Born in a musicians home in Rio de Janeiro, 1954, Jaques Morelenbaum began his musical trajectory naturally as one is breathing, walking, eating, talking, or even sleeping.
Being born in the “cradle of samba”(during those early years this beloved genre began to develop a more sophisticated quality, aggregating a deeper sense of harmonies and melody, and this phenomenon became known worldwide as Bossa Nova), Jaques could only listen to this genre in the streets of Rio, as in his parents’ home the only music “allowed” was the classical, European concept of music.
Since then, Jaques’ attention was connected to the creative side of music, much more than the performance itself. This drove him to be very attached to popular music, as intuition and musical instincts are fundamental for this kind of artistic expression. Also being a grandson of 4 immigrants in Brazil (2 Polish, 1 Russian + 1 Ukrainian grandparents), he was always, and obsessively searching for a definition of his Brazilian music identity.
Adding this pursuance to the fact that after Villa Lobos the cello became a national institution in Brazil, Jaques began to be requested increasingly to collaborate with very important Brazilian composers. All of them became Jaques’ real masters, for instance Antonio Carlos Jobim, with whom he collaborated for 10 years as part of his band. After Tom, Jaques performed for 5 years with Brazilian piano and guitar virtuoso Egberto Gismonti, and later he collaborated for 14 years with Caetano Veloso, this time also as a MD (musical director and arranger). With the three of them, Jaques began to fulfill his childhood dreams, travelling all around the world with his music! This way he began showing his artistry to the rest of the world. Caetano introduced him to Japanese master Ryuichi Sakamoto, and this brilliant artist very soon invited Jaques for a collaboration that already lasts 20 years: from 1992 till 2000 playing Sakamoto’s soundtrack project arranged for a classical trio; piano, violin, and cello (‘1996’ – Milan Records), then the M2S project in 2000, along with Jaques’ wife, Brazilian singer Paula Morelenbaum, who has also performed with Tom Jobim for 10 years. And once again Jaques joins Mr. Sakamoto now, for more of this beautiful musical statement.
Other international artists began to require Jaques’ artistry, not only as a cellist but also as an arranger, record producer, and as a conductor.
Sting, Pedro Almodovar, Cesária Évora, Henri Salvador, Juliette Greco, David Byrne, Mariza, Julieta Venegas, Fiorella Mannoia, Madredeus, Mayra Andrade, Rui Veloso, Dulce Pontes, Paulo Flores, Maria Dolores Pradera, Clara Montes, Presuntos Implicados, Gontiti, Choro Club, Omar Sosa, are among the international artists with whom Jaques has collaborated. Achieving now a total of 2100 performances worldwide, 650 records as cellist, arranger, composer, conductor and producer, and 53 record productions, including Grammy winner “Livro” by Caetano Veloso). Among Brazilian artists with whom Jaques has been collaborating, we can quote Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque, Gal Costa, Maria Bethânia, Roberto Carlos, Edu Lobo, Ivan Lins, Luis Melodia, Tim Maia, Djavan, Wagner Tiso, Marisa Monte, Carlinhos Brown, Vanessa da Mata, Titãs, Beto Guedes, João Bosco, among many others.