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“Mario Bakuna, a sparkling guitarist, plays with palpable feeling - his virtuosic fluency on the fretboard is controlled and flourishes are perfectly placed. His voice has a texture like heavy cloth”. (Songlines Magazine)


“Mario Bakuna, a man who exudes music. (…) ‘vocals’ doesn’t begin to do him justice: his expressive range and the precision with which he was able to deploy it was truly the band’s fifth instrument.  (…) And he did this while playing guitar with precision and finesse. (…) his solos were a further source of amazement, his technique somewhere between finger-picking style and classical. His solo introduction to a Baden Powell number made a hash of any attempt at a definition.” (The Whitman Review, Wakefield Jazz)

Mario Bakuna is a London-based Brazilian composer, arranger, singer and guitar player, with twenty years of professional experience. A graduate of the Free University of Music in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he studied with musicians such as Olmir Stocker, Roberto Sion and Roberto Bomilcar (the pianist who played with Frank Sinatra during his visit to Brazil). In Brazil, Mario Bakuna has played alongside the trombonist Itacir Bocato, guitarist Renato Consorte, and pianist Nelson Aires, to name a few.

Mario's study focuses on the development of a music repertoire inspired by the greats of Afro-Brazilian Music, Samba, Jazz and Bossa Nova. In addition to developing new arrangements of music by enshrined Brazilian artists as Tom Jobim, Dorival Caymmi, Paulo Moura, and João Donato, in recent years he has been working on reinterpretations of Samba Jazz: a musical genre that emerged in Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s and was led by musicians like Luiz Eça, Tamba Trio, and Edson Machado. Their repertoire was based on Brazilian Standards with more sophisticated harmonies inspired by the Post-Bossa Nova movement.

Since settling in London Mario Bakuna has become a prominent figure and a reference in the Brazilian Jazz music scene in England. 

Mario widely performs in Europe and beyond at distinguished venues and festivals alongside artists such as Jean Toussaint, Liam Noble, Ricardo dos Santos, Cacau Queiroz, Edmundo Carneiro, Alain Jean Marie, Dudu Penz, and Filó Machado.

The concerts of his 2 albums 'Where Rio de Janeiro Meets Bahia' and 'Brazilian Landscapes' toured 18 European countries, Brazil, Madagascar, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Recently he has been in Canada for a few sold-out concerts with great acclaim.


Some places Mario Bakuna has performed:

London (Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott's, Pizza Express, Jazz Cafe, Crazy Coqs); Dublin (Arthur's Jazz club); Nottingham (Peggy’s Sky Light); Canada (The Jazz Room, Yardbird Suite); Paris (La Cigale, Sunset Sunside, 360 Paris Music Factory); Copenhagen (Jazzhus Montmartre); Mannheim (Ella and Louis); Augsburg (Jazzclub Augsburg); Fribourg (La Spirale); Budapest (Opus Jazz Club); Madrid (Sala Clamores) Valência (Café Mercedez); Vienna (Reigen Live); Bad Vöslau (Hob i Raum); Amsterdam (Teatro Munganga, Jazz Café Alto); Porto (Hot Five Jazz Club);  Sao Paulo (Blue Note-SP, JazzB); 

Festivals: Estonia (headliner at Juu Jääb Jazz Festival); Azerbaijan (headliner at Baku Jazz Festival); UK (EFG London Jazz Festival, Henley Festival, Ealing Jazz Festival; Aberjazz Festival); Kazakhstan (Almaty Jazz Festival); Madagascar (Nosy Be Jazz Festival); Romania (Csíki Jazz Festival); Cyprus (headliner at Paradise Jazz Festival); Denmark (headliner at Jazz I Eltrik Gaarden Festival).

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