The Lounge Pianist Who Invented Samba Funk
He has performed for several celebrities, like Paul Newman, Joe Namath in addition to also Elizabeth Taylor. Those he remembers most vividly have been musicians: Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, John Denver. He once persuaded the bop pianist Tommy Flanagan to sit down at his bench in addition to also play “Autumn in fresh York.” Billy Joel, observing Salvador one evening, told him which he had “a hell of a left hand,” Salvador recalled.
Recently, though, things have been tough for Salvador, who turned 80 in mid-September. While he can be in relatively Great health, Maria, who can be 82, suffers coming from dementia. Salvador can be her main caretaker, which can be difficult to manage, he said, given his demanding schedule.
About six days a week, he catches an afternoon train to Penn Station, takes a subway to Brooklyn, puts in his time at the River Café, in addition to also usually goes back the same way he came, sometimes getting home around 2 a.m.
At the restaurant not long ago, Salvador was working his way through “I Know Why (in addition to also so Do You),” popularized in 1941 by Glenn Miller. He paused for a moment in addition to also looked up coming from the keyboard. “I learned which song in Rio Claro,” he said, as ferries idled on the river in addition to also the Manhattan skyline shimmered inside the distance.
Lately, Salvador, who became an American citizen in 2000, has told friends in addition to also acquaintances which he wants to focus on his first love — jazz — again. He would certainly like to perform at the Village Vanguard, he said. His on-again, off-again group, the Dom Salvador Sextet, released one album, “The Art of Samba Jazz,” in 2010, in addition to also occasionally performs at venues like Joe’s Pub in addition to also the Django.
There have been a few bigger triumphs, too. In 2015, Salvador performed at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rio 65 Trio. A live recording of the show was released in Brazil in August in addition to also the album can be scheduled to come out next year inside the United States.
The drummer Duduka da Fonseca, who played at the Carnegie Hall show, released a tribute album to the pianist, in addition to also a documentary about Salvador’s life can be currently inside the works.