IVAN CONTI, drummer with Brazilian jazz-funk band AZYMUTH died on Monday 17th April. He was aged 76 and the announcement from the band’s record label gave no more details.

“Mamao” Conti formed Azymuth with keyboardist José Roberto Bertrami, and bassist/guitarist Alex Malheiros in 1968 and by the mid-70s  the band were a mainstay on the Rio music circuit. Their sound fused various elements  – jazz, bossa nova, Brazilian pop, samba, folk, psychedelia, and, later, disco and funk. That sound  eventually broke out of the clubs of Brazil as US and European crate diggers found their music and introduced it to a wider audience.

Their current record label, Far Out  issued the following statement: “As well as being a musical icon, Ivan was a joyous, kind hearted, hilarious and immensely charismatic man. He had time for everybody and thrived off the love of his family, friends, fellow musicians and fans, which he reciprocated through his music, his warmth and his generosity. He approached playing and making music with a childlike sense of openness and a truly infectious joy and he will live on through his work with Azymuth, his solo projects and the countless recordings he worked on with other artists in Brazil and around the world.”