John Beard

John plays cavaquinho, guitar, pandeiro, and percussion in Barioca. Born and raised outside of Manchester, United Kingdom, John spent his childhood dabbling in several instruments including violin, trumpet, bass and guitar. His father, a Django Reinhardt devotee, passed on his love of jazz. By the time he began university, John was an expert jazz guitarist, spending his evenings gigging around Manchester. After attending the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, John moved to Chicago in 1995. He quickly became a fixture in the Chicago jazz scene, playing with notable artists such as Von Freeman and King Fleming. A vacation to Brazil in 2004 proved to be life-changing when, after seeing the Mangueira Samba School and spending his evenings in the music clubs of the Lapa district, John decided to focus his musical energy into samba and pagode. John also currently plays with Chicago funk band Papa Jones.