photo of Downtown Chicago seen from the south side
Downtown Chicago - photo by Paulinho Garcia

A little bit about my music career

paulinho by Magda Marczewska

I was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

My first contact with music was very early in life, singing in a Sundays children program at Radio Inconfidencia in my hometown.

Even though vocals have been my trade from the very beginning I’ve also played some instruments, starting first on percussion then drums, and lastly the bass, which then became my main performance instrument. 

The nylon string guitar (violão) has always been my companion, for learning new songs, making arrangements or just entertaining myself. It was only after I moved to the U.S. that it became my main instrument having been discovered as a vocalist who could also simultaneously play.


Throughout my career I’ve played various styles of music, from boleros and tangos to rock and roll, to popular Brazilian genres. In my late teens I was introduced through recordings to vocal jazz i.e. Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Chet Baker…. , which increased my interest in moving to the U.S. and became the trademark of my performances.

Brazilian-American flags

I moved to Chicago in 1979 to join the group Breno Sauer’s Brazilian Sounds that soon after became Made in Brazil. I was part of the band until 1991 when I then started my own band, Jazzmineiro, whose eponymous 1996 CD received excellent reviews in the Chicago Tribune, Jazziz magazine, the Brazilian Music Review, and The Brazilians.


  • Best Brazilian International Vocalist – 2012 …by The Brazilian Press Award
  • Chicagoan of the year in jazz – 2010 …by The Chicago Tribune
  • Brazilian person of the year – 2010 …by The Brazil Club
  • Chicago’s best jazz entertainer – 2001 …by The Chicago Music Awards – awarded to Two For Brazil

Paulinho ought to be considered a Chicago treasure

I am a world-touring musician, and regularly perform in renowned jazz festivals, theaters and clubs, throughout Asia, Europe and America, i.e.

Festivals abroad

  • The North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland)
  • Elite and Fujitsu Jazz Festivals (various halls, clubs in various Japanese cities)
  • Jakarta Jazz Festival (Indonesia)
  • Singapore Jazz Festival
  • Jazz w museum and Jazz nad Odrq (Poland)
  • Moscow Vocal Jazz Festival (Russia).

Festivals at home

  • Chicago Jazz Festival
  • Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz-
  • Newport Beach Jazz Party
  • Sarasota Jazz Festival
  • Miami Jazz Festival.

Music Halls

  • The Esplanade Hall (Singapore)
  • Catherine Palace Ballroom (Pushkin Russia)
  • Filharmonia Narodowy (Poland)
  • Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Poland),
  • Millennium Park (Chicago)
  • Harris Theater (Chicago)
  • Symphony Center (Chicago)
  • Auditorium Theater (Chicago)
  • Detroit symphony Orchestra
  • Ford House (Detroit).


  • Cotton Club (Japan)
  • Blue Note (Poland)
  • The Jazz Showcase (Chicago)
  • Green Mill (Chicago)


  • The Jazz Cruise
  • Jazz Party At Sea.

My event production 50 years of Bossa Nova at the Chicago Millennium Park on July 24th 2008 was seen by a record audience of 12000 people. Alongside my 12 pieces band I brought in, from Brazil, João Donato trio for an unforgettable evening of music.

In December of the same year I shared the stage with Jeremy Monteiro and Toots Tielemans for a sold out audience of 1800 people at the famous Esplanade Hall in Singapore.

In 2016 I arranged, performed on and co-produced Mietek Szcześniak’s Nierówni CD which reach Gold Record in Poland.

I’m also a clinician and has given workshops and concerts at many prestigious universities such as:

  • Northwestern University-
  • University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
  • Cornell University
  • University of Silesia in Katowice Poland-
  • Hope College.

In 2009-2010 I taught in Russia at the Moscow College of Improvised Music and gave live workshops on Russian TV.

I taught Brazilian guitar and vocals at Chicago’s Old Town School of folk music for 13 years and presently I coach a Brazilian combo at Roosevelt University.

Garcia provides constant evidence of his mastery of the art of the Brazilian song. Endlessly inventive with styles, Garcia is an innovative composer with a firmly rooted tradition

He becomes the epitome of the solitary troubadour - a romantic figure hardly visible anymore even in Brazil, where, like everywhere else, popular music has grown busier, louder, and rougher. Garcia's voice, an airy baritone, has less shadow and a bit more energy than Joao Gilberto's and his languid chords and cleanly plucked lines illuminate the complicated rhythms with the cool clarity of moonlight

I divide my music career into two periods: Brasil (before 1979) and USA (1979-present.)

Belo Horizonte_1948


In my hometown Belo Horizonte, I led the group Os Agitadores and played with the Celio Balona band. Both groups were frequently part of Radio and TV programs. All while simultaneously working as a successful Jingle composer for The Studio HP.


I also worked for a short period at the club Sambão e Sinhá in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro (owned by singer Ivon Cury ) .


Chicago – 1979 – I joined the band Breno’s Brazilian Sounds which later became Made in Brasil. Then in 1991 I formed my own band Jazzmineiro. I produced large events at Grand Park, University Of Chicago and Old Town Of Folk Music.

In Chicago I met my associated acts: Grazyna Auguscik, Julie Koidin, and Greg Fishman.


Los Angeles – 2015 – Currently I sing, play guitar, compose, arrange, teach and produce recordings.

It's been a great musical journey, learning, creating, and sharing my gift.

Jazzmin Music

Paulinho Garcia & Associates

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