A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Felipe Salles is a Professor at of Jazz and African-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, on the faculty since 2010. An active musician in the US since 1995, he has worked and recorded with prominent jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Lionel Loueke, Jerry Bergonzi, Chico Pinheiro, Jovino Santos Neto, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza, and Bob Moses. He has toured extensively in Europe, North and South Americas, India and Australia, as a sideman and as a leader of his own group.
Salles is a 2018 Guggenheim Foundation Composition Fellow, a 2015 NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant winner, a 2009-2010 winner of the French American Jazz Exchange Grant, and a 2005-2006 winner of the Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program, 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.
Felipe Salles has had arrangements and compositions performed by The Metropole Orchestra, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Violas, Meta4 String Quartet, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, and New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, among others.
Felipe Salles’ fifth release, Departure (Tapestry, 2012) received rave reviews. In its four star review, Downbeat Magazine calls Felipe’s music “crafting pieces that juggle intriguing complexity with buoyant rhythms and lush colors”. JazzTimes Magazine says “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.”
His sixth album, Ugandan Suite (Tapestry, 2014), has been described by jazz guitarist extraordinaire Lionel Loueke as follows: “This is one of the best progressive works I have heard in a long time. What a great blend of classical, African and Jazz music.” Both CDs made to DownBeat’s best albums of the year list in 2013 and again in 2014.
Felipe’s seventh release, the CD Varanda (Tapestry, 2017), by the The Reunion Project, a Brazilian jazz collective, has received critical acclaim, including a 4.5 stars review on the July 2017 issue of DownBeat Magazine.
2018 marks the release of his first large jazz ensemble recording, The Lullaby Project and Other Works for Large Jazz Ensemble, which was composed for and recorded by his own Interconnections Ensemble.
Dr. Salles is a D’Addario Woodwinds Select Reeds Artist/Clinician and an Andreas Eastman Saxophones Artist/Clinician. He currently leads both The Felipe Salles Group, and The Felipe Salles’ Interconnections Ensemble (18-pieces), and works as 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.