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Movies and Music. Movies and Mission. Food Film Music proudly presents THE MAN BEHIND THE WHITE GUITAR Opening Virtually November 16.

Part of ticket proceeds benefit the 10,000 Degrees Lua Pires de Almeida Endowed Scholarship Fund.

10,000 Degrees is proud to serve as the scholarship administrator for numerous philanthropic, civic and community organizations. Making more scholarship funds available to students from low-income backgrounds strengthens our collective impact.

“…as soon as he touched his custom-guitar, sending a shower of harmonics into the silence, he rendered all musings about categorisation redundant, . . . he demonstrated just how much musical territory, opened up by Hendrix in the 1960s, still remains for subsequent generations of guitarists to explore.”  – The London Times, 1996

Interviews include: Harry Belafonte, Airto Moreira, Narada Michael Walden and Steve Winwood.

A feature documentary film by collaborative international artists

“They’re going to make a movie about Neto? Well he’s brilliant, isn’t he?” – Ms. Watson,100-year-old breadbaker, from the Cotswolds in England.

A spectrum of people, voices, and textures, “The Man Behind the White Guitar” is a film about the musical life of Brazilian guitarist, José Neto.

Neto’s music and energy have been behind major world musicians, including Harry Belafonte and Steve Winwood, as well as Brazilian greats, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira. His diverse musical journey from Brazil to the United States and England and deep life challenges have taught him the values of loyalty, devotion, and positive vision that speak through his sounds and performing spirit. He’s touched the lives of the most unsuspecting fans worldwide.

The Man Behind the White Guitar is an award winning documentary film. It was released to international film festivals on Valentine’s Day, 2019 as a message of peace and love. The film has been translated into Spanish and Portuguese.

This project has been created by a very generous international collaboration of artists who believe in the power of world music to unite us. Paul Liberatore, music journalist, says “José Neto is in service to music, not fame or money.”

Neto’s supporters know he carries a high level spirit of loyalty, devotion and positive vision, inspiration we could all use in our world today.

José Pires de Almeida Neto has a sophisticated fan base, those who understand the power of his music and the spirit it carries. He came to the United States in 1978 at the age of 24 without speaking much English and to follow his music passion. Soon after his arrival in 1979, Neto auditioned for the legendary Harry Belafonte who then invited Neto to join his band. For thirty years Neto toured and performed with Belafonte and then became his music director as well for ten years.

José is a founding member of the band Fourth World with the legendary master percussionist Airto Moreira and Brazil’s Queen of Jazz Flora Purim who started José’s journey at Ronnie’s Scotts Jazz Club in 1990. Neto is still composing and recording with Airto Moreira today.

In 1995, Jim Capaldi, the great drummer and songwriter of Traffic, came to Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in London one the afternoon and jammed with José Neto and Airto Moreira. After Capaldi saw their band Fourth World perform that night, he brought master musician Steve Winwood the very next day to hear the band and Neto’s “apocalyptic sounds” as his music has been described in The London Times. That introduction to Steve led them to a musical friendship with multiple jams with Neto’s own band, The Netoband. A few years later Winwood asked Neto to join him in an Organ Trio, Winwood’s new project (more Traffic style) and they recorded About Time. Neto has been Winwood’s guitarist for the last 16 years and has collaborated with Winwood on several songs for the CDs About Time and Nine Lives.

Neto has been leading his own band The Netoband for over 25 years. Those members are Gary Brown, Frank Martin, Celso Alberti and Café. They’ve toured internationally and each member is a highly respected musician in his own right.

Neto also plays, performs and records with producer and master drummer Narada Michael Walden and Kirtan master Jai Utall.

Despite all of Neto’s contributions to international world music, filmmaker Barbara McVeigh was incredibly surprised to learn how little the mainstream knows about Neto. Yet, she discovered there was a select group of international fans who were highly devoted to Neto’s music and how well he was respected by legendary musicians and producers.

As Barbara got to know Neto, she began to understand him. He’s very soft spoken and self effacing. There is no ego involved and he always looks to shine the spotlight on someone else instead of his own successes. As music journalist Paul Liberatore says about Neto, “He is in service to music and not to fame.”

This film casts the light on this man behind the white guitar as we follow Jose Neto to Brazil, New York, England and California to learn about his past and those who have taught and inspired him to be the man and musician he is today. Musicians and supporters from around the world contributed to this project understanding that we can celebrate the values of this legendary musician and respect his music and approach to art and life. Neto’s diverse musical journey and deep life challenges have taught him the values of loyalty, devotion and positive vision that speak through his sounds and performing spirit. He continues to touch the lives of the most unsuspecting fans worldwide.


Banco Fator SA, São Paulo, Brazil

Deborah Santana, Do A Little Fund

  • Year
  • Runtime
    71 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Richard Michael
  • Screenwriter
    Margot Van Riper
  • Producer
    Barbara McVeigh
  • Sound Design
    JJ McGeehan