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 (pianist who played with Frank Sinatra during his visit to Brazil). In Brasil, Mario Bakuna has played alongside the trombonist Itacir Bocato, guitarist Renato Consorte, and pianist Nelson Aires, just to name a few.
His 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 - 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.
He travelled to Europe to expand his knowledge and skills and since settling in London has performed alongside musicians such as Jean Toussaint, Liam Noble, Ricardo dos Santos, Edmundo Carneiro, Cacau Queiroz, Alain Jean Marie, Dudu Penz, and Filó Machado.
Mario has recently been on tour promoting the album recorded alongside the percussionist Edmundo Carneiro - ‘Where Rio de Janeiro Meets Bahia’ - performing successful shows in London (Pizza Express, 606 Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott's, Ealing Jazz Festival, The Crypt Jazz Club, The Jazz Café), Brussels (Bouche à Oreille, Chapelle de Boondael), Paris (Sunset Sunside, 38Riv, Toulx Saint Croix Jazz Festival), Switzerland (La Spirale, Neuchatel Collegiale Church), Amsterdam (Teatro Munganga, Pllek, Jazz Café Alto), Portugal (Armazem 8, Palácio do Príncipe Real), Spain (Sala Clamores, Castillo de Santa Bárbara, El Mussol Jazz Club, Café Mercedes, Refugio Jazz Club) Italy (Garage Moulinski, Milestone Piacenza Jazz Club, Circolo Giovane Italia, Cascina Casottello Milano) Germany (Augsburg Jazz Club, Tucholsky Theatre Minden, Goldkante Jazz Club Bochum), Madagascar (Nosy-Be International Jazz Festival), and Brazil (Blue Note São Paulo, Jazz Nos Fundos).
In 2021, Mario will be launching his new album as a quartet: 'Brazilian Landscapes'.