Boukas, Richard

Richard Boukas

Richard Boukas
MA, Music Composition, Queens College/Aaron Copland School of Music
BA, Music Theory and Composition, New York University
Part-Time Faculty, School of Jazz

Media Contact Information:
This expert is available for interviews. To contact this expert or other experts, please call The New School’s Media Relations office at 212.229.5151.
Areas of Expertise:
Brazilian, jazz, classical (chamber and choral), world music

Richard Boukas is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, vocalist, composer, educator, journalist and itinerant exponent of Brazilian music. Named "Best Brazilian Jazz Guitarist in the U.S." by GuitarOne magazine, he is leader of Brazilian jazz ensembles Quarteto Moderno, Trio Brasileiro and co-leader of Novosel-Boukas Duo. Collaborations with reknown Brazilian musicians include  pianist Jovino Santos Neto, bassists Gustavo Amarante and Nilson Matta; drummers Maurício Zottarelli and Paulo Braga.

Alongside his performances, Richard is a prolific composer of Brazilian-influenced jazz, chamber, choral and solo guitar music. His numerous commissions include La Catrina String Quartet, PUBLIQuartet String Quartet, Berklee World String Ensemble, Lamont Saxophone Quartet, Modern Mandolin Quartet, Atlantic Brass Quintet and Queens College Vocal Ensemble. His innovative choral arrangements of Brazilian popular classics have garnered much attention among top choirs in the U.S. and Brazil.

Mr. Boukas has been faculty at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music since 1995, receiving The New School's Distinguished University Teaching Award in 2010. He is founder, director and arranger of the Brazilian Jazz and Brazilian Choro Ensembles, which perform cutting-edge repertoire rarely heard outside of Brazil. In 2012 he produced the Jazz Presents special concert "música mineira project" featuring illustrious Brazilian composers from Minas Gerais. In 2013 and 2014 respectively, the Brazilian Choro Ensemble presented two landmark dedication programs: "150th Birthday Ernesto Nazareth Tribute" and "Pixinguinha and Contemporaries", and in 2016, the Brazilian Jazz Ensemble's "Hermeto Pascoal 80th Birthday Tribute. In 2011, his central efforts helped establish the Brazil student exchange program between Jazz and Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG, Belo Horizonte) and is faculty representative for incoming and outgoing students. His service to New School includes a four-year term on the University Faculty Senate and Infrastructure Committee and serving on both Jazz Curriculum and Executive Committees. He is former faculty at Mannes College (1989-95) and William Paterson University (New Jersey, 1985-93). Richard is a frequent artist-educator-in-residence at universities and summer music festivals in North America and Brazil.
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Courses Taught:
  • Brazilian Jazz Ensemble
  • Brazilian Choro Ensemble
  • Ear Training, Levels 1B, 2A, 2B
  • Improvisation Ensembles
  • Guitar Sight-Reading, Level 2
  • Choral Musicianship
Recent Publications:
Live at St. Michael's (duo with Filip Novosel) (CD and DVD)
Balaio (duo with Jovino Santos Neto) (CD)

Tudo de Bom
(with Hermeto Pascoal’s Calendário do Som) (CD)

Amazôna (CD)

Embarcadero (CD)

Commitment (CD)

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