Nanny Assis

Biographie Nanny Assis

Nanny Assis
Nanny Assis
Assis's 40-year career as a bossa/jazz vocalist, percussionist, and guitarist was well established, but for the Bahia, Brazil native (now based in New York and south Florida) that was only part of the story. On his new album, "Rovanio: The Music of Nanny Assis," he presents a remarkable kaleidoscope of styles, textures, ideas, and even languages in collaboration with 20 acclaimed jazz artists, including bass legend Ron Carter.

Rovanio “Nanny” Assis was born August 25, 1969, in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. When he was 7, he began playing drums and singing in the choir at the church where his father was pastor. After he picked up the basics of the guitar, he turned to the secular musical world, playing fusion and samba with his friends and making his first excursions into jazz.

He continued pursuing music even as he earned degrees in linguistics and Portuguese literature at Catholic University of Salvador, and married and started a family. American music—and America itself—were his targets, achieved when in 1993 he joined the Austin, Texas–based Rolling Thunder as a percussionist. After six years of regular work in the U.S., he moved to New York with his family in 1999.

Assis continued working in multiple genres, but increasingly found himself in the company of jazz musicians. He worked with singer Lauren Henderson, trumpeter Mark Morganelli, and keyboardist Pete Levin; featured Eumir Deodato, Romero Lubambo, John Patitucci, Michael Leonhardt, and Erik Friedlander on his first album, 2006’s "Double Rainbow"; and formed the Requinte Trio with Janis Siegel and John Di Martino (making an eponymous album with them in 2010). Jazz players also dominate the ranks of his collaborators on "Rovanio: The Music of Nanny Assis," his second album as a leader.

“'Rovanio' is my best musical work to date,” says Assis. “For many years I had the urgent desire to see this music materialize. It encompasses all of my life experiences—rhythmically, harmonically, and melodically—since I was young.”

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