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Adolfo Mendonca is a performer, jazz educator and researcher from Brazil. He currently works at University of Minnesota-Morris as Director of Jazz Studies and Director of the University of Minnesota-Morris Jazz Festival.

Adolfo has been described by JAZZIZ magazine as a “sprightly player that evokes Chick Corea at his most lyrical”. Among many performances he has played sold-out performances at the Blue Note Sao Paulo and featured in festivals and jazz clubs in several regions of the US in addition to Brazil, Chile, France, and Mexico and received two awards at 2021 Guiomar Novaes Piano Competition in Brazil. His recent album “Brazilian Childhood” features musicians from five continents (including Randy Brecker, Jose Valentino Ruiz, and Tammy Scheffer among many others) blending American jazz, Brazilian music, and Progressive Rock. His composition Brazilian Childhood won the 2024 Downbeat Student Awards for Small Jazz Ensemble Composition (Graduate category).  

He is currently promoting his album "Brazilian Childhood" (featuring Randy Brecker, Jose Valentino Ruiz, and Tammy Scheffer) showing a blend between American jazz, Brazilian music, and progressive rock. Some of his most recent activities as a performer include an award at the Guiomar Novaes Piano competition in Brazil, sold-out performances at the Blue Note Sao Paulo and performances in Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and Chile.

As an educator, he has offered masterclasses at prestigious universities and conservatories, including UW-Madison (WI), North Dakota State University (ND), University of Northern Iowa (IA), Cuesta College (CA), St. Petersburg College (FL), Universidad de Chile, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Universidade Julio de Mesquita (Unesp), EMESP, Universidade Estadual do Maringa, Universidade Federal do Pará, Souza Lima Berklee and several others. He has also been a full-time instructor at Guarulhos Municipal Conservatory in Brazil and taught courses at Knox College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University.

His research in improvisation and experiences of international students in the US has been presented at conferences such as Jazz Education Network (JEN), the International Society for Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC), the National Association for Music Education (NAFME), the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) and the University of Edinburgh among others and has leaded to an Outstanding Research Award during master's degree at the University of South Florida.

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