These aren't your average blippity-blip-blap
saxaphone cats or what you hear in the elevator on the way to the doctor's office. Local Bossa Nova / jazz trio / live band The Bossa
will be providing classy entertainment for our annual DiscoverSD Holiday Party
on Saturday, December 18 at Quality Social
in the Gaslamp District. Want to party with us? RSVP now
Three passionate musicians, Brian Pierini, Mike Harris and David Scheid comprise the dynamic, rule-breaking band that seems to sweep San Diego across the world at least once a week. They're becoming fan favorites among the San Diego nightclub circuit, the party planners and the female groupies faster than they can strum a guitar.
This talented group of guys have a unique sound that can in one moment make you want to relax and delicately sip your cocktail in a candlelit lounge, and in the next cause you to break a sweat burning up the dance floor with the nearest guy or gal. Smooth, sophisticated and with the ability to "steam and cook," The Bossa's sound is surely something to be heard from your typical jazz band. Think the jazz version if music heavy hitters Michael Buble, John Mayer and Ryan Cabrera somehow had a Bossa Nova offspring. Yeah, The Bossa is that good.
I had the opportunity to interview The Bossa and learned that they all come from diverse backgrounds, bringing innovative ideas, talents, and collaborations to the table, or … stage. Here's the breakdown: Pierini is on sax, Harris on percussion, and Scheid as vocals and guitar (aka "The Brazilian"). They have a lot to offer musically, and are some pretty down-to-earth, friendly and funny guys, too.
Discover The Bossa's funny bones, spunky cast of characters, and of course, the music.
DiscoverSD: First, let's get to know the background of The Bossa. What's the story that brought the band together? How did you guys meet and then decide to create this jazzy San Diegan trio?
Brian Pierini: Craigslist! David's uncle, also a guitar player, was looking for a sax player, and I answered his post. When David first came to the U.S., he lived with his uncle, and when we first met, David knew no English and I knew no Portuguese. So we communicated through music during late night jam sessions. I had joined another jazz project via Craigslist, and the bass player in that group introduced us to Mike. So we owe it all to "Craig" and David's uncle! We decided to form The Bossa because we knew that no other groups in town were performing this music, other than throwing a few Jobim tunes into their set lists, and what better way to showcase this beautiful music than to have a Brazilian man in center stage.
Mike Harris: Yep, "Craig" made it happen all right! The way The Bossa came together is so cool because we were all gigging musicians around town in our own circles and then as our paths crossed, we became friends and the idea to start this project just came naturally. We started playing a lot of high end private functions at first and then when we got the weekly gig at Prohibition speakeasy in downtown, it gave us a chance to stretch a little more and go from just playing the standard tunes to really putting our signature on them, a process I personally have really enjoyed.
David Scheid: No English, Brian? Come on! I knew how to say "Hi, thank you, bye!"
DiscoverSD: So, The Bossa takes its name and influence from the dreamy Bossa Nova music of Brazil. But if you could choose The Bossa's top 5 musical influences and inspirations, what would they be?
Pierini: Bossa Nova can be dreamy, but it can steam and cook, too. Most people don't realize this, so we try to expose them to this side of Bossa Nova music by incorporating not just the traditional work of the great composers and lyricists like Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, but other influences, both American like Frank Sinatra, bebop, blues, rock, and Brazilian like Djavan, MPB and samba.
Harris: So the name of the genre Bossa Nova literally means something like "new trend." I like to think we're the new trend of Brazilian jazz. Being from three different countries, Italy (Brian), Brazil (David), and good ole' America (Mike), we're coming from some different vibes and sonic places, yet all three of us are students of all good music, which makes our combined sound totally unique and fresh. The radio presets in my car right now are in this order of new country, more new country, Top 40, jazz and classic rock.
Scheid: Dreamy, steam and cook, that's right. To be honest, the person responsible for me playing Bossa Nova today is my Uncle Eduardo Scheid, He was the one that showed me there was something more for me to play then just Joe Satriani. Back in Brazil, I used to play a lot of rock and blues. So why not mix the genius of Joao Gilberto with the Hendrix sound?
DiscoverSD: In the colorful and fantastic world of jazz, what makes The Bossa stand out? What kind of musical innovations make The Bossa unique?
Harris: Bossa, samba, blues, rock, jazz, and now we're even experimenting with some electronic elements to get kind of a lounge ambient electronica vibe going while keeping you thinking you're still on the beach in Rio in the moonlight sipping Cachaça.
Scheid: I think the way we play the songs. I never liked to play songs exactly how everyone else plays. "Brian, sorry for changing the progressions on your solos"… why not do something different? Who said you cannot play a blues solo on a Bossa Nova Tune like The Girl from Ipanema. And yes, big smile on stage. "Hey Mike, start the groove!"
DiscoverSD: Tell us some things to look out for in The Bossa's future. Any albums, new songs or other exciting plans in the works?
Pierini: We are currently looking to tour, both locally (L.A. and Las Vegas) and internationally (Japan and Brazil). Our hope is that one day we become a household name in Belgium. Well, perhaps that's a tall order, but we do want to reach a wider audience!
Harris: Belgium indeed ... and I'd like us to be a household name in Iceland as well. We're working on touring as Brian mentioned, and writing and planning for a debut album, so stay tuned for that for sure!
DiscoverSD: Tell us what the average night in the recording studio looks like for The Bossa.
Pierini: David is a fabulous musician, recording engineer and producer. He knows exactly how to elicit the absolute best performance out of me, in a very relaxed atmosphere. Want some beer? Some Brazilian BBQ? Dessert? Some whiskey? It's more like a social event.
Harris: For me, after about a month of recording every day for hours on end and struggling with challenging parts, David informed me that he believes I give my best performance when I'm angry! So I get to the studio and I guess he knows how to piss me off just enough to get a good recording. Personally, I would prefer to be happy while recording, but I have to admit that sometimes a little fire makes for a great energy on tape! David's a killer producer and engineer .... and the BBQ and whiskey helps too.
DiscoverSD: This one's for the ladies: Are any of you single and ready to sweep us off our feet? Yeah, you surely saw that one coming.
Pierini: I'm happily hitched.
Harris: As for me, I'm not married and I'm actually working on getting me a white horse and a proper castle with one of those little tower balcony deals, and a moat with the drop down bridge to sweep my princess off to when I catch her.
Scheid: I don't have a "white horse and a proper castle," but I got a lovely princess.
DiscoverSD: Lastly, The Bossa is ringing in 2011 by playing at Prohibition speakeasy in the Gaslamp Quarter on New Year's Eve. In 140 characters or less, describe how utterly amazing it's going to be.
Harris: This is your chance to get in on something really unique and special with a top-notch club, South America 1933 style vibe, cocktails, and yours truly!
Listen to The Bossa at Thebossamusic.com, catch them at DiscoverSD's holiday party at Quality Social on December 18, and ring in the new year with them at Prohibition speakeasy on New Year's Eve.
Discover more music news in our San Diego entertainment blog.