Sergio Mendes is a popular contemporary musician. He came into the world on 11th February, 1941 in a joint family in Niterio, a city of Brazil. Sergio’s father was a doctor and when he found that Sergio did not do well in studies, he made his son’s head shaved as a punishment. He had a curvature in his spine because of which he used to wear a cast on the body during his childhood stage. His most preference was music, even while he used to wear the cast, he used to play the piano for many hours. His parents never encouraged him to adopt music as a profession, but still they allowed him to take training on piano and used to pay his fees.
How did Sergio Mendes gain popularity?
Even after the disapproval from parents, he with his friend Tiao Neto during teenage made jazz combos on the bass for the very first time. Their group had several drummers. Mendes started doing shows with his group in latenight clubs. He then even used to perform his shows not only around Niterio but also across the Guanabara Bay to the Rio de Janeiro, that is considered as the center of musical life of Brazil. He used to play regularly at the Lojas Murray Club from where he started imbibing the contemporary music and latest jazz in him. People were so impressed by his music that they used to collect money so that Mendes could go home back by ferry ride. In year 1960, he used to play at the Little Club of Rio on every Sunday afternoon. Although he was not paid for this, but he was allowed to play with the rhythms of Latin and jazz and even the bossa nova that was popular at that time. So, this is how, Mendes was gaining popularity by appearing in different clubs of Niterio and Rio.
Which moment changed his life?
He did his first recording in the year 1961, Dance Moderno, that was labeled on the Philips. Next year, he had to go to New York with his band at Birdland Ballroom where he met with Cannonball Adderley, saxophonist. This meeting was remarkable for his life as he got the chance to appear with jazz legend in the album named as Quiet Nights in the year 1962. He also got the chance to perform in a bossa nova concert that was held at Carnegie hall in November 1962. That concert was so successful that he made the Bralian music popular in the United States too.
Due to some issues in Brazil, he had to leave his country and he relocated to New York where he started his career. He signed with many music companies, initially, he did not get much of the sales, but later on a few of his albums got so much fame. He then created a new band with the name Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66. He made a contract with the company A&M records. His release with Brasil 66 made him very popular in US. He has many awards and he is popular for his extravagant Brazilian music, hip ho, jazz etc.