musicians in his Abolição group, many of whom went on to play for Tim Maia and eventually start the iconic Brazilian funk band, Banda Black Rio.
In addition to being a touchstone for funky Brazilian music, his work as a bandleader in the mid-sixties helped put a few Brazilian icons on the map, including Elis Regina and Jorge Ben. After anchoring the Copa Trio and Rio 65 Trio album, he released a couple of samba jazz albums as the Salvador Trio, arguably some of the best of this highly competitive style. In 1969 he teamed up with Tamba Trio drummer and CBS producer, Helcio Milito, for his self-titled debut solo album, which first saw Salvador integrating modern pop and soul sounds into his repertoire. This album also featured early versions of Abolição songs played by future icons including Ivan “Mamão” Conti (Azymuth) and Cassiano, among others.
After one album with Abolição he pulled the plug and moved to New York City to be closer to his jazz idols. Here he recorded a solo album in 1976 on Muse Records as well as played and recorded with musicians such as Herbie Mann, Dom Um Romão, Lloyd McNeil, Charlie Rouse and was even Harry Belafonte’s band leader for a few years where they played for the Queen of England! In 1977 he started a gig playing piano at the River Café in Brooklyn, holding down that piano bench nightly for 40+ years. He’s recorded a handful of solo albums and with his New York-based sextet and in 2015 his trio played Carnegie Hall in commemoration of fifty years of samba jazz, celebrating his iconic Rio ‘65 Trio.
On June 26th, 2022 Dom Salvador will bring his sextet to Los Angeles, for his biggest show on the West Coast ever (he only ever played Southern California once before for a much smaller audience) including a special screening of the recently released documentary about his life and music: Dom Salvador & Abolition.