Felipe Paccagnella is a well-rounded musician based in Chattanooga, TN. Felipe is arranging several hymns into a laid back jazz feel. He hopes to expand the horizons of music in church, and soon release an album of hymns, in order to glorify God, who is the giver and owner of his talents, according to him. Along with his interest in playing music, Felipe believes in music education and also works as a teacher. He is currently writing a book on jazz and how that music style relates to one’s day-to-day life. He is passionate about making sure that parents have the tools necessary to better educate their children. Felipe has researched improvisation, and is looking forward to writing a chapter in his coming book about how learning jazz can improve an infant’s self-confidence, awareness, and ability to focus.
As a performer and instrumentalist, Felipe has performed on national television twice, and is featured in three different albums. Felipe has done studio work not only in jazz, but also in bossa nova, pop, electronic, contemporary christian, funk, folk, and orchestral music. His ability to play bass, guitar, drums, and piano has opened many different doors to participate in groups that include styles that range from african music to pop. Felipe has a A.S. degree in jazz piano, and has performed as a jazz pianist in venues that vary from church weddings to the Strathmore theater, in Rockville, MD.
Born and raised in Brazil, Felipe is heavily influenced by brazilian music, which translates to soothing solos that resemble a walk in the beach, and a relaxing life style, along with explosive and intense playing that comes from Brazilian passion. His use of dynamics in his improvisation and comping evokes a wide range of emotions, setting him apart from most jazz pianists. Felipe’s love for music and instrumental virtuosity goes beyond the piano. He has worked as a drummer, a bassist, and even a singer. Currently, he is working on his saxophone chops, and hopes to begin practicing the harp soon.
As a composer, Felipe loves challenging music theory and mathematics, creating pieces that are not only pleasing to the ear, but also theoretically intriguing. His compositional range goes from simple, emotional melodies to fugue-like pieces that feature big harmonies and poly-rhythms. His love for creating new music, like his love for playing new instruments, goes beyond the piano, resulting in compositions that feature guitar, orchestral, and even choir works, along with singer-songwriter tunes. Felipe also has a passion for arranging music, including jazz standards, popular tunes, and hymns. His arranging style often features bossa nova, unexpected harmony structures, and odd meters. He strives to push music to new grounds, while at the same time maintaining familiarity and avoiding going so far that listeners get lost, but far enough that listeners experience something new every time.
In 2013, Felipe released his first album, entitled Christmas Jazz. The album features three Christmas carols re-arranged and played by Felipe himself. One is able to listen to complex harmonies and rhythms put together in a musical way, that features exceptional musicians. The tunes in that album are all done in one take, with all the instruments playing simultaneously in the studio. Because of that, a jazz enthusiast can not only enjoy the complexity of the music itself, but also the interaction between the musicians during the recording.
As a musician dedicated to God, a big part of Felipe’s music journey consists of playing for worship services and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible. He is currently involved in a ministry at Southern Adventist University known as Engage, where he travels across the United States playing piano, leading worship, and sharing his love for Christ with the young adults.
Felipe has a letter of recognition in music therapy and is a firm believer in the healing power of music. He has experience working with children who are autistic or have down syndrome, as well as aiding music therapists in a psychiatric hospital. He hopes to further his research in music therapy, and introduce it to the Adventist education system. In order to pursue that goal, he believes that language knowledge is valuable. Felipe is fluent in Portuguese and English. He is currently learning French, and hopes to move to Germany in the near future in order to learn German. He believes that by knowing more languages, he will be able to reach more people and spread his passion for music, education and psychology further.
Music is a huge part of Felipe’s life, but he is also passionate about psychology, and is currently working on a Bachelor’s degree in the field. He hopes to get a Master’s in Family Counseling, and another Master’s in Music Therapy. After that, Felipe hopes to obtain a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and further his research on how music can be used to improve people’s lives and our society.