Brazilian Duos (Sunnyside Records)

Luciana Souza

Released May 14, 2002

Grammy Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album 2003




Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Ms. Souza grew up in a family of Bossa Nova innovators – her father, a singer and songwriter, her mother, a poet and lyricist. Ms. Souza’s work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to new music.

As a leader, Luciana Souza has been releasing acclaimed recordings since 2002 – including her six Grammy-nominated records Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III, and The Book of Chet. Her debut recording for Universal, The New Bossa Nova, was produced by her husband, Larry Klein, and was met with widespread critical acclaim. Luciana’s recordings also include two works based on poetry – The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop And Other Songs, and Neruda. Of her 2015 release, Speaking in Tongues, The New York Times said: “Luciana Souza has used her voice as an instrument of empathy and intimacy, cultural linkage and poetic disquisition… singing wordlessly but with full expressive intent.” Her critically acclaimed latest recording, The Book of Longing, saw Ms. Souza immersed in the world of poetry again. Luciana set poems by Leonard Cohen, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Christina Rossetti to music.

Ms. Souza has performed and recorded with musical luminaries including Herbie Hancock (on his Grammy winning record, River – The Joni Letters), Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, and many others. Her longstanding duo work with Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades across the globe, and her complete discography contains more than sixty records as a side singer. Luciana Souza’s singing has been called “transcendental, “perfect, ” and of “unparalleled beauty. ” Entertainment Weekly writes, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries.” Of her work with the chamber music ensemble, A Far Cry, the Boston Globe said: “Her performance was more than beautiful. It was consolatory, and true to the work’s air of ultimate things.”

Luciana Souza has been a prominent soloist in two important works by composer Osvaldo Golijov – La Pasion According to St. Mark, and Oceana. She has performed with the Bach Akademie Stuttgart, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Other orchestral appearances include performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. Her work in chamber music includes a fruitful collaboration with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, composers Derek Bermel, Patrick Zimmerli, and the five composers of The Blue Hour – Rachel Grimes, Angelica Negrón, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snyder – a setting of a poem by Carolyn Forché. Ms. Souza began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial, and recorded more than 200 jingles and soundtracks, becoming a first-call studio veteran at age sixteen. She spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she received a Bachelor’s in Jazz Composition. Ms. Souza earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at Manhattan School of Music, in New York City. Ms. Souza continues to teach Master Classes all over the world. In the last year she has taught at Berklee College of Music, UCLA, York University in Canada and The Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland.

Track Listing:

1. Baião Medley: Respeita Januário/Qui Nem Jiló/Romance (Luiz Gonzaga / Humberto Teixeira) Featuring Marco Pereira 5:24

2. Suas Mãos (Antônio Maria) Feat. Walter Santos 3:56

3. Pra Que Discutir com Madame (Haroldo Barbosa / Janet DeAlmeida) Feat. Romero Lubambo 2:43

4. Pra Dizer Adeus (Edú Lobo / Torquato Neto) Feat. Marco Pereira 3:40

5. Amanhã (Walter Santos / Tereza Souza) Feat. Romero Lubambo 3:01

6. Eu Não Existo Sem Você (Antônio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes) Feat. Walter Santos 2:38

7. Doce de Côco (Jacob Do Bandolim / Hermínio Bello de Carvalho) Feat. Marco Pereira 4:02

8. As Praias Desertas (Antônio Carlos Jobim) Feat. Walter Santos 3:32

9. Docemente (Walter Santos / Tereza Souza) Feat. Romero Lubambo 4:39

10. O Bolo Feat. Walter Santos (Walter Santos / Tereza Souza) 2:08

11. Viver de Amor (Ronaldo Bastos / Toninho Horta) Feat. Romero Lubambo 4:00

12. Saudade de Bahia (Dorival Caymmi) Feat. Marco Pereira 2:46


Luciana Souza: vocals
Romero Lubambo: guitar
Marco Pereira: guitar
Walter Santos: guitar

Recorded December, 2009 at Imagem Sao Paulo, Brazil

Imagem, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Producers: Luciana Souza and Eduardo Souza

Executive-Producer: François Zalacain

Engineers: Julio Pena and Paulo Farat

Mastering: Carlinhos Freitas

Photography: David Korchin


Luciana Souza’s well-received third record, Brazilian Duos, is a departure in two respects. First, the gifted vocalist is backed not by a jazz quartet, but rather by three different acoustic guitarists — Romero Lubambo, Marco Pereira (playing eight-string), and Walter Santos (her father). Second, Souza turns away from original material and toward classic Brazilian songs by figures like Dori Caymmi, Luiz Gonzaga, Djavan, Jobim, Toninho Horta, and her parents, Walter Santos and Tereza Souza. The range of moods is astounding, from the tongue-twisting virtuosity of the opening “Baião Medley” and the playfulness of “O Bolo” to the heartbreaking strains of “Pra Dizer Adeus,” “Docemente,” and “Suas Mãos.” Souza’s voice, poised and attractive enough on its own, becomes a thing of transcendent beauty when matched with these sparse yet vibrant accompaniments.

David R. Adler (Allmusic)