Felipe Salles is a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who currently lives and performs in New York City. His group, The Felipe Salles Group is the result of this cultural fusion, a blend of elements from two of the richest musical traditions in the world: Brazilian/Latin music and Jazz.
Before coming to the United States, Felipe was active in numerous combos and bands as a saxophonist, composer and arranger. He played with such bands as Octeto de Musica Brasileira, Zerro Santos Big Band, Banda Farinha Seca, Zydeco Band, Santa Gafieira, Sampa Crew, Savoy Quartet, and the Axel Fisch Group, and has performed with Brazilian artists such as Daniela Mercury, Paulo Moura and Wagner Tiso.
Felipe Salles has been an active musician in the US since 1995, leading his own group. He has had the opportunity to work and record with prominent jazz artists like George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Sam Rivers, Herb Pomeroy, Jerry Bergonzi, Jovino Santos Neto, David Liebman, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza, Bob Moses and Fernando Brandão. In addition, Felipe Salles has studied with such world-renowned musicians as David Liebman, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Mintzer, George Garzone, Charlie Banacos, Michael Abene, Ludmila Uhlela and Kenny Werner.
Felipe Salles is a 2009-2010 winner of the French American Jazz Exchange Grant from FACE, Doris Duke Foundation and Chamber Music America, and a 2005-2006 winner of the Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program, a component of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project, Sponsored by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He has also been awarded First Place in the Concurso SGAE de Jazz “TETE MONTOLIU”, 2001, with the composition “The Return of The Chromo Sapiens”, and Fifth Place at the III Premio SGAE Iberoamericano de Jazz Latino, with the composition “Freudian Slip”, 2002. He has also been awarded the Boston Jazz Society Scholarship Award for the year of 1997, and was a featured performer at the Boston Jazz Society 22nd annual Jazz Festival in 1998, where he opened for and performed with Stanley Turrentine, as well as an act at the BJS 23rd annual Jazz Festival for the year of 1999, leading his group, featuring Bob Moses, John Lockwood, Alain Mallet and Tony D’Aveni.
As a composer and arranger, Felipe Salles has had arrangements and compositions performed by The Metropole Orchestra, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, New England Conservatory Jazz Band, Five Towns College Jazz Orchestra, Five Towns College Concert Band.
Recently recorded CDs include the acclaimed Latin band Mango Blue’s “Immigrant Blues”, Emilio Teubal’s “La Bautelband” and Dead Cat Bounce’s (Boston Phoenix’s 2001 and 2002 Best jazz group of the year) two releases, “Legends of the Nar” and “Lucky by Association”, a guest appearance on pianist Nando Michelin’s CD “When Einstein Dreams”, featuring Jerry Bergonzi on tenor sax, Fernando Huergo on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drums; the “Nando Michelin Brazilian Project Live at the Acton Jazz Café” CD featuring Brazilian singer Giana (both for the DoubleTime Jazz label), Sherisse Rogers’s Project Uprising CD “Sleight of Hand”, as well as Argentinean singer Katie Viqueira’s new release “Amores Torcidos”.
The culmination of Felipe’s artistic vision is reflected in the group’s latest releases on Curare Records Timeline and South American Suite, made possible by the generosity of the Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program, a component of the Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project, Sponsored by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Defined by the composer as a journey through Brazilian rhythms, modern harmonies and jazz improvisation, South American Suite has been described by David Liebman as follows: "Felipe Salles has truly taken a step into the future with this CD. He has found a way to incorporate the rich musical heritage of his native country, Brazil (with more than a nod to the genius Hermeto Pascoal), while at the same time incorporating sounds and colors from the advanced harmonies of 20th century contemporary classical music. Possessing a gift for orchestration and arranging, Felipe's music is definitely pointing to the future." Felipe Salles’ first solo CD, “Further South”, and second CD “Mind Motions”, on the Spanish Label Fresh Sound/New Talent have received international critical acclaim.
Felipe Salles holds a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory and is the first candidate ever to graduate with a Doctoral Degree in Jazz Advancement from Manhattan School of Music. He is currently on faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Jazz Department and Manhattan School of Music Precollege Jazz Division.