Lesson Feesfrom $70.00 / 60 Minutes
Roberto Sion is without a doubt among the most respected and active names in the Brazilian instrumental music scene. As Japan's OPA magazine said, "because of his creativity, Roberto Sion is one of the most important alto-saxophonists in the world."
On the forefront of musical forms, marrying jazz with Brazilian musical styles of Bossa Nova, Samba and others, Sion is today an accomplished alto-saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist as well as a respected composer, arranger, conductor and professor. At the age of 60, he has toured Europe and Japan, made seven albums and played, composed, conducted and taught in many orchestras, music festivals and conservatories.
For Sion, a life immersed in his musical passion came naturally. Both his father, an amateur musician and jazz lover, and his mother, an erudite music enthusiast, encouraged their son's musical passion and talent. By age 5, Sion was studying piano. At age 8, he was studying clarinet and saxophone as well as solfeggio, harmony and chorus chant at the Lavignac Conservatory.
Sion got a taste of jazz improvisation with his father, who held jam sessions with musical greats such as Stan Kenton. He gained an intimate knowledge of Vivaldi, Chopin and Bartok attending concerts in Santos with his mother.
"Through classical music, I learned to be fond of and familiar with well structured melodies," Sion said. "It facilitated my work as a composer, arranger and even as a jazz improviser. Through knowing all the styles consistently, we can get in touch with the multiple and infinite possibilities of taking off, improvising."
Jazz was always Sion's first love. He spent his teen years setting music to theater plays, performing in musical festivals and participating in Brazil's Bossa Nova movement. His formal education began at the Berklee School of Music where he studied arranging and improvisation. Also, saxophone with Joseph Viola. Later, with Ryo Noda, Lee Konitz and Joe Allard.
His career took off in the 1980s and 1990s. Sion toured Europe for four years with Vinícius de Morais, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Toquinho. He is perhaps best known as a member of Pau Brazil, the popular Brazilian band that toured Europe for three years.
Of his seven albums, four of Sion's recordings were solo works. Happy Hour, Eldorado/1987 was a jazz best seller. His most recent release, Oferenda, was recorded in Japan in March 1996.
In addition to his active performing and recording, Sion teaches and studies composition and music analysis with Damiano Cozzella, Olivier Toni, Willy C. Oliveira and H.J. Koellreutter. He explores the flute with Grace Buch.
His composition and orchestration work have been featured by the state and municipal Symphonic Orchestras of São Paulo, the São Paulo Symphonic Band, the Repertoire Experimental Orchestra, string and wind quartets and private projects.
Most recently, Sion worked as a professor and curricular tutor during the Campos do Jordão Music Festival and festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Brasília. He was invited as a visiting professor in the Big Band and in the improvisation summer courses in the Banff Center in Canada. In the present moment, he is the Music director and the Conductor of the Young Orchestra Antonio Carlos Jobim.
The International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) recently invited Sion to be a member.
Always profoundly studying wind instrumentalist styles, Sion aims to fuse technique and discovery. His palette vibrates with the firm command of a musician who knows his target intimately. The result is always impressive. Listeners who hear his music will always recognize his style. Roberto Sion is the heart of Brazilian wind and improvisation.