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Hermeto Pascoal

with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Hermeto Pascoal stands wearing a brightly coloured shirt in the centre of the photo while his bandmates point at him

Arranger, composer and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal is the stuff of Brazilian music myth – a vital figure in its history.

Known as ‘O Bruxo’ (the sorcerer), on stage he has an almost spiritual connection to the other musicians, as they blend busy percussion, break-neck bossas and sambas and endlessly modulating melodies – creating a scampering, swirling party atmosphere that includes the whole room, players and audience alike. It’s clear why Miles Davis claimed him to be ‘the most impressive musician in the world.’

Self-taught, he honed his ear for unusual tones in his grandfather’s blacksmith workshop, hearing music as a vital force that rings forth organically from everything on earth. He continues to transform everyday objects into extraordinary compositions, whether that’s through squeaky toys, old teapots or his trusty accordion.

Tagged with: Contemporary music

Produced by the Barbican in association with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra

‘We are excited to bring Hermeto's unique and wide-ranging musical language to the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and to share it with young British musical talent‘

£5 Young Barbican exhibition tickets

Aged 14-25? Sign up for free and unlock £5 exhibition tickets for you and a mate


cartoon image of Hermeto Pascoal in rainbow colours

Watch: Hermeto Pascoal - Música da Lagoa

Watch as Hermeto Pascoal makes music in a lake

Barbican Hall