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Eliane Elias @ the Tanglewood Jazz Festival

Eliane Elias.

Eliane Elias grew up studying classical piano and transcribed solos by Art Tatum and Bud Powell to teach herself jazz. All the while, she was soaking up the musical heartbeat of her huge home city, Sao Paolo.

The Tanglewood Jazz Festival comes every Labor Day weekend, after the Boston Symphony has left its summer home in Western Massachusetts. The first night features Latin jazz with the likes of Michel Camilo from the Dominican Republic, Gato Barbieri from Argentina, and Eddie Palmieri from the Bronx. At the 2004 Tanglewood Jazz Festival, the Latin music comes from Brazil.

The Brazilian in question, Eliane Elias, has said that after growing up in Sao Paolo, New York looked small to her. She now lives on the east end of Long Island.

When Eliane was 17 years old, playing with her trio in a nightclub in Sao Paolo, she looked into the audience and saw the composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, the lyricist Vinicius de Moraes and another songwriter named Toquinho, sitting at a table enjoying her music. They were three of the biggest names in Brazilian song. Jobim invited Eliane to join them on an international tour, and she became his Musical Director for several years.

In her early 20s, Eliane moved to the United States, where she came to jazz fans' attention as the pianist in the Brecker Brothers very hip new band, Steps Ahead. Eliane has mingled jazz and samba, English and Portuguese, ever since.

Eliane has recorded regularly throughout the 1990s through today. Her latest is Dreamer, featuring more of her vocals than before, along with guest soloists and orchestra. In Japan, Dreamer was named Swing Journal's #1 Jazz Vocal CD for 2004. In France, the opening song on the CD, "Call Me," was a big hit on the radio. And a reviewer in England wrote that Eliane onstage has "glamour that puts movie actresses in the shade."

Get close to her warmth, tune in for Eliane Elias on JazzSet.

Medley: "Fato consumado" and "Dobrado" by Djavan
"Call Me" by Tony Hatch
"Chega de Saudade" by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes
"Fotografia" by Jobim
"The Way You Look Tonight" by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern
"Doralice" by Dorival Caymmi and Antonio Almeida
"Desafinado" by Jobim

Elaine Elias - piano, vocals
Marc Johnson - bass
Satoshi Takeishi - drums
Ruben De la Corte - guitar


  • JazzSet Summer Festival Guide, 2005

  • Eliane Elias Site

  • Dorival Caymmi at Bossa Nova Guitar

  • Tanglewood Jazz Festival


    Thanks to Tanglewood Manager Tony Beadle and the Jazz Festival Music Director, Fred Taylor. Also Jon Solins, Steve Charbonneau and Gary Mott of WBGH Radio Boston, and music mixer Jim Donahue.

    We'd also like to thank NPR's Benjamin K. Roe, and JazzSet's Yujin Cha and Andrew Parella. Dee Dee Bridgewater's recording engineer is Ginger Bruner at KUNV Las Vegas.

    Our producer is Becca Pulliam, Technical Director Duke Markos, and executive producer Thurston Briscoe III, at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark.

    Copyright 2007 NPR