Rob Curto's Forro For All

Rob Curto's Forro For All


The high-spirited dance music of northeastern Brazil, Forro, always gets them out of their seats! Forro For All is steeped in the music of that region, led by the highly imaginative accordion player, Rob Curto.


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 to 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 extensively with artists such as Lila Downs, David Krakauer, Frank London and Cyro Batista. He has 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 as well as Brazilian artists such as the great samba singer Elza Soares. 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 Forro For All 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 Bloomington, IN; the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, MA; 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.

Curto was also recently highlighted as a teacher at the prestigious California Brazil Camp in Cazadero, Ca. He was the first person to teach this style of music at the camp and he led an ensemble class including accordionists, percussionists, bass, guitar, violin and winds. His performances during the week were also an important part of the program. Curto is part of a larger movement of musicians in the United States who are introducing more diverse Brazilian styles to a public accustomed to hearing only the bossa nova of Jobim and samba from Rio de Janeiro. Now Frevo, Maracatu, Baião, Xote, Arrasta-Pé, Coco, and the myriad musical styles from the culturally rich northeastern part of Brazil are becoming more familiar to American audiences.

Curto recently recorded his latest release "Piano de Fole" under the musical direction of Brazilian mandolinst Dudu Maia. Recorded in Brasília, Brazil, with musicians from Brasília and Rio (such as Fabio Luna and George Lacerda), this CD contains original compositions, improvisation and traditional Brazilian repertoire by composers such as Jacob do Bandolim, Jobim and Gonzaguinha. A new recording is planned for 2008 which will explore in greater depth the variety of music from northeastern Brazil with a distinctly North American influence. Rob's discography also includes Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars' acclaimed CD, Carnival Conspiracy, Beat The Donkey Beat, the latest release by master Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista, Lila Downs' La Cantina, recently released on Narada records and the latest CD by the group Nation Beat.

Rob Curto's Forro For All is represented by Eye for Talent. Rob Curto has toured extensively with bands mentioned above and is accustomed to generating and maintaining a tour budget.


2006 - Forró For All
2007 - Piano de Fole

Set List

2 45-min sets in typical show.

Repertoire includes traditional forro standards and originals in the style of northeastern Brazil.