BELEZA! is the duo of Pacific Northwest jazz artists, guitarist John Stowell and flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny.
Brought together by a shared passion for bossa nova, samba, and the timeless music of Antônio Carlos Jobim, Beleza! (pronounced be‧lé‧zah) takes its name from the Portuguese word for “beauty.” Beleza is also Brazilian street slang for “yes” or “it’s a deal.”
Guitarist JOHN STOWELL tours, records and teaches internationally. He has been artist-in-residence for schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, the United States and Canada. Stowell served as assistant director and performer in Oregon Public Broadcasting’s PDX Jazz Summit in 1991, and since 1995 has been a contributing columnist for a number of magazines, including Downbeat, Guitar Player, Canadian Musician, Soundcheck (Germany), and Guitar Club (Italy). With bassist David Friesen, he was featured on the soundtracks of two Academy Award Nominated short films. Through the Listening Glass with David Friesen was chosen as one of the Ten Best Jazz Albums of the Decade by the Los Angeles Examiner. John won Talent Deserving Wider Recognition honors in the Downbeat International Critic’s Poll of 1978 and 1979. His recording and performance credits include Milt Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, Conte Condoli, Herb Ellis, Bill Watrous, Mundell Lowe, George Cables, Billy Higgins, Billy Hart, Richie Cole, Paul Horn, Tom Harrell, Don Thompson and Dave Liebman.
Winner of NW Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year honors in the Seattle Golden Ear Awards, American flugelhornist DMITRI MATHENY has been lauded as “one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation” (International Review of Music). An honors graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Dmitri Matheny vaulted onto the jazz scene in the 1990s as the protégé of jazz legend Art Farmer. Since then he has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal international following, touring extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, traveling to 19 countries. With over 100 recordings to his credit, Dmitri Matheny has released 11 albums as a leader. His latest is Jazz Noir, a fresh spin on crime jazz, film noir movie themes and timeless classics. The San Francisco Chronicle calls Matheny “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players.”
“For the best Bossa Nova outside of Rio de Janeiro, check out BELEZA! Featuring Dmitri Matheny and John Stowell, this duo represents the very essence of the Brazilian musical form. Stowell’s rich chord voicings and unbelievable lyricism are the perfect match for Matheny’s masterful and melodic flugelhorn improvisations.”
—Ben Fajen, LooseWig Jazz
“In jazz, masterful artistry is not only defined by how great you play. It’s just as critical to be a consummate listener. Dmitri and John bring chops, taste, and big ears to their performances, treating us to infectious, enthralling, truly collaborative music.”
—Paul Ward, Cerimon House
“John Stowell plays his amplified guitar as if he were surrounded by fine crystal, the type of slow burning, sustained energy that you hear in players that practice all the time.”
“Dmitri Matheny is a jazz treasure. The lyrical Matheny has impressive chops, but it’s his warmth and soulfulness that win you over.”
—All Music Guide