Grammy nominated Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo (pronounced “fig-a-ray-doe”) lives in, with, and for the music. Some people are simply meant to be musicians. Diego is one.
Diego will be performing new songs from his two most recent recordings: 2021’s 22nd most played album on the JazzWeek Radio Chart’s Antarctica, and his current release titled Follow the Signs. Antarctica features several original compositions inspired by Diego’s trip to Antarctica in 2019. Follow the Signs features tributes to Antonio Carlos Jobim and to João Gilberto.
“Diego Figueiredo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve seen in my whole life. The world needs to listen to his music” –George Benson
Diego Figueiredo was born in 1980 in Franca, São Paulo State, and began playing music at four years old. By the age of twelve he had already attracted a local following, and when he was fifteen, he was drawing huge crowds around Brazil.
Now, in 2021, he has conquered the world. Diego has recorded over two dozen albums, both solo and in collaboration with others, and constantly tours all over the globe. He can no longer be downplayed as a “rising star” among the world’s great (jazz) guitarists – he is now inarguably among the established elite. His skills on his instrument are matched only by his ability to move freely between styles, and his sublime technique is paired with an exquisite ability to vary his playing so that it radiates with unwavering excitement. His expressive voice on the acoustic guitar draws inspiration from his home country’s rich musical heritage, but he also has a deep knowledge and sense of jazz’s quirkiness as well as the classic guitar tradition. Diego Figueiredo can play whatever he desires.
Diego has released 25 CDs between his releases in Brazil, the European label Stunt Records, and now Arbors Records. He has played in more than 60 countries. He is the winner of several important competitions including The Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition, and Brazil’s VISA Prize.
Diego has recorded and performed with Brazil’s biggest stars including Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, Roberto Menescal, Toquinho, Fafá de Belém, Angela Maria, Toninho Horta, and several years touring the world accompanying Brazil’s beloved composer and vocalist, Belchior.
For the last ten years, Diego has spent large swaths of time in North America, performing solo and in duos with the likes of Larry Coryell, Ken Peplowski, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Chuchito Valdes, Stanley Jordan and Cyrille Aimée.
Diego and Cyrille Aimée toured heavily together from 2011 – 2015. Each artist has guested many times on each other’s albums, culminating in Cyrille’s 2019 Sondheim inspired album, “Move On”, which earned each of them a Grammy Nomination for “Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals”.
Guitar World magazine wrote “Next up was a true virtuoso, jazz guitarist Diego Figueiredo. Yes, we were all mesmerized by his amazing head of hair. But it was his incredibly fluid and natural performance style, his sense of true enjoyment as he dazzled us and his good-natured entertaining approach that truly grabbed us. Wow. I don’t even know what else to say. Seemingly effortless and thoroughly fabulous.”
Diego and Ken Peplowski debuted as a duo on their 2019 release on Arbors Records, “Amizade”. That album spent 15 weeks spinning on JazzWeek’s Top 50, and was accompanied by a 20 city tour.
Next, Diego released his first solo album in the USA in 2020’s “Compilation”, also on the Arbors label. That album spent 19 weeks in the Top 50 of JazzWeek’s radio charts, an unusual long period of time in today’s radio.
In the meanwhile, Diego has released four records on the Danish label, Stunt Records, including “Broken Bossa” (2015), and “Come Closer” (2019), which was a guitar/vocal album featuring four songs with Cyrille Aimee, four with Janis Siegel, and two with Italian jazz singer Chiarra Izzi.
Now, Diego’s second solo album for Arbors, “Antarctica” (January 2021), was inspired by a recent trip to the world’s most unique and rare continent, Antarctica. Besides the peacefulness and beauty of the continent, Diego was particularly inspired to compose about the ever-present penguins, who seemed to have a lilt and spirit as they went about their mysterious mission.
The album is filled with all originals, four solo, and the rest with his favorite Brazilian backing trio consisting of pianist Alexandre Piu, bassist Eduardo Machado and drummer Fernando Rast.
Ken Franckling’s liner notes are of particular significance as he has seen Diego perform live numerous times. He concludes, “Some things are very clear here. The guitarist (Diego) is a composer, bandleader and player of the highest caliber. He has blended classical and jazz acoustic guitar techniques into something distinctly Diego.”
“Up next was a true virtuoso, jazz guitarist Diego Figuierido. Yes, we were all mesmerized by his amazing head of hair. But it was his incredibly fluid and natural performance style, his sense of true enjoyment as he dazzled us and his good-natured entertaining approach that truly grabbed us. Wow. I don’t even know what else to say. Seemingly effortless and thoroughly fabulous.” – Laura B. Whitmore / Guitar World Magazine