Matuto (New York)


Imagine the sound of a Brazilian Carnaval relocated to the Appalachian Mountains; music that moves with two-stepping grace between bluegrass and forró, swamp rock and maracatu, surf guitar shimmies and the wah-wah of the berimbau. Meet New York’s Matuto (“bumpkin” or “country boy” in Brazilian slang), a band forging an irresistible sonic dialogue between Brazil and America.

“Whether you’re talking Zydeco or forró, these musical worlds have so much in common,” says Clay Ross, Matuto guitarist and band co-founder with accordionist Rob Curto. “They are grooving and sexy and all about dancing with your partner.”

That serendipitous, dance-floor-friendly something is a delightfully open ended dynamic with Matuto as they embrace the cross-cultural intersection. You’ll hear it in the rich tones of Curto’s forró accordion playing, in the rural rhythms of maracatu and the urban beats of Rio’s samba – all of it balanced with clear connections to American jazz, blues, bluegrass and folk. Matuto’s songs can sway hips just as easily as spark insights. It’s an unlikely combo on paper, but on the dance floor it just feels right.

Come spend some time with these worldy bumpkins, and maybe sway, dosey-doe, and stomp a step or two.

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