MATUTO (New York, New York) draws inspiration from rural traditions found across the Americas. Matuto (South American slang for “country boy”) is emerging as one of New York City’s hottest roots music acts. Imagine the sound of a Brazilian Carnaval in the Appalachian Mountains; a sound where dynamic percussion instruments rumble beneath blues drenched vocals, telecaster twangs, accordion acrobatics, and folksy fiddle tunes.
CLAY ROSS (GUITAR/VOCALS) is composer and songwriter based in New York City. After receiving a BFA in composition from the University of Charleston, Ross became an integral part of the South Carolina jazz scene and relocated to NYC in 2002. In 2005 he became a member of Cyro Baptista’s world-renowned percussion ensemble “Beat the Donkey,” with whom he toured regularly until 2009. In 2006 he was honored as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador and has completed tours abroad for the U.S. State Department. From 2009 to 2012 he toured extensively performing over 300 shows each year, worldwide, with Canadian Fiddler April Verch and other projects. ROB CURTO (ACCORDION) is widely regarded as forró’s foremost ambassador in the United States. An early devotee of North American swing music, bebop piano, funk, rock, and blues, he has combined these influences with his mastery of their Brazilian counterparts forró, chorinho, samba, maracatu, and frevo to produce stunning new results. He spent years living and playing in Brazil, completely absorbing and interpreting the country’s musical traditions. Aynsley Powell has performed and recorded with a diverse group of artists including St. Vincent, Kaki King, Autre Ne Veut, Lapland, and Tigercity. At home and eager to explore the freedom of acoustic improvisation, global rhythms, or the discipline of electronic dance music, Aynsley also has a penchant for songwriting as credited on recent albums by 70′s rock band, Wishbone Ash.
Kevin Hamilton (Bassist), is a celebrated artist in Charleston’s vibrant jazz scene. He has performed internationally with diverse ensembles such as The Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Houston Person, Gregory Hines, and Rene Marie. Kevin Hamilton joined the U.S. Dept. of State’s OneBeat program in 2012 and holds a degree in music theory and composition from the College of Charleston.
Ze Mauricio grew up immersed in the percussive traditions of his homeland. He is an original member of “Cyro Baptista’s Beat the Donkey” and performs with an eclectic blend of NYC bands. He is a master of the Pandiero (Brazilian Tamborine) and his vast palate of percussion sounds give Matuto a deep swinging dance groove.