Amaro Freitas

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North America

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about the artist

"'YʼY' finds Freitas at his most wide-ranging, embodying so natural ambience as well as dramatic action on the piano." — The Guardian

"A young pianist from Recife, Brazil, Freitas makes the keys dance and chatter, as if each note were ricocheting off all the others, taking on energy and momentum from the swarm around it." — The New York Times

(February 27, 2024) Acclaimed Brazilian composer and pianist Amaro Frietas shares the title track "YʼY" (featuring Shabaka Hutchings) from his upcoming album, YʼY, out this Friday on Psychic Hotline. The track, which features Hutchings on flute in a duo alongside…

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"'YʼY' finds Freitas at his most wide-ranging, embodying so natural ambience as well as dramatic action on the piano." — The Guardian

"A young pianist from Recife, Brazil, Freitas makes the keys dance and chatter, as if each note were ricocheting off all the others, taking on energy and momentum from the swarm around it." — The New York Times

(February 27, 2024) Acclaimed Brazilian composer and pianist Amaro Frietas shares the title track "YʼY" (featuring Shabaka Hutchings) from his upcoming album, YʼY, out this Friday on Psychic Hotline. The track, which features Hutchings on flute in a duo alongside Freitasʼ on piano, is inspired by Freitasʼ enchantment at the beauty of the meeting of the Solimões and Negro rivers, where he felt that this record would be in reverence to the waters and forests. From this process came "Y'Y," a word written in the Sateré Mawé dialect, an ancestral indigenous code that means water or river. In this song, the duo translates the ancestral strength of the meeting of these waters into two opposing movements. The first showcases flowing tones of a more agitated, abundant, muddy river: the Solimões River; while the second movement bathes in the dark, meek, and silent infinite mantle of the Rio Negro.

Named one of Pitchforkʼs Most Anticipated Albums of 2024, YʼY (pronounced eey-eh, eey-eh) is "a call to live, feel, respect, and care for nature, recognizing it as our ancestor," says Freitas. He continues, "it is also a warning about the need to be aware of the impact we cause, based on the concepts of civilization and modernity that keep us away from this connection, and its importance for the balance of life on the planet." YʼY speaks to the importance of the water, the river, and our environment and how the conservation of the Brazilian rainforest is an answer to the reality of our climate struggles.

Featuring additional contributions from Jeff Parker, Hamid Drake, Aniel Somellian, and Brandee Younger, YʼY serves not only as an expression of connection to the earth and to the ancestors, but as proof of connections between the global Black avant-jazz community. This album is an artful conversation between those traditions, rooted in the unique sounds and rituals found in Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous cultures. With YʼY, Freitas further codifies his fresh, "decolonized" interpretation of Brazilian jazz, one that may well shatter preconceived notions of what jazz can be.

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