New Yorker Rob Curto brings passion, energy and musicality to the accordion, shedding new light on the instrument’s many timbral and rhythmic possibilities. The Los Angeles Times writes that, “Curto’s originals..combine traditional authenticity with persuasive dashes of jazz.” An early devotee of North American swing music, bebop piano, funk, rock and blues; Curto combines these influences with his mastery of their South American counterparts forró, chorinho, samba, maracatu, frevo and the many other styles that belong the Brazilian accordion tradition. The result is completely original, authentic and stimulating to fans of all kinds, and has earned the accordion many a convert, who profess to having discovered a love for the instrument at one of his shows.
Curto is a product of New York City’s diverse musical culture and has toured with artists such as Lila Downs, David Krakauer, Frank London and Cyro Batista. However, he also spent years living and playing in Brazil, completely absorbing and interpreting that country’s musical traditions. He has studied and performed with some of Brazil’s great accordionists such as Dominguinhos, Arlindo dos Oito Baixos, Camarão and Silveirinha. He has also played with artists such as star Brazilian mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda, Alencar 7 Cordas, Yamandú and Márcio Bahia. He was a member of the original scene of musicians who established a strong presence in New York City for forró, the dance music of northeastern Brazil, which has became the city’s most recent dance craze.
His group has performed at major festivals and performing arts centers such as the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Minneapolis, the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, the Chicago World Music Festival, Lotus Fest in Indianapolis, the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Mass., the Festival International in Lafayette, La., the Chico World Music Festival in Chico, Ca., Festival International Nuits d’Afrique in Montreal, the Cotati Accordion Festival and the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Tx., among others.
“As America’s finest purveyors of the forró sound, New York funksters Rob Curto’s Forró For All combine a wildly imaginative jazz sensibility with their obvious reverence for traditional Brazilian get-down sounds and the fusion is exhilarating.”
--San Francisco Bay Guardian
“The selections ranged from several marvelously atmospheric numbers by the great forró accordionist and composer Luiz Gonzaga to Curto's originals, which combine traditional authenticity with persuasive dashes of jazz. While the percussion rhythms were undeniably irresistible, it was the imaginative improvising that took the music well beyond the level of dance accompaniment.”
--Los Angeles Times