Portuguese singer Maria Mendes has just been nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Musical Arrangement for the song “Asas Fechadas”. The arrangement credits for this theme are shared by Maria Mendes and John Beasley, a pianist, and orchestrator with a career spanning more than four decades linked to names as diverse as Miles Davis or Diane Reeves and Steely Dan.
The subject in question, made famous as an important part of the repertoire of Amália Rodrigues, is the only one in Portuguese language nominated in this category. Original by Alain Oulman and Luís Macedo, it features an arrangement by the Mendes/Beasley duo that is performed by the Dutch orchestra Metropole Orkest.
The creative process adopted by Maria Mendes and John Beasley implied changes in the original fado harmony, melody and rhythm so that, and according to the Portuguese artist, “a majestic and glamorous Jazz sound in the style of a film scene could be contemplated in the new arrangement for formation of chamber orchestra ”.
Maria Mendes has planned for the spring of 2021 a “Close To Me” tour in Benelux with Metropole Orkest (winner of 4 Grammys) and John Beasley (winner of Emmy and nominated for Grammy Jazz). The duo should also, in 2021 and 2022, to tour with several European orchestras, including a date at the Matosinhos Jazz Festival in June 2021.
On November 19, in Miami, the winners of this edition will be announced, the 21st Annual Latin Grammy Awards.
Last year, the Porto singer released Close To Me, her third album, which features American producer and pianist John Beasley and the services of the world’s largest jazz symphony orchestra, which holds 4 Grammys, from 19 nominations until now received, Metropole Orkest.