My Elis Regina Tribute Album
My next album is the culmination of a lifelong dream -- a tribute to Elis Regina, recorded over 3 days in New York City (Oct 2016) featuring world-renowned jazz musicians, including Elis Regina's pianist from the late 60's, Antonio Adolfo, who rearranged this music for a jazz quartet!
Thanks to so many of you I was able to get this album off the ground, but I still need to finish my vocals, cover musicians' fees, mix and master, then finish the artwork and press some CD's! So any amount you can contribute will still be greatly appreciated. And stay tuned for snippets from the studio coming soon!!
Brazilian pianist, composer, arranger, and band-leader, Antonio Adolfo, toured the world with Elis Regina in the late 1960’s. Together, they recorded four albums — including "Elis in London" and "Aquarela do Brasil" (with Toots Thielemans). Working intimately with Elis for years, Antonio Adolfo gained invaluable insight into her musical leanings and perspectives. For the past 10 years he has released jazz albums of his own original music to much critical acclaim here in the USA. Besides playing piano on the recording, he arranged every piece of music on this album.
American bassist-extraordinaire, Christian McBride, winner of multiple Grammys as a band leader and sideman, plays with stars like Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, and Queen Latifah, to name just a few. He also worked with James Brown, shortly before his passing, as his bassist and musical director. He plays acoustic bass on the album.
Brazilian drummer Rafael Barata and I go way back, to when he was a child-prodigy on the Rio de Janeiro music scene playing with samba jazz royalty — men who could’ve been his grandfathers. By the time we reconnected in NYC, he was part of Edu Lobo’s band and now tours the world with Eliane Elias, with whom he just won the 2016 Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year.
Israeli guitarist, Yotam Silberstein, based in NYC since 2005, plays with expert jazz artists as diverse as James Moody, Paquito D’Rivera, The Dizzy Gillespie Band, David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, and John Patitucci, as well as releasing celebrated albums of his own. He was my top-call guitarist in NYC due to his incredible versatility and musicality.
Nilson Matta, a pioneer in the art of playing Brazilian jazz on acoustic bass, has performed with legends like João Gilberto, Chico Buarque, and Astrud Gilberto. He’s one third of NYC’s illustrious Trio da Paz (feat. Romero Lubambo & Duduka da Fonseca), and is playing acoustic bass on songs with more “ethnic” Brazilian grooves, such as afoxé, baião, guarania, partido alto, and samba funk.
I am immensely grateful that I was able to record with this rare assembly of world-class musicians, especially as we embarked on a musical journey that had never been taken before: a re-branding of some of Elis Regina’s most emblematic songs, re-harmonized and re-imagined in a variety of Brazilian rhythms and married to jazz.
Read about the earlier phase of this story below....
Welcome to my grass roots movement!
Thank you for helping me bring this historic project to life. Never before has the music of an iconic Brazilian singer been reimagined in this way.
For the past three decades I have been pursuing one dream, one goal; the thing I felt I was put here on this earth to do — sing Brazilian music from my heart and soul, in its purest form, as if I were a Brazilian…
And it didn’t take long, in my extensive research, to come across the legacy of Elis Regina. In her little more than decade-long career, she recorded some of the most masterful, intense, and powerful music ever heard. She elevated the limits of what was possible as a singer — not just in Brazil, but everywhere. She worked only with the best musicians and tirelessly collaborated with them to create some of the most imaginative musical landscapes Brazil had ever heard. She disseminated, with the flair of a master artist and producer, the full range of Brazilian genres and subject matters from the late 1960’s until the early 1980’s.
Elis Regina set the bar for me, early on, of what I could and wanted to achieve as a singer. Her emotional connection to the music, range, versatility, depth of expression, and the fearlessness with which she approached her recordings and performances seemed like the pinnacle of what any singer would dream of achieving. And dream I did, for many years, but I also worked very hard: seventeen years under the tutelage of Miriam Jaskierowicz Arman , the wonderfully gifted teacher who improved my technique in a way I had previously only dreamed was possible. I challenged myself to surpass the standards set for singers of jazz and Brazilian music, and Elis Regina instilled in me the confidence necessary to challenge my own boundaries and go where no woman has gone before...
Together now, with your help, I will embark on the musical journey I’ve been working towards all my life. I will pay tribute to the singer who most inspired me, one of the best the world has ever seen, recording an album that features songs from the beginning, middle, and end of her unbelievable career, in a new jazz format, with top-echelon musicians! My next album is "A Brazilian Heart and Soul: The Elis Regina Tribute”
Elis Regina sang beautiful, deep, and challenging songs that reflected every aspect of Brazilian culture and society — songs about love and passion, as well as racial and socio-economic inequalities. These are things that resonate deeply with me. It's one of the reasons I chose the songs that are on this album.
As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude requires lots of funds just to get off the ground, not to mention actually getting recorded, mixed, mastered, pressed and distributed. I've ventured every penny I had just to get to this point. I produced a video explaining my endeavor. My time, effort, energy, and vision are 100% committed in bringing this to fruition. Simply put, without the funds I'm attempting to raise, this album won't be possible. And that's where you come in. :)
Thanks to a last-minute loan I was able to secure from a friend, I didn't have to cancel the studio sessions that we had booked in October, so we were able to do the recordings although I had not yet raised enough money to pay for everything. Now I must continue to raise funds to pay back the loan and complete the recording, which includes my "final vocals," mixing, mastering, duplication, etc. We still have a long ways to go...
So please open your hearts, minds, pocket books and give generously to help me bring this dream to fruition. It's hard to find words to describe just how much this means to me. I've never wanted anything more in my life! And I want you all to be part of my dream. Please help me bring this album to the world.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS CAMPAIGN and for getting involved at the grass-roots level, and helping me build this project from the ground up. You will have my next album to look forward to: "A Brazilian Heart and Soul: The Elis Regina Tribute”
Read Elis Regina's wikipedia page
Antonio Adolfo website
Christian McBride website
Yotam Silberstein website
Rafael Barata facebook page
Nilson Matta website
Miriam Jaskierowicz Arman website
Videos of Elis Regina...
“Aguas de Março” with Jobim
“Upa Neguinho” Sweden 1969 (feat. Antonio Adolfo 0:39 & 1:36)
“Meio de Campo” 1973 in Brazil with her famous trio
“Black is Beautiful” 1972 on German TV
Update from the studio: Thanks to a generous loan from a friend, and so many of YOU, we were able to keep our studio dates in October to record basic tracks with scratch vocals. We're far from completing the album, though, so anything you could give, or help spreading the word, would be incredibly appreciated! More snippets from the studio coming soon... I am sitting on a gold mine, folks. What these cats brought to the table is nothing short of amazing and I can't wait to share it with you!
Phase 1 achieved! Thanks to you and my band + one very special donor, we'll be in the studio tomorrow bringing this album to life! And I couldn't be happier. Then begins Phase 2...
Your continued donations will ensure that I can bring this album into the world! We still need the funds to finish production...which is Phase 2.
Thanks to the nature of GoFundMe, there's no "cut off" date for the campaign, and now that we've received enough to make it into the studio -- Phase 1 is a success! But I still need much more to be able to complete this project. So please show your support for this lifelong dream of mine, for which I was able to assemble a DREAM-TEAM of musicians to reimagine the work of an icon such as Elis Regina. No small feat! And I've been working on it for years. Nothing like this has ever been done before on this level!!
But I can't make it happen without your support. I need you. ANY donation helps. Together we can do it! Please help me make it to Phase 2.
And now I must run along...to prepare for 3 days in the studio! EXCITING!!! :-D It all begins tomorrow! I will send you updates!