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Scott Feiner and Pandeiro Jazz

Also featuring Freddie Bryant, guitar; Joel Frahm, saxophone; and Joe Martin, bass

Scott Feiner, a native of New York City, received a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies/Guitar at the Hartt School of Music, where he learned about jazz history from the legendary saxophonist Jackie McLean. In 1990 he returned to New York City and immersed himself in the jazz scene where he became known for his sense of swing and lyrical phrasing. From 1992 to 1994 Scott led bands two nights a week at Augie’s (now Smoke), the world-renown club in Manhattan known as a meeting place for New York City’s best young jazz talent. Some of the musicians who played with him during that period included: Larry Goldings, Brad Mehldau, Uri Caine, Sam Yahel, Steve Wilson, Larry Grenadier, Chris Potter, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman and Seamus Blake. Additionally, Scott led bands at clubs such as Visiones, Birdland and the 55 Bar. He also recorded two CDs during that period (Under the Influence and Feiner’s Keepers) and toured Spain alongside saxophonist Joel Frahm. In 1995 Scott put the guitar down and spent four years away from the music scene.
In 1999, during his first trip to Brazil, Scott discovered the pandeiro (a Brazilian hand drum) and it quickly pulled him back into playing music. He began playing in New York City but moved to Rio de Janeiro in 2001 to be closer to the instrument and Brazilian music in general. As he evolved as a player, he began to sit-in with some of Rio’s finest musicians in the samba and choro scene, including, Wilson das Neves, Nelson Sargento, Moacyr Luz, Wilson Moreira, Beth Carvalho, Teresa Cristina, Trio Madeira Brasil, Hamilton de Holanda and Paulo Sergio Santos.

During the past few years Scott has become a respected pandeirista, performing regularly in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro’s most musical neighborhood. He recorded on the debut CD by the group Casuarina (Biscoito Fino) and has also been featured extensively in the Brazilian media.

Scott’s CD, Pandeiro Jazz, released in April 2006 by the Brazilian label Delira Música, has received critical acclaim worldwide for its innovative new sound and concept. He performs extensively and has two working bands, one based in New York City, featuring Joel Frahm, Freddie Bryant and Joe Martin and the other in Rio de Janeiro, with Marcelo Martins, João Castilho and Alberto Continentino. Aside from playing, Scott is the creator of the website pandeiro.com and the director of an upcoming documentary film called Meu Coração é um Pandeiro (My Heart is a Pandeiro).


“Scott Feiner has created a unique sonic world on Pandeiro Jazz in his choice of instrumentation. He’s found a way to keep the pandeiro at the center of the music, while surrounding it with a rich, appealing texture — Freddie Bryant’s guitar and Joel Frahm’s saxophone blend perfectly with Scott’s rhythms. The music goes down easy, but is full of subtlety and surprise — it’s a record that you want to go back and listen to again right after hearing it.”
— Brad Mehldau

“Mr. Feiner treats the pandeiro as an expressive jazz instrument.”
— Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Pandeiro Jazz is great! A cool idea, and the band’s hook-up is wonderful.”
— Luciana Souza

“It makes me happy to see an American musician playing jazz on the Brazilian pandeiro as well as Scott does. It opens new frontiers.”
— Marcos Suzano

“Just when you thought that there was very little someone could introduce to the world of jazz, here comes this Bronx-born musician with a pandeiro in his hand to prove otherwise … Pandeiro Jazz is an innovation which deserves a wider audience.”
— Ernest Barteldes, All About Jazz-New York

” … The CD Pandeiro Jazz is instrumental music at a high level.”
— Jornal do Brasil

“… Scott Feiner brought the pandeiro to jazz and jazz to the pandeiro. This must not have been a simple task. The pandeiro seems to be a limited instrument. That’s what makes this so brilliant …”
— Diário da Manhã

“… A really tasteful project, impecable.”
— Celsinho Silva

“Feiner put into practice that classic idea, that simplicity can be beautiful, a concept which still remains difficult for some musicians to grasp.”
Jazz+ Magazine, 2006

“Finally! The recording and step forward that will allow the pandeiro to have a predominant role alongside harmonic and melodic instruments in what are usually considered “risky” musical environments for percussionists … a landmark for others to follow.”
Percussioni Magazine