FYC Best Instrumental and Vocal Arrangement

Ring The Bells

On February 11, 2021, Chick Corea’s passing was announced.

John Finbury sat at his piano in Massachusetts that night and responded to the sad news by playing a somber, repetitive passage that seemed to provide solace. He made a phone recording and sent it to his friend, singer Thalma de Freitas. The next morning, Thalma woke up in Los Angeles, listened to the music, and was inspired to improvise a melody and lyrics on top of John’s piano motif. She sent a voice recording back to John, and a song was born.

Producer Emilio D. Miler heard this recording and suggested releasing a studio version of the song, as the sentiments that inspired it were shared by music lovers everywhere. Through the challenges posed by the pandemic, John recorded his piano part at a local studio and Thalma recorded her vocals in L.A.

Afro-Brazilian singer-songwriter Thalma de Freitas and American composer John Finbury wrote the songs on their 2020 Grammy® nominated album “Sorte!.” Here they collaborate again with producer Emilio D. Miler, who brought together the same production team for this homage to Chick, “Ring The Bells.”

Ring The Bells Credits

Music by John Finbury & Thalma de Freitas
Lyrics by Thalma de Freitas
Vocals Thalma de Freitas
Piano John Finbury
Arrangement John Finbury, Thalma de Freitas & Emilio D. Miler
Produced by Emilio D. Miler & John Finbury
Mix Engineer Ari Lavigna
Mastering Engineer Carlos Freitas
Vocals Recorded by Daniel “Vago” Galindo at Heritage Recording Co.
Piano Recorded by Bob Patton at Thin Ice Productions

Cover Art – Mayra Muniz
Creative Direction – Patrick McDonough
Graphic Design – Michael Gurley

Ring The Bells Lyrics

All the praises all the feelings
Ring the Bells
From beyond until the sunrise
Ring The Bells
Body vessel of a masterpiece
Ring the Bells

Man of good and simple righteousness
Ring The Bells
Key for life
Ring The Bells

John Finbury is a Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated composer based in Andover Massachusetts.

His earliest music education and influence came from his father Herb, a musician (violin) and one of the first jazz composition students at the Schillinger School in Boston, which would later become Berklee College Of Music. In his teenage years, John played rock & roll drums, most notably at the “The Bitter End” in New York City. In college, John studied classical piano and music theory and composition at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge and Boston University.

Seeking another connection to music, John ran a legendary movie house and concert hall in Salem, MA, hosting performances by BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, REM, Eric Burton and The Animals, and Pat Metheny, among many others. In a parallel life, John has been a practicing attorney for 35 years, though you’ll never hear him refer to his law practice as a “day job”, but rather his other “profession.”

John married his lifelong muse Patty Brayden, who sings and is a frequent collaborator as a lyricist; they have often performed locally as part of the Jazz Sextet “Day For Night”. John’s old friend Ned Claflin (who has also worked with Madonna and Martin Sexton) is another important associate in the lyrics department.

In what he recognizes as his first professional commission as a composer, in 1979 John wrote and recorded a soundtrack for “Portraits from the 2 O’Clock Lounge”, a TV documentary by Fred Simon produced for WGBH Boston. The R&B and pop songs he wrote and recorded in the early 80s have garnered current critical attention, with many being acquired in 2014 by Fervor Records. This renewed interest in his music sparked a new era in John’s composing focused on his longstanding interest in the beautiful music of Brazil.

In October 2014 John released an EP of four original songs of Brazilian Jazz called “The Green Flash”. All four songs were nominated for The American Songwriting Awards in 2015, with “SambaDan” winning the award for Best Instrumental.

2015 saw the release of “Imaginário,” an album consisting of 11 original songs of Brazilian jazz featuring vocalist Marcella Camargo, accompanied by some of Boston’s finest musicians, including longtime members of Paquito D’Rivera’s band Oscar Stagnaro and Mark Walker, Tim Ray, and Grammy-winning guitarist Claudio Ragazzi.

In 2016, Finbury shocked the Latin Music scene when a cut from “Imaginário” called “A Chama Verde,” was nominated for a Latin Grammy for “Song Of The Year.”

In 2017, John released his second Brazilian jazz-infused album “Pitanga” with the same lineup, which received critical acclaim.

Finbury’s album “Sorte!”, in collaboration with Brazilian singer-songwriter Thalma de Freitas was released in May 2019. With music by John and lyrics and vocals by Thalma, they recorded six original songs at The Powerstation Studios in New York City, produced by Latin Grammy winner Emilio D. Miler, who assembled an All-Star band featuring Vitor Gonçalves, Chico Pinheiro, Duduka de Fonseca, John Patitucci, Rogerio Boccato and the legendary Airto Moreira. On November 21, 2019, “Sorte!” Was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.

In May 2020, John released two new albums of original music: American Nocturnes- Final Days Of July" presenting intimate chamber jazz instrumental music uniquely arranged for piano, cello, guitar, accordion, and harmonica, and a new Latin Jazz album, QUATRO, featuring Magos Herrera, Chano Domínguez, John Patitucci, and Antonio Sánchez.

In 2021, following news of the death of Chick Corea, John and Thalma de Freitas composed and recorded the song "Ring The Bells" in tribute to the great jazz master.

During the pandemic, John began an artistic collaboration with French jazz singer extraordinaire, Camille Bertault. They recorded two singles: "Look At What A Mess You Made Of Me" in which  Camille teamed up with bassist Christian McBride (released 9/1/2021) and "Boulevard" with lyrics by Camille recorded with organist Larry Gouldings and Billy Martin on drums (release date 10/1/2021).

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