If you have some life-history remembering the smooth Brazilian jazz of the early 90’s that defined sexy and suave, you were loving the recordings of the internationally-acclaimed Brazilian singer KENIA with her sensuous, amber-toned voice and seductive, polished vocal phrasing – who single-handedly defined the essence of heavenly, pop-accented Brazilian jazz in the 80s and ’90s.
Her critically acclaimed albums established her as one of the most popular and successful U.S. based Brazilian musicians since the heyday of Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66 – with that ‘certain something’ that has made her music transcend geographic and musical boundaries.
ARCA is presenting the artistry of KENIA – still one of the reigning queens of Brazilian music – in an evening of Samba, Brazilian Jazz, Bossa Nova, and Choro in Lincoln Hall on Saturday, October 14 at 7:30 PM on the eve of the Foxburg Fall Festival. Beer and Wine will be sold.
Revel in the artistry of one of the most excitingly unique performers with a sense of ‘ease’ and ‘breeziness’ that has come to characterize Kenia’s style in intimate, smooth vocals that are subtle and with finesse in both American standards and Brazilian material. AND – dance to the ‘be-bop/samba’ beat and virtuosity of her band of premier Pittsburgh jazz musicians, featuring Eric Susoeff, guitar; Tony DePaolis, bass and Tom Wendt, drums.
Tickets: Adults $25, Students $5. Buy online at alleghenyriverstone.org or call 724-659-3153 to reserve and pay with cash or check at the door.
The artist was born Kenia Acioly into a family of Italian origins in the city of Nova Iguaçu, a working-class suburb of Rio de Janeiro. When she was six, Kenia’s family moved to Copacabana. Later, she lived in Niterói, Rio’s sister city across Guanabara Bay, and Leblon, one of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods. Each stop provided opportunities to explore the local cultural peculiarities that go into making Rio and its neighboring environs one of the world’s most exotic locales.
An interest in music came early; she studied piano and learned to play the guitar by ear. Singing however, became her path to success. Influenced by such Brazilian greats as the late Elis Regina, she also began listening to such North American artists as Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRea and George Benson.
Her choice of music to interpret came not from the bossa nova of the 1960s but from the talents of the generation of composers that followed, putting the Brazilian sound on the world map once again. Kenia gets her inspiration from a variety of musical influences ranging from Brazilian greats such as Ivan Lins, Djavan and JoaÞo Bosco, to American legends George Benson and Stevie Wonder.
Throughout her storied recording career, Kenia has performed at national and international festivals - the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival to the Bonaire Heineken Jazz Festival. She has collaborated not only with jazz icons but also with up-and-coming artists, such as a 2011 show with trumpeter Sean Jones. She is equally enchanting performing standards by Gershwin, Lennon and McCartney, works by contemporary composers (Romero Lubambo, Luiz Simas) and original material with her own lyrics and music composed for Kenia by the likes of Antonio Adolfo.
Superstars James Taylor, Michael Brecker, and Chuck Loeb (Fourplay) invited her to record on their albums and Donald Harrison utilized Kenia’s vocals on the soundtrack for the Brazilian documentary, “The Devil’s Toothpick.” In 1997, she launched her own label, Mooka Records, with a particularly ambitious effort: ”Project Ivan Lins,” a tribute to one of Brazil’s most prolific and popular contemporary songwriters, featuring Lins himself as a special guest.