Camaleão Carioca


Over the past 50 years, millions of guitarists have recorded and performed and literally worshipped the music of Brazil’s bossa nova king Antonio Carlos Jobim. Albums like Wave and Tide are forever embedded in the minds of jazz lovers and fans of Brazilian music. Joined by Jobim’s grandson, Daniel Jobim along with greats like Ivan Lins and Nana Vasconcelos, Brazil’s new guitar sensation João Gaspar steps up with a new guitar sound for modern Brazil. Inspired by the beauty and grandeur of Brazil’s scenic topography as well as the power of instrumental jazz rock, Gaspar’s 2007 CD, Camaleão Carioca is filled with a lush fusion ambiance that spotlights Gaspar’s guitar expertise. Fueling the melodic potent instrumental sound is Gaspar's arsenal of guitars including acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, cavaquinho, lap steel, dobro and banjo. A guitar maven, Gaspar makes the most of his instruments and as the CD clearly demonstrates, João Gaspar is well on the way to becoming the Pat Metheny of Brazil. The enchanting sound of Camaleao Carioca is like an hour long trip to Rio.


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Musical Background

Began playing when I was 13 on acoustic nylon guitar and one year later starting on the electric guitar also. First playing lots of Dire Straits and Clapton, then I began transcribing and playing works by Toninho Horta, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Eric Johnson, Pat Martino, Bill Evans and Claus Ogerman. When I studied more classical guitar I became closer to works by Bach, Heitor Villa Lobos, Garoto, Fernando Sor, Augustin Barrios, F. Sor and others. And I also bought as many instructional videos and interesting books I could find to widen my horizons. The fact that I played with lots of different artists also contributed to letting me experiment and explore the things I learned and incorporated. There were many different influences over these 19 years I've been playing.

New CD

I released Camaleão Carioca in 2007. It was all recorded here in Rio de Janeiro (my parts were all done in my home studio) and with great musicians from here. The cd shows all the different nuances I absorbed in my playing. Like the Brazilian musical culture mixed with styles from all over the world. The songs are almost all authorial and the album feature guests such as Daniel Jobim, Guinga and Leo Gandelman. I also had the opportunity to experiment a lot with the arrangements, since it is a very eclectic album. I played several stringed instruments: Electric (archtops and solid bodies) and acoustic (nylon and steel) guitars, mandolin, banjo and dobro. I always enjoyed a lot playing different styles and experimenting with new sounds. But I just try to let the music flow and come in first place. The melodies along with the harmony are the essence of it.

Favorite Guitars

I have lots of instruments, but have been enjoying a lot my Gibson 335, Fender Strat 79 and my PRS CE-22. I also love my custom made Mandolin and my Nylon Flamenco guitar I bought in Spain. Not forgetting my Wechter-Scheerhorn Square Neck Dobro and my Portuguese Guitar. I try to set the action very low on my instruments and use string gauges 10 and 11 on electrics and 12 on the acoustic steel guitar. For the Nylon I like super high tension strings. I love Fender tube amps and have two custom made pedal boards with different pedals by Boss, MXR, Electro Harmonix and Line 6.

Musical Influences

My influences are everything I heard and enjoyed since I was little. Naming a few: Pat Metheny, Egberto Gismonti, George Benson, Gerardo Nunez, Toninho Horta, Michael Brecker, Tom Jobim, J. S. Bach, Chick Corea, James Taylor, Claus Ogerman and many others had great contribution to my style. Tough question about influential albums. Cityscape (C. Ogerman) , Ballads (J. Coltrane), Kind of Blue (Miles Davis), Moonstone (Toninho Horta), Works (Pat Metheny), Collaboration (George Benson and Earl Klugh), Matita Perê (Tom Jobim), Ah Via Musicom (Eric Johnson) and many others!

Web Site

Visit me at or (being updated). You can e-mail me at


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