Bass: Hussain Jiffry
Sax/flute: Dave Thomasson
Drums: Aaron Serfaty
Rique Pantoja: Piano/vocals
Multi-talented Rique Pantoja is a composer, arranger, songwriter and jazz pianist. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, he has been based in Los Angeles for nearly two decades, He is in great demand worldwide for concerts, recordings, TV and film work and advertising projects.
At 19 he moved to Boston to study at Boston’s Berklee College of Music (Mecca for many top young jazz musicians). After Berklee he traveled to Paris to work with legendary American jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. Back home in Brazil, his reputation preceding him, Rique quickly found acceptance among notable artists such asDjavan, Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Chico Buarque,
Tim Maia, Gonzaguinha, Paulinho da Viola and other headliners in Brazilian music. At that time he also founded Cama de Gato (“Cat’s Cradle”), which quickly became – and remains – one of the outstanding Brazilian jazz groups of that era and bestseller instrumental group 1986/87.
Rique has worked with many other heavyweights on the international musical scene: Alejandro Sanz, Carlos Santana, sax master Ernie Watts, Ricky Martin, classical guitarist Christopher Parkening, Abraham Laboriel, Justo Almario, Luis Conte, Lee Ritenour, Kirk Whalum, Steps Ahead -Mike Mainieri, Sadao Watanabe,Brenda Russell, Grammy winner Israel Houghton, Frank Gambale and Alex Acuña, among many others.
Rique’s work embraces a wide range of musical styles, from jazz to modern classical to pop to gospel music, but no matter what the genre, his distinctive stylings are recognizable for their cool beat, unmistakable passion, sophisticated harmonic voicings and highly original melodic lines.
Because of this diversity of output, Rique has made his mark not just in Brazil and the U.S., but also on the worldwide music scene. In 2008, his tune “I Believed It,” written with Zoë Theodorou, won the prestigious Covenant Awardin Canada as“Jazz/Blues Song of the Year.”
Rique has also composed and arranged themes and underscoring for hit TV shows like “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous,” “Santa Barbara,” “Roque Santeiro,” “Another World” – as well as TV and radio jingles for major brands such as Coca Cola, Honda, Shell Oil, Globo Reporter, deBeers Diamonds, Pepsi Cola, Nissan, Toshiba, Guaraná Brahma and Marie Claire.
His music appears on the sound track of Disney’s hit comedy, “Jungle 2 Jungle.” And the 2010 movie “Coming And Going” (directed by Edoardo Ponti) also features his work. Recently Rique was part of the musical soundtrack of the upcoming animation “ Rio” with Sergio Mendes and film composer John Powell.
As if that were not enough to keep him busy, Rique has still another life as a respected music educator! He teaches courses at Southern California’s Biola University; leads workshops at Maranatha Worship Training and the Los Angeles Music & Performance (LAMP) School – Pro Tools & Logic School Audiograph – AGIbesides offering master classes at a number ofschools , including Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus.