Zé Luis was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes and was the Brazilian entry at the Academy Awards in 1987. In New York, Zé Luis continues his longtime association with Bebel Gilberto, right up to one of her most recent release, All In One (Verve), nominated for the
2010 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album, on which Zé is credited as flautist and arranger. In 2011, he worked as co-producer and arranger with Bebel on the song “Samba de Orly” for the movie “Rio” and its soundtrack album.
A musical leader in his own right, Zé Luis has produced the self-titled Zé Luis EP and two albums of his compositions, Guarani Banana and Caiapó, and he contributed four songs to the ecology-themed Green Heart compilation. Zé Luis has been consistently acclaimed in the American press, garnering enthusiastic coverage in DownBeat, Saxophone Journal, Rhythm and Jazziz, among many other publications. Zé Luis graduated the Pro-Art Conservatoire, Rio de Janeiro, majoring in flute and traditional harmony And the Villa-Lobos Institute, Rio de Janeiro, majoring in performance. Zé studied privately with Paulo Moura, well-known Brazilian saxophone and clarinet player. Zé also studied privately with Joe Lovano and with Ted Nash @ NYU and studied contemporary music andcomposition with Stanley Wolfe at The Juilliard School.
In 2004 Zé was honored with a silver medal from the United Nations Correspondents Association, for the original soundtrack of the documentary En Route to Baghdad, directed by Simone Duarte. In 2000 Crossroads Music Awards, World/Contemporary, Gold Star Finalist: Ze Luis–Guarani Banana (Malandro Records/Trama). 1993 Tusculum video award (Greeneville, TN) & a Telly award for his work on the documentary It’s Not Easy, directed by Civiliti’s Frank Melli. Zé Luis brings remarkable musical talents, production talents, as well as creativity and musical managerial expertise to Civiliti,
along with his global associations.
In 2008, Zé licensed music for the TV movie "A Raisin in the Sun", produced by and featuring P. Diddy, which was nominated for a Golden Globe award, and that year recorded "The Bossa Project" (Blue Infinity) by Robert Lamm (of the band Chicago) which feature Zé Luis as an instrumentalist. In 2009, he performed with his quartet in the sculpture garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and with a ten-piece band he arranged and directed at Copa Fest I & II at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro. In early 2012 Zé Luis composed, arranged, produced and performed the
original soundtrack of the short film "Os Lados da Rua" (Beyond the Streets) directed by Diego Zon, selected for the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival and "Color Thief" directed by Violeta Barca- Fontana, which was awarded best short film at the 2013 Madrid Film Festival.
Fresh out of Cuba after working with over one hundred incredibly talented artists with his current project TRADE WINDS including: Don Pancho Terry, members of The Cuban All Stars, Rodolfo Argudin "Peruchin" and Juan Carlos Rojas (from Irakere), pianist Rolando Luna, members of Grupo Interactivo among others, Zé Luis had a musical reawakening observing the similarities and brotherhood among Brazilian and Cuban musicians. Ze Luis is credited with Grammy Nominations with Bebel Gilberto: 2010 All In One: Best Contemporary World Music Album–Instrumentalist and
Arranger; 2008 Momento: Best Contemporary World Music Album–Instrumentalist; 2005 Bebel Gilberto (album): Best Contemporary World Music Album–Instrumentalist; Nominations With 'A Raisin in the Sun' (TV Movie); 2008 Dreams Worth While: he Journey of 'A Raisin in the Sun'; 2008 The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards; 2009 The 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards; 2009 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.