Give Me Some Deep American Blues — From Brazil’s Own Tulio Augusto

Debbie Burke

Self-taught guitarist and harmonica player Tulio Augusto has a houseful of instruments, is defending his second master’s and working on a Ph.D., and has composed something stunning, bluesy, Gershwin-like – indescribable, really – that shows he can climb right inside the essence of homegrown American jazz.

What was your early training like?

I started learning music by myself at age 16. My brother and I had a single guitar to practice. We practiced by reading magazines, watching other players, reading books, etc. We had almost no reference, we only wanted to play.

There were no musicians in my family and the only story regarding playing an instrument involved my father; once he was almost kicked out of seminary (he was studying to be a priest) for playing very famous music about vagabondage at the organ church. 

What grabbed you about jazz?

I remember the first time I heard jazz I didn’t like it. But somehow, the blues always called me…

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