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Geovane Santos


Currently a local presence in the New Orleans music scene, award-winning composer and educator Geovane Paiva Santos, is a native Brazilian from the city of Belo Horizonte. Santos holds a B.M. in Music Performance from the Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais (UEMG), majoring in both Classical Guitar and Music Education (2011). While still associated with UEMG, Santos received a fellowship from the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) to conduct musicological archival research and restoration work of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Minas Gerais’ mestizo classical music, a.k.a Barroco Mineiro (2010-2014).

Aligning his academic pursuits with a rising professional music career in jazz and Brazilian popular music in the U.S., Santos went on to receive an M.A. in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans (2018). His masters’ thesis entitled “Bossa Nova is not snapped on 2 and 4” was a study of music through a language accent framework where he analyzed and compared celebrated versions of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s composition Chega de Saudade (U.S. and Brazilian charts and recordings) highlighting the ways in which U.S. musicians mistranscribed, mistranslated and erased the Brazilian “accent” through Americanization/jazzification/cultural appropriation as they proliferated Jobim’s work around the world.

At Tulane University, beyond his enrolment as a Ph.D. student in the Latin American Studies program, Santos is also a community-engaged scholar and a Mellon Foundation fellow. His community-engaged scholarship focuses on developing a project to transcribe New Orleans native, master percussionist, and U.S. Afro-Brazilian cultural ambassador Curtis Pierre’s empirical knowledge into method books to create popular education tools. Santos’ doctoral research aims to expand and further explore his work in music mistranslations through interdisciplinarity, in other words, he is working out methodologies in which song titles, lyrical content, sheet music, and recorded performances can become gateways for critical analysis of symbolic aspects of music that surpass music theory. This way he uses bossa nova songs, and 1950-1960s developmentalist rhetoric as primary sources to discuss race, class, history, imperialism, and cultural appropriation, discussing how Brazil’s marketing and branding bossa nova as a white Brazilian music genre negatively affected how the non-Brazilian world still hears and plays bossa nova today.


  • 13 Original Works for Small Jazz Ensemble, G7b5 Publishing Co., New Orleans, 2019
  • JOBIM, Geovane Santos, Recorded and Mastered at Bad Storm Studio, New Orleans, LA, March 2019

Grants & Awards

  • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Community Partnership Grants: CARL LEBLANC: NEW ORLEANS’ 7th WARD MODERN JAZZ GRIOT – The shooting of a mini documentary and the recording of an album, 2021
  • Fellow, Mellon Foundation Community Engaged Scholar Grant, Tulane University class 2020/2022
  • Coca-Cola Endowed Jazz Studies Award, University of New Orleans, 2018
  • Louis Armstrong Foundation Jazz Composer award in association with ASCAP , University of New Orleans, 2017
  • Fellow, Fundação Renato Azeredo, Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais’ Jazz Orchestra section leader and guitarist 2013-2015
  • CAPES / CNPq research fellowship in musicology, Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais from 2010 to 2014


  • Tulane University Global Perspectives series Research Project Associate, September, 2020 – Present
  • Jazz Education Network, 2019 – Present
  • American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), 2017 – Present
  • PRONATEC Symphonic Wind Orchestra archivist, 2014 (Brazil)
  • CAPES research fellow, archivist, lecturer, and photographer 2010 – 2015 (Brazil)
  • Fundação Renato Azeredo’s Jazz Orchestra guitarist and section leader, 2010 – 2015 (Brazil)
  • Ordem dos Músicos do Brasil (OMB), 2007 – Present


  • “Bossa Nova is not snapped on 2 and 4: A study on content lost in translation, cultural appropriation, and racism” Jazz Education Network (JEN), Louisville, KY, Scheduled for January 2021.
  • Music Performer with The University of New Orleans Jazz Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Education Network (JEN), New Orleans, LA, January, 2017.
  • “Acervo Maestro Chico Aniceto: Revisão do catálogo e edição de novas obras: Overtura: Lamentos de Etelvina”, 3° Semana Saberes em Diálogo: UEMG em Movimento, Brazil, June, 2013
  • “Acervo Maestro Chico Aniceto: Revisão do catálogo e edição de novas obras: Overtura: Lamentos de Etelvina” 14º SEMINÁRIO DE PESQUISA & EXTENSAO DA UEMG, Brazil, November 2012
  • “Acervo Maestro Chico Aniceto: Revisão do catálogo e edição de novas obras” 13º SEMINÁRIO DE PESQUISA & EXTENSAO DA UEMG, Brazil, November 2011
  • Arthur Bosmas Suite Brasileira 3° Seminário de Música Brasileira da Escola de Música da Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais, March, 2011
  • Heitor Villa Lobos Etudes 1 to 5, 2° Seminário de Música Brasileira da Escola de Música da Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais, September, 2009

Courses Taught

  • Jazz Guitar Ensemble at the University of New Orleans
  • Preparation and performance of jazz compositions arranged for multiple guitars and rhythm section
  • Traditional Brazilian Music ensemble at the University of New Orleans
  • Lectures in Brazilian music history, preparation and performance of Traditional Brazilian Music compositions arranged for multiple instruments

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