Brazil is a large, musically rich country. it is home to the Samba, Bossa Nova, Choro, and many other categories and sub-categories of music.
The first step is to immerse yourself in the Brazilian Jazz sound by watching YouTube videos and attending every opportunity to hear the music played live.
Next step is to pick one title to explore. I've chosen The Girl from Ipanema. Secure a modern lead sheet of the piece. Musicnotes.com - Search Results for girl from ipanema
Now listen to the classic recording while following along. The first thing you will notice is that the male singer sings the melody freely. The female singer sings the melody closer to the lead sheet only the first time. On the repeat it is rhythmically freer.
Next up I ask students to explore the guitar style featured in the recording.
Followed by percussion
Ending with the piano
Now we are ready to make a go of playing the piece. You will now be able to hear more clearly the rhythmic moves and feel of the music. Start copying what you hear.
You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.
I'm a professional pianist and music educator in West Toronto Ontario. I'm also a devoted percussionist and drum teacher.