SERGIO MENDES & FRIENDS: A CELEBRATION, a joyfully tuneful salute to the pioneering Brazilian musical artist – producer, composer, keyboardist, vocalist – and Oscar®-nominated songwriter will make its world premiere as part of special programming on PBS stations in June 2021 (check local listings). This program, presented by WNED PBS, was created especially for PBS and is derived from the forthcoming feature documentary Sergio Mendes: In The Key Of Joy by acclaimed filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs John LennonChasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, and The Happy Days of GarryMarshall). The deal was negotiated by WNED PBS and the film’s distributor Brainstorm Media.

Mendes, a singular artist who remains as vital and relevant today as when he exploded on the scene in the 1960s with his group, Brasil ’66, played a huge role in popularizing Brazilian music around the world, and at the same time created his own genre by fusing Brazilian music with American pop. He continued to produce hits, decade after decade, staying current and relevant while staying true to his unique sound. 

One of the most internationally successful Brazilian artists of all time, Mendes is a three-time Grammy® Award winner with some 35 albums, including many gold or platinum, including the critically acclaimed Timeless, produced by Hit singles include Mas Que NadaThe Look of LoveScarborough FairNight and DayNever Gonna Let You Go and his unforgettable rendition of Fool on the Hill. In 2012, Sergio’s Real in Rio from the animated film “Rio” was nominated for an Academy Award® as Best Original Song.

SERGIO MENDES & FRIENDS: A CELEBRATION features the singer telling much of his story in his own words. He is joined onscreen by such friends and collaborators as Herb Alpert, Common, Lani Hall (lead singer of Brasil ’66), Quincy Jones, John Legend, Gracinha Mendes (Sergio’s lead singer since 1971 and his wife of 46 years), Jerry Moss, Carlos Saldhana (Oscar®-nominated filmmaker of Rio) and singer/songwriter/producer These friends offer unique perspectives on the man and his music, with plenty of the latter, including recordings and performances from nearly every phase of Sergio’s career. 

“I am really looking forward to sharing my life and musical journey through the decades from Brasil ’66 through present day with PBS viewers across the nation,” says Mendes. “I hope viewers will have a joyful and uplifting experience.” 

“Sergio’s warmth, humor and appreciation of life through all the senses made me feel a strong connection with him and I want others to feel the same way,” says director Scheinfeld. “His life is an exceptional blend of encounters, spontaneity and serendipity and makes him an irresistible subject for a film.”

For more information about Sergio Mendes, this special program and international access to the full documentary, please visit

PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.

About John Scheinfeld

Scheinfeld is best known for two widely acclaimed feature documentaries: The U.S. vs. John Lennon, which tells the true story of the US government’s attempt to silence the beloved musician and iconic advocate for peace andWho Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?, a compelling yet wildly entertaining documentary about one of the most talented and uncompromising singer-songwriters in pop music history. His 2017 feature documentary, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, with Denzel Washington speaking the words of the iconic musician, was an official selection of the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.  His most recent films include the critically acclaimed Herb Alpert Is… (nominated for a 2021 Writers Guild Award for Documentary Screenplay) and The Happy Days of Garry Marshall.

Scheinfeld has also been well represented on PBS, with This

Is Bob Hope on American Masters and Dick Cavett’s Watergate and Dick Cavett’s Vietnam.  During his career Scheinfeld has also written, produced and/or directed numerous documentaries about such pop culture legends as the Bee Gees, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Bing Crosby, Norman Lear, Dean Martin, the Marx Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Peter Sellers, Frank Sinatra, Brian Wilson and Jonathan Winters.  


Founded in 1995, Brainstorm Media is a full-service boutique U.S. film distributor and production company. Recent releases include THE WOLF HOUR starring Naomi Watts, WORKING MAN starring Peter Gerety and Talia Shire, THE CUBAN starring Louis Gossett Jr., Ana Golja and Shohreh Aghdashloo, INTO THE LABYRINTH starring Dustin Hoffman and Toni Servillo, RECON starring Alexander Ludwig and YA horror/mystery THE SINNERS. Upcoming releases include Fantastic Fest favorite BLOODTHIRSTY.


Buffalo Toronto Public Media is family of stations broadcasts PBS, NPR, and Classical music programming throughout the Western New York and Southern Ontario regions. WNED PBS is a national producer of award-winning documentaries including The Warrior Tradition, Understanding the Opioid Epidemic, The War of 1812, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, The Klondike Gold Rush, Underground Railroad: The William Still Story, Niagara Falls, Chautauqua: An American Narrative, Window to the Sea, The Adirondacks, Golf’s Grand Design, The Marines, America’s Houses of Worship, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo, and Elbert Hubbard: An American Original. Additional information about Buffalo Toronto Public Media can be found at

About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV— including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.