Marta Karassawa

Pianist, composer, arranger.

The Musical Journey of a Passionate Artist

New Album: Tempo Bom (Good Times)

Available on your favorite platform starting March 8th. Watch the trailer now:

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Marta Karassawa is a Brazilian pianist whose musical journey has been marked by an intense passion for music and a career defined by overcoming challenges. She was born in Niterói – RJ and grew up as the oldest daughter in a family of engineers and architects where music always held a special place, even if it was not a career pursued by her family members.

Early on, Marta showed a liking for the piano and began taking lessons at the age of 7, initially only as a hobby. However, her love for music deepened over time, and although she studied Architecture and Urban Planning at FAU – Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of USP, her passion for music drove her to change her career course.

Determined to pursue her passion, Marta began her transformative path to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston – USA, where she received a scholarship. This experience gave her the unique opportunity to learn from jazz legends such as Danilo Perez, Horace Silver, and Pat Metheny, and attend inspiring workshops. Her dedication resulted in her graduating with honors with a diploma in Performance and Arrangement. 

After graduation, Marta returned to Brazil and married her great love, German bassist Frank Herzberg, who also studied at Berklee College. Together, they built a partnership in music and life and founded a family with three children that became a source of inspiration for many.

Marta Karassawa has established herself as a pianist and bandleader of the Marta Karassawa Quintet, reviving the nostalgia of the great jazz quintets of the 1940s and 1950s. She has performed with her quintet in prestigious stages and festivals.

She was also recognized for her participation as a finalist in the Arrangers Festival, Ars Brasilis, where she presented her arrangements in a concert honoring the renowned Brazilian singer, Milton Nascimento.

Currently, Marta is about to release her first quintet album titled “Tempo Bom“. The recording is a collection of compositions created in different phases of her life. They reflect the diversity of styles and moods that have shaped her musical path, from swing to bossa nova, from baion to funky blues.

With the participation of renowned musicians such as Teco Cardoso on flute and tenor saxophone, Sidmar Vieira on trumpet and flugelhorn, Frank Herzberg on bass, Zé Eduardo Nazário on drums, as well as guests like Jacques Schwarz-Bart (t-sax), Chico Macedo (b-sax), Cindy Borgani (voc), and Stephanie Borgani (voc), the album promises to be a true delight for music lovers.

The album “Tempo Bom” was produced by Frank Herzberg, who was also responsible for editing, mixing, and mastering. The recordings took place on April 14th and 15th, 2023 at the Da Pá Virada studio, with Dani Gurgel in charge of video recording and Big Rabello on sound. The recording of Cindy and Stephanie Borgani’s voices, by Paulo Aredes, took place on May 21st, 2023, at the Soundfinger Produções studio.

The first single, “Cama de Gato,” was released on September 29th, 2023, and the second single, “Mantra,” will be released on January 26th, 2024. Both are part of the album, which will be fully available on digital platforms in March.

The radio promotion for the album will be taken care of by Powderfinger Production in the USA, which collaborates with Mike Stern, Esperanza Spalding, Christian McBride, and others.

David Avery, the president of Powderfinger Promotions, says:

“I think this is a fantastic album. the artistry and recording are very top notch. super impressive.”

The Marta Karassawa Quintet played the pre-release concert at Blue Note SP before a full house on November 9, 2023.

Video "Cama de Gato"

featuring Jacques Schwarz-Bart on tenor saxophone

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Timeline Gallery


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Simone - Frank Foster at Sesc Pompéia in 2006. Marta Karassawa's Quintet with Mané Silveira, Rubinho Antunes, Zé Eduardo Nazário, and Frank Herzberg.

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Kelly Blue - Wynton Kelly, Festival Astra Finamax 2011 - Marta Karassawa Quintet with Jean-Pierre Rickebusch, Mário Chechetto, Guilherme Franco e Frank Herzberg.

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Mantra - Marta Karassawa Quintet, Pre-Release at Blue Note/São Paulo on November 9, 2023.

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Good Time - Marta Karassawa Quintet, Pre-Release at Blue Note /São Paulo on November 9th, 2023.

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