A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Felipe Salles is an Associate Professor of Jazz and African-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. An active saxophonist, composer and arranger in the U.S. since 1995, he has worked and recorded with many prominent jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, David Liebman, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, Sam Rivers, Herb Pomeroy, Jerry Bergonzi, Jovino Santos Neto, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza and Bob Moses.
Before coming to the U.S., Professor Salles performed with numerous Brazilian artists such as Daniela Mercury, Paulo Moura and Wagner Tiso. He has toured extensively in Europe, North and South Americas, India and Australia, both as a sideman and as a leader of his own group.
Salles was a 2009-2010 winner of the French American Jazz Exchange Grant from the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) and Chamber Music America, and a 2005-2006 winner of the Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program, both grants sponsored by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He was awarded First Place in the 2001 Concurso SGAE de Jazz "TETE MONTOLIU", 2001, with his composition The Return of The Chromo Sapiens.
His arrangements and compositions have been performed by The Metropole Orchestra, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Violas, Meta4 String Quartet, UMass Amherst Chapel Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I and Studio Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra and New England Conservatory JazzBand.
Felipe Salles' fifth CD, Departure, on the Capri/Tapestry Label, received rave reviews. A four-star review from Downbeat Magazine said that he is "crafting pieces that juggle intriguing complexity with buoyant rhythms and lush colors" and is successful in "translating that approach to a more nimble small band without losing any of the richness or diversity." A featured review in JazzTimes Magazine said, "Felipe Salles blends the visceral and the cerebral on his fascinating fifth album, infusing classical modernist strains with the buoyant rhythms of his Brazilian homeland."
Salles holds a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory and is the first candidate ever to graduate with a Doctoral Degree in Jazz Advancement from the Manhattan School of Music.
Dr. Salles is a Rico Reeds Artist and an Andreas Eastman Saxophones Artist/Clinician. He is a member of the New World Jazz Composers Octet, Kyle Saulnier's Awakening Orchestra, Alex Alvear's Mango Blue and Gonzalo Grau's (Grammy Nominated) La Clave Secreta.