Guitarist, composer, pianist, arranger, producer, group leader, performer, and musical bon vivant Oscar Castro-Neves is a many-faceted gem who radiates the rhythmic joy of Brazilian music.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1940, Castro-Neves began his musical career at age 14, when he and his brothers formed their first group, gaining recognition on local radio and television shows and hanging out with guys named Gilberto, Bonfa, and Jobim. Two years later, everything changed. “We were just a bunch of musicians who played for the fun of it, showing each other what we’d come up with,” recalls Castro-Neves. “You have to remember that all of these famous bossa nova musicians were 16 or 17 years old, with the exception of Jobim, who was 30 at the time.”
Castro-Neves has touched on many musical styles during his career, from soundtracks to pop acts, but he has never lost touch with his native Brazil. Besides recording and performing with the Paul Winter Consort, he has worked with Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Dave and Don Grusin, Johnny Mandel, John Klemmer, Ottmar Liebert, Lee Ritenour, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stan Getz, Minnie Ripperton, and Laurindo Almeida. Castro-Neves also composed the music for the Julia Louis-Dreyfus show, Watching Ellie.