Sergio Santos Mendes is a Brazilian musician who was born on 11th February,1941.He plays Bossa Nova with funk and jazz and has had over 55 releases.He was the songwriter of Real in Rio in the animated film Rio. He was awarded with an Academy Award for the Best Original Song of 2012.
He married Gracinha Leoporace who is a Brazilian singer and had been performing with him since beginning of 1970’s. Sergio Mendes has a long list of artists with whom he has collaborated. One of them is The black eyed peas. With Black Eyed Peas, he re- recorded the version of his hit song Mas Que Nada, 2006.
What is Brasil’66?
Mendes had recorded lots of jazz albums for the Atlantic records. But all of these albums through Ahmet Etregun and Nesuhi had very low sales.Richard Adler recommended Mendes that he and his group should sing in Portuguese as well as English. Adler wanted “Going out of my head” by Bobby Weinstein and Teddy Randazzo re-recorded. For this,he wanted to find two American girl singers can sing both in Portuguese as well as English. So he asked Jerry Dennon, his friend and Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert, founders of A&M records. They agreed and arranged an audition, which was termed as “Brasil ‘66”.
Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66
Later, Moss and Alpert signed up Mendes and group to A&M records.Ahmet agreed that Mendes could now record albums in the name of Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 with A&M records.The very first album recorded with A&M records was “Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil’66. The album was a super success because of the single “Mas Que Nada”. All this while, Alpert toured with Mendes, his personal support was also a very important part for the album to be a hit.
The original arrangement of Brasil ’66 was
- Mendes on Piano
- Bibi Vogel and Lani Hall as vocalists
- Bob Matthews on bass
- Joao Palma on drums
- Jose Soares on percussion
- John Pisano on guitar
- Vocalist Bibi Vogels was replaced later by Janis Hansen
Later, This new line-up including Janis Hansen further recorded two more albums during the period of 1966-1968.
In comparison to all the singles with Brasil ’66, Mas Que Nada was the only song that met some grand success.In April, 1968 Mendes performed at the Academy Awards,the Oscar-nominated song “The Look Of Love” that’s the time when Mendes personality came into existence. Brasil ’66 version of the song soon topped the topping at number four. In 1968, Mendes enjoyed the list of top 10 and 20 hits with all his singles like Scarborough Fair and The Fool on the Hill. Mendes became the most popular an the biggest Brazilian star in the world.He gave performances for presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson. He also performed in stadiums and venues and even the white house. In June, 1970, he and his Brasil ’66 group also appeared at the World Expo held in Osaka, Japan.