My “Latino week” continues in the playlist’s jazz-fusion category by going to Brazil and finding drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira and his wife, Flora Purim.

Flora Purim and Airto Moreira

Moreira was already making a name for himself professionally in Brazil before following Flora (known as the “Queen of Brazilian jazz”) to America after she found herself frustrated by a crackdown on freedoms in their native country.

The move paid off for both of them.  Electric jazz was starting to take root and blossom when they arrived, and Airto and Flora got in with some of the pioneers of what would become known as fusion, playing with Joe Zawinul, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, and they’ve both gone on to play with even more of the greatest names in jazz and rock music history, becoming a part of Weather Report and Return To Forever.

In September 2002, they received one of Brazil’s highest honors by being named to the “Order of Rio Branco.”

Their legacy will continue through their daughter as well, singer Diana Moreira.

Their legacy is rich in music that stirs the soul.


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