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Airto Moreira Biography

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Genres: Jazz, Latin, World

Airto Moreira was born in 1941 in the small village of Itaiopolis - south Brasil, and was raised in Curitiba. By the time he was six years old he had won many music contests by singing and playing percussion. The city of Itaiopolis gave Moreira his own radio program that aired Saturday afternoon on the local radio station. When Airto turned thirteen he declared his professional status as a musician. Airto Moreira, was well-known for his drums, and singing in local dance bands. Three years later at the ripe age of 16, Moreira moved to Sao Paulo, performing regularly in nightclubs and on television as a percussionist, drummer and singer. In 1967, he moved to the United States, following Flora Purim who he met in 1965 in Rio De Janeiro. Flora and Airto settled in New York where Airto began playing with great musicians such as JJ Johnson, Reggie Workman, Cedar Walter and bassist Walter Booker. It was through Booker that Airto began playing Joe Zawinul, who played trumpet for the Great Miles Davis. In 1970, Airto joined Miles Davis for a recording session for the recording of Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew.” Later that year, Davis invited Moreira to join his group comprising jazz greats, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, later John McLaughlin and Keith Jarrett. Moreira’s two year stint with Miles Davis was prolific as he appeared on six albums, “Live/Evil”, “Live at the Fillmore”, “On the Corner”, “The Isle of Wight”, “Bitches Brew” and later releases including the “Fillmore Sessions.”