"Gaia Petrelli Wilmer is a highly original, visionary composer/instrumentalist. Her music is unique, soulful, plaintive, mysterious, organic, and flat out beautiful. She also makes use of drums and percussion in a very unusual, creative way, which I appreciate. Many young musicians I hear are impressive, few really move me and touch my heart like Gaia's music does. Bravo." Ra-Kalam Bob Moses
"Gaia's music is beautiful, free flowing, and has all the resonance of her Brazilian background. I know that you will enjoy what her music has to offer, as a listener. Please check out the music of the composer Gaia Wilmer. Today!” George Garzone
Gaia Wilmer is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and photographer from south Brazil. With a degree in International Relations, Gaia started playing saxophone with Silvia Beraldo when studying the relationship between reason and passion in the International Relations and the connection of this balance with art.
In 2010, Gaia moved to Rio de Janeiro to expand her musical experiences. During the years she lived in Rio she studied with acclaimed musicians such as Edu Neves, Bia Paes Leme, Jayme Vignoli and Itiberê Zwarg, played in different projects, created and served as a producer for different groups and had the opportunity to playing with musicians such as Guinga, Egberto Gismonti, Gilberto Gil, Nailor Proveta, Maurício Carrilho, among others. During this period, in collaboration with great musicians, she created and worked as a producer for two of the groups she plays with until today, Tungo and Rama Trio.
Photography has always being part of Gaia's life. She started taking photographs when she was a kid with her mother, the photographer Luciana Petrelli, and both in Rio and Florianopolis she worked for many projects, most of them related to music. While in Rio de Janeiro, she studied in two well-known institutions for visual arts: EAV Parque Lage and Atelie da Imagem.
In 2013, Gaia made her move to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music where she studied saxophone, improvisation, composition and arranging with great musicians and professors such as George Garzone, Ayn Inserto, Greg Hopkins, Mitch Haupers and Ed Tomassi, among others.
In this period, she began forming her own groups and collaborating with others along with playing and recording for several other projects. In 2014, she began her own octet featuring musicians from Boston and New York, a group that she has been writing for in the past three years and with whom she has been playing around Boston and New York. This group has just recorded its first album at the Systems Two Studios in New York with the great help of Frank Carlberg producing it with Gaia and it is now working on the mixing and mastering process. In 2015, Gaia developed a project dedicated to playing the music of the Brazilian composer Moacir Santos, directing a 13-piece band and, in collaboration with three other Boston based musicians, started a quartet dedicated to play the Brazilian genre choro. And in the beginning of this year, Gaia started a project in collaboration with the drummer and composer Bob Moses with whom she has been playing with in his group called The Heart Breath Ensemble. She is now working on an album with her compositions in collaboration with him.
At the beginning of 2015, Gaia was selected as a Jazz Revelation Records featured artist for the year of 2015 and recorded with her group one of her original compositions for the JRR 2015 album. Recently, Gaia was bestowed with a Merit Award and the Beneficient Society Scholarship for the Graduate Program in Jazz Composition at New England Conservatory, where she is now studying with Ken Schaphorst, Frank Carlberg, Anthony Coleman, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses among others.
Recently, Gaia has been approved for one of the most important grants in Brazil (CCBB - Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) with a project she has been working on since the beginning of 2016: a series of concerts in homage to the work of the great Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti. Gaia has been producing this project from the scratch and the concerts will be arranged and directed by her and will feature Egberto Gismonti playing with the Gaia Wilmer Large Ensemble. With this project, Gaia won the Downbeat Award 2017 for Outstanding Big Band arrangement for her version of 7 Aneis, by Egberto Gismonti.