Interview with Brazilian bassist Leo Javali - a distinguished member of local rock and blues community

"The blues is the roots of all modern pop music and always be, you always end up with the blues no matter what…"

Leo Javali: Belo Horizonte De Blues

Leo Javali born Leonardo Augusto Gomes de Deus on august 7th 1969 in Patos de Minas - Brazil is a Blues and Soul bassist. Born left handed , his mother put him on acoustic guitar lessons at age 6 , but the teacher an old lady make him play right hand. Formed the first band in high school at age 13, playing guitar, but since the band had 3 guitarrists and no bass player, Leo soon began playing bass. Self taught begun take bass lines listen to his father's blues and old school soul and rock and roll by ear.

"I think it was in the early to mid-90’s the most interesting period in the local blues scene in my city Belo Horizonte, that was a lot of places with live blues…"

His early influenses were Tommy Shannon with Johnny Winter, Donald "Duck" Dunn and James Jamerson, later Johnny B. Gayden was a huge influence with his work playing with Albert Collins and recording with Johnny Winter. Was part of a rock and blues community in Belo Horizonte - Brazil called "Tribo de Solos". Lived in the USA from '88 until '92 jamming some blues in the Boston area. Returning to Brazil in '92 begun playing with local blues artists like Alexandre Araújo, Guilherme Bizzotto, played in a 12 piece soul band called "The Blazers" during the year of '96 , and after that formed the band "The Nasty Blues" with the late Italian guitarrist Bruno Mario Avanzato, the band last until the Bruno death on september 2th 2012. Also played with harmonica player Leandro Ferrari, currently play with Gustavo Andrade and Hot Spot Blues Band, and the soul band "Black Machine". Has played gigs with blues greats, Flávio Guimarães, Jefferson Gonçalves, Sérgio Duarte, André Christóvão.

Interview by Michael Limnios

What do you learn about yourself from the blues and what does the blues mean to you?

What can I say… the blues is my life and mean everything to me, without the blues I would be dead by now for sure!

How do you describe Leo Javali sound and what characterize your music philosophy?

I try to keep my sound fat and warm, and think less is always more… try to stick with the roots.

"I have seen all those young people loving the blues with passion these days, and that touched me."

Why did you think that the Blues music continues to generate such a devoted following?

Because the blues is the roots of all modern pop music and always be, you always end up with the blues no matter what…

What's been your experience from the States in the Boston area? Which memory makes you smile?

Seen Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard and Boston Baked Blues live!!! And the Allman Bros. too !!!

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice ever given you?

I meet Donald Kinsey back stage in Boston in 1988, He’s the most kind people I ever meet, the best advice that I got was, always play with your heart.

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, and recording time which you’d like to share with us?

The recording of the first and only “The Nasty Blues” album in 2000 in 2’ analog tape was a blast!

What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss the blues scene from the 90’s in Brazil, I hope the blues will continue alive and well and have no fear of the future.

"The blues is my life and mean everything to me, without the blues I would be dead by now for sure!"

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Greed and selfish, I would change that in the musical world.

Make an account of the case of the blues in Brazil. Which is the most interesting period in local blues scene?

I think it was in the early to mid-90’s the most interesting period in the local blues scene in my city Belo Horizonte, that was a lot of places with live blues…

What are the ties that connect the Blues from US to Brazil? What are the similarities between Blues & Bossa?

I think bossa nova had a huge blues influence in the beginning.

What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from the local music circuits?

I have seen all those young people loving the blues with passion these days, and that touched me.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go for a whole day..?

I would wanna go to Chicago in the summer time in the mid 60’s to see all the cool cats play live and jam with them for sure!

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