Coelho & Ridnell

Our History

The music of Coelho & Ridnell bridges the worlds of Brazilian bossa nova and MPB and American jazz and pop. The origin story of this songwriting duo begins in 2010 in San Francisco at the Tunnel Top Bar, where American guitar player and songwriter Dave Ridnell first met Chico Coelho, a composer, guitar player, and abstract painter newly arrived in the U.S. from the small city of Piracicaba, Brazil. The two talked passionately about their mutual musical influences – Brazilian…American…the Beatles…and drank a toast to the man they both considered the master – Joao Donato. A musical friendship was born. They soon penned their first joint composition “Sunny Day” and have continued writing to the present moment, singing in Portuguese and English of love, happiness, solitude and hope, ecology, and human philosophy. Their music has brought them to clubs across the United States as well as Brazil. Their debut release “Sunny Day” is a collection of 11 original compositions bringing together 30 world-class musicians, including Hendrik Meurkens, Bororó Felipe, Wayne Wallace, Celso Alberti, Victor Little, and Mary Fettig, recorded in California, New York, and Sao Paulo.


Chico Coelho: Composer, guitar player, singer, and contemporary painter Chico Coelho hails from the city of Piracicaba, Brazil, where he is a legendary character. After performing and working as a musician and artist in Brazil for over 30 years, Chico came to the United States in 2010. He is a respected composer, with close to 200 original songs, influenced not just by Brazilian artists such as Joao Donato, Tom Jobim, and Gilberto Gil, but also by American and European artists such as Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, The Beatles, and Jamiroquai. Chico has recorded two full-length CDs of his own compositions, which feature some of the finest jazz musicians in Brazil, including Sizão Machado, longtime bass player for Djavan, and drummer Edu Ribeiro (Chico Pinheiro). In addition to his musical talent, Chico is also talented modern abstract artist and illustrator. His unique paintings have been featured in hundreds of galleries. Among other accomplishments, in 1998 he was one of the twenty Brazilian artists to participate in the celebratory exhibition of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris.


Dave Ridnell: Dave Ridnell has been a bandleader and performed for over 25 years in venues throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Japan, and Brazil. He has played live and recorded with members of such legendary funk acts as The Meters, James Brown, and Sly & the Family Stone, as well as with jazz artists Melvin Sparks, Wayne Wallace, and Mary Fettig. A student of jazz guitar icon Calvin Keys, for the last ten years Dave has been deeply absorbed in the San Francisco Bay Area Brazilian music community, working with Chico Coelho, the Brothers Calatayud, Liza Silva and Lau Paiva, and is known for his ability to unite and creatively promote local Brazilian artists.