In August, I had the amazing opportunity to photograph Brazilian Jazz legend, Arthur Verocai. This was a dream come true for me. I first discovered his music back in 2004 while searching for records to use in my Hip Hop productions. I instantly fell in love with his creations. Fast forward to 2019, I got to see him perform live with a small band. At that moment, I remember thinking, “Wouldn’t it be incredible to photograph him someday?”
Well, life works in mysterious ways. In August of this year, a friend reached out to me. He was working with a Brazilian filmmaker who was making a documentary about Verocai. They needed assistance, and I gladly joined in. After helping film an interview, I finally had the chance to express my admiration for Verocai’s music and take some portraits.
Arthur Verocai Studio Session with BADBADNOTGOOD
But the adventure didn’t stop there. I was also invited to observe Verocai collaborating with the contemporary Jazz group, BADBADNOTGOOD This Grammy award-winning band has worked with big names like Ghostface Killah, Kaytranada, Tyler the Creator, and Kendrick Lamar. It was surreal – from listening to Verocai’s records to witnessing the creative process at Diamond West Studios in Pasadena, California.
Inside the studio, I had the privilege of watching BADBADNOTGOOD at work and arranging their music. The studio itself was a treasure trove of vintage equipment that brought a sense of nostalgia, both visually and sonically. The sound quality was impeccable, reminiscent of classic records from 1972. I also had the chance to meet the studio owner and a talented Brazilian artist named Roger, who was lending his vocals to the collaborative track between Verocai and BADBADNOTGOOD.
Arthur Verocai at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles
Following this studio session, I received an invitation to Verocai’s second sold-out performance at the Mayan Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. The venue was packed with 1700 enthusiastic fans, all gathering to celebrate the 78-year-old maestro’s debut album and his inaugural North American tour. It was a diverse crowd, reflecting the album’s widespread popularity since the mid-2000s, thanks in part to Hip Hop icons like MF Doom, Ludacris, and Madlib.
For me, this experience was a long-held dream realized. The photographs I took are a tangible reminder of this incredible journey, and I’m thrilled to share them as a window into this unforgettable experience.