A founding member of Fourth World
José Pires de Almeida Neto, born in 1954 in São Paulo, is a Brazilian guitarist. In addition to acoustic and electric guitars, he plays an electric nylon string guitar with polysubbass strings. During the MELT 2000 years (1993 – 2000) Jose Neto was a founding member of Fourth World with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim. 1993 after a performance in Durban, South Africa, Airto and Jose were asked to come back and work with local artists. The country was part of a cultural and economic boycott during the apartheid era and artists were hungry to collaborate with foreign artists. A year later Airto and Jose returned and worked on a series of 3 CD’s under the project name OUTERNATIONAL MELTDOWN.
Jose Neto was taught to play the guitar from the age of four by his mother, Neto was also aided by other family members who alerted him not only to his country’s traditional music but also to rock. A strikingly gifted guitarist, he studied at the São Paulo Academy of Music. He appeared and recorded with Harry Belafonte. He then became Belafonte’s musical director and toured internationally with him from 1978 until the late 90s. Others artists with whom Neto has played include George Benson, Randy Brecker, Jorge Dalto, Paquito D’Rivera, Joe Farrell, Humble People, Zakir Hussain, Herbie Mann, Tania Maria, Hugh Masekela, Randy Tico and Steve Winwood.
Jose Neto has also led his own bands, including Plato and later Netoband. Members of the latter group include Celso Alberti, Gary Brown, Café, and Frank Martin, with a series of releases appearing on the B&W Music/MELT2000 label.