Some New (and Not So New) Faces

This is a very small sample of our great favorites...of course, there are plenty more "new faces" in Brazilian music. All CDs donated to our site automatically become part of the Sheila Thomson Collection of Brazilian Culture at Florida International University in Miami.

If there is a Queen of Lapa, the musical/bohemian district of Rio...who would wear the crown? Nilze Carvalho or Teresa Cristina? Humm...very tough choice, so why not have them share it? Nilze is not only a fabulous singer, but also a master cavaquinho and bandolim player...
We just fell madly in love with Zélia Duncan
and her brilliant new's perfect from the oh-so-clever  choice of cover image  to the superb song selection and the musicians...ah...the musicians...Hamilton de Holanda on bandolim, Marco Pereira on guitar and so on. Not to mention Zélia's voice!
Mônica Salmaso's latest is also her best, a gem of a CD:  impeccable song selection, brilliant arrangements, and, of course, la crème de la crème of Brazil's instrumentalists. Too bad "bestest" isn't a word, because I'd say this is one of the "bestest" CDs I've listened to of late. Kudos to this tremendously talented and intelligent singer from São Paulo. Mônica isn't a household name yet, but she'll go far! Released by Biscoito Fino in Rio.
Luciane Menezes is the artistic director of Jongo da Serrinha and also the leader of the group Pau da Braúna. A talented musician and singer, she's an intense young woman on a mission: the preservation of one of the oldest musical forms in Brazil, the jongo. As if that wasn't enough, they throw in lessons in xote, ciranda, maracatu, coco, samba-de-roda, lundu, baião, afoxé. 
Maria Rita took home three Latin Grammys ® in 2004! She's the daughter of an icon (Elis Regina), on her way to well-deserved stardom...Don't miss the DVD, too! After seeing/hearing her on the beach in's all true: she's sweet and graceful and, yes, she does sound a bit like her mom! I can also say that her fans range from teenagers to grandmas and they know her songs by heart!
Latin Grammy 2003 Nominee!!
Remember, you saw it here first...She's a charmer with a lovely voice. Sambista Teresa Cristina's first CD (it's a two-CD set, actually) is dedicated to master Paulinho da Viola. Grupo Semente, her refined accompanists around Lapa's music haunts like Carioca da Gema, are present here too.
Pura Eu, Via Negromonte, independent release. A gift from a friend turns out to be a little gem: a singer called Via Negromonte with a gorgeous voice and superb taste and, well, she brought in Marcos Suzano, Beto Cazes, Pedro Luis, and Sivuca...A class act, if we've ever heard one!
Pérolas aos Povos, Rita Ribeiro, Putumayo 171-2. We're in love with lovely Rita and her infectious, joyful music. Like Zeca Baleiro, Rita comes from Maranhão and her CDs are a fusion of traditional rhythms and song forms from her native state with samba, reggae and forró. If you have a chance to catch one of her performances, don't miss it! She is charming and engaging. I find myself dancing to her songs everyday now. Some of my favorites: Cocada, Banho Cheiroso, Mana Chica and Lenha (sooo romantic!).
Seio da Bahia, Vania Abreu, Velas 1006-2. Vania is Daniela Mercury's sister and a wonderful singer in her own right. She stays away from the kind of music that made her sister famous and sings sambas from Rio, and compositions by northeasterners Ednardo and Zeca Baleiro. Her voice reminds me of Marisa Monte at times. She is "uma gracinha," too, really cute!
Aos Vivos, Chico César. Velas 1007-2. The American release of Chico's live recording that launched his career in Brazil in 1995. Chico needs no introduction at this point and we're really glad that his evocative (of the arid backlands of northeastern Brazil) and hauntingly beautiful songs are now available in the US.
Chico César, Putumayo 170-2. Presenting songs from his three Brazilian albums. The audio clip is Pedra de Responsa, co-written with Zeca Baleiro. Zeca's recording of this song in the CD reviewed below is beautiful, too!
zecabaleiro.jpg (10011 bytes) Por onde andará Stephen Fry? and Vô Imbolá, Zeca Baleiro. Zeca won my heart with the first one, winner of Brazil's Prêmio Sharp for Best CD and Best Song in 1998. Good-humored lyrics (try Heavy Metal do Senhor and Kid Vinil...) and great rhythms from his native state of Maranhão. After I bought his first CD I managed to find a recording of the folkloric group Bumba Meu Boi de Axixá and that too became one of my favorite dancing CDs. Thanks, Zeca, for making me discover the wonderful music of your neck of the  woods!
edmotta.jpg (8612 bytes) Ed Motta: Manual Prático para Bailes, Festas e Afins. The master of Brazilian "funk." Ed is Tim Maia's nephew (and he looks like his uncle). A friend of mine said "I didn't know you liked this kind of music..." Well, call me eclectic if you wish, but Ed plays in my car and at home also quite a bit. He's been around a while, but may be a new face to Americans.
carol.jpg (15788 bytes) Carol Saboya, Dança da Voz. This beautiful and talented young singer is the daughter of pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo from Rio de Janeiro. Carol has a gorgeous voice and she's going far, far...

Carol now has several CDs out in Brazil and in Japan also.

Brazilian CDs