Born and raised in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, Plínio Fernandes studied guitar at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Now established as one of the finest emerging guitar talents, Fernandes has made the UK capital his home. His debut solo album is both a showcase for his expressive powers and an affectionate love letter to his homeland. Saudade, named after the Portuguese word for a sense of longing or nostalgia, features music by Brazil’s most celebrated composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, alongside a selection of Brazilian popular songs. Villa-Lobos’ 5 Preludes show Fernandes to be a guitarist of rare subtlety and technical brilliance, and there’s so much heart and soul in tracks such as “Assanhado” by the prolific composer of Brazilian “choros” Jacob do Bandolim and “The Girl From Ipanema” by the great Antônio Carlos Jobim. The sensuous Aria from Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas brasileiras No. 5 features a welcome guest appearance from cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason on the exquisite melodic line, while in the final, affecting song, “Menino,” Fernandes joins with Sheku’s talented violinist brother, Braimah.

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