Brazilian photographer Jefferson Mello connects the dots between two intertwined music genres: samba in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and jazz on the rollicking streets of New Orleans. Combining interviews and musical performances, the film explores the traditions and influences of the two types of music, and how each has fostered connections in their communities. Featuring New Orleans jazz artists Donald Harrison and Greg Stafford, and Rio’s Sambistas Pretinho da Serrinha and Mestre Atila Gomes.

“A host of musicians speak with passion and intelligence about the vital role samba and jazz play in their communities. Brazilian photographer and jazz aficionado Jefferson Mello connects the New World’s two most lasting musical genres via their African roots in the enjoyable, upbeat Samba & Jazz. Shuttling between New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro, the novice helmer interviews a host of musicians who speak with passion and intelligence about the vital role music plays in their communities.” —Variety

“Authentic artistic expression.” —Boston International Film Festival

“Combining polished black-and-white interviews with candid, colorful footage of musical performances taken to the streets, Samba & Jazz shows—although far apart geographically—how the two musical genres not only have similar beats and African roots, but how they’ve also enabled the oppressed to have a space where they can be free.” —Remezcla

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Jefferson Mello
Running Time
90 minutes
Digital, Color