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KC Jazz with Roy Hargrove and Mulgrew Miller

Lucian Souza

We're at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, but musically, we're in Brazil, where the melodies, harmonies and rhythm all feel familiar to jazz. That's because swing and samba are cousins. Two artists perform. The Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival presents Luciana Souza. The KC Jazz Club introduces Vinicius Cantuária.

Souza grew up in Sao Paolo. Her parents were musicians. On the first recording of Antonio Carlos Jobim's lovely bossa nova "Chega de Saudades" ("No More Blues"), Luciana's father sings in the background with Jobim himself and Joăo Gilberto, behind vocalist Elizete Cardoso.

A lover of language, Souza has set English translations of Spanish verses by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to music on Neruda (Sunnyside Records). She sings with her jazz trio: Bruce Barth, piano; John Hebert, bass; Clarence Penn, drums.

After the bossa nova, the next major development in Brazil was a protest song movement called Tropicalismo. Among its leaders was Caetano Veloso. Vinicius Cantuária spent years in Rio in Veloso's band as a percussionist. A decade ago, vocalist/guitarist Vinicius moved to New York, and says, "In the U.S., I get more homesick, and am inspired to make music that is even more Brazilian."

He leads a wonderful band. Bassist Paul Socolow worked for years with Herbie Mann. As a member of Jobim's own group for 15 years, Paulo Braga put the samba feel on the drum set. Percussionist Marivaldo dos Santos has loaded the stage with tambourins, pandeiros, shakers and chimes. Obligado to all!

"I Shall Wait" (Souza)
"House" and "Sonnet 99" (Neruda/Souza)
Jobim Medley

"O Barquinho" (Menescal/Boscoli)
"Isolado do Mundo" (Alcides Dias Ferreira)
"O Nome Dela" (Cantuária/Lindsay)
"Ela e Carioca" (Jobim)
"Esse Seu Olhar" (Jobim)
"Joia" (Veloso)


  • Luciana Souza on the Web

  • Vinicius Cantuária on the Web

  • Sunnyside Records

  • Kennedy Center Jazz

    The concert producer is Kevin Struthers with Sean Costello. House sound by Mike Shoemaker. Thanks to Sara Waller. Dr. Billy Taylor is Artistic Advisor to Kennedy Center Jazz.

    Our music mix engineers are JazzSet Technical Director Duke Markos and Greg Hartmann of Big Mo Recording, with Chris Weal and Drew Doucette.

    Our team includes Audio Engineer and language coach, Ginger Bruner, at KUNV in Las Vegas .. Producer Becca Pulliam .. and Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe of WBGO, Jazz 88 in Newark, NJ.

    Copyright 2007 NPR