Rosalia De Souza


Rosalia De Souza was born in Rio de Janeiro, in the Nilopolis district famous for its samba Beija-Flor. The great passion for music was cultivated by her father. In 1989 she arrived in Italy and a short time went by before she started studying at the “Scuola Popolare di Testaccio” in Rome, (Popular school of Testaccio, Roma), taking classes in musical theory, Cuban percussions, jazz and jazz history. Throughout this first year she also started to work with Brazilian artists, guitarist and bassist Alvaro Dos Santos, Ney Coutinho, Roberto Taufic and the Roman pianist Giovanni Guaccero who gave her the possibility to sing in the most important jazz clubs of the capital. Her typical “repertoire” included classical Brazilian authors like Tom Jobin, Baden Powell, Joao Gilberto, Sergio Mendes, Edu Lobo, Joyce, Toquinho, Vinicius De Moraes, Djavan, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gill, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento and many other less renown artists.

In 1994 she met DJ and Producer Nicola Conte and took part to the Fez project. In 1995 she participated in the making of the album “Novo Esquema da Bossa” by Quintetto X; (Schema RTCD402). This album has an exquisite Brazilian taste and a marvellous version of “Senza Paura”. In 1997 she collaborated with “Intensive Jazz Sextet” (Schema sccd302) with an incredible interpretation of “Supergiangi va in Brasile” in the album “Today’s Sound”. In June 2000 she participated at the Brazil Festival at the Barbican Center in London with talented jazz musicians: Pietro Lussu, Pietro Ciancaglini and Lorenzo Tucci. There she met “Les Hommes” with whom she participated, with the addition of trombonist Gianluca Petrella, at the Fez Jazz Festival in Bari. Rosalia and Les Hommes gave also greatly appreciated performances at the International Lounge Festival in Cesenatico, at the Summer Lounge Festival and at the Jazz Cafe in London. With Schema Sextet and Nicola Conte she was called to represent Italy at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2001. She closed with a wonderful concert the Summer Lounge Festival in Cisternino, Italy.

“Garota Moderna” is the debut album by Rosalia De Souza, released in 2003, was followed in 2004 by “Garota Diferente”. An album containing nu-jazz revisitations by Five Corners quintet, Big Bang, Povo, Trüby Trio, Raw Deal, Zero dB, Buscemi, Stateless as well as the Italians Gianluca Petrella, Gerardo Frisina and The Dining Rooms.

“Brasil Precisa Balançar” is her second amazing album. A recording that took place entirely in Rio de Janeiro under the supervision of Roberto Menescal, a legendary Bossa Nova maestro. This album marks Rosalia’s growth through the return to her country’s original music. Collaborations include the great Marcos Valle, Toco and Roberto Menescal himself. A new mesmerising album from the Carioca artist.

Most recently she has been showcasing her talent by touring live extensively, at home (Italy) as well as abroad. Following the release of her last album in Winter ’06, the Brazilian chanteuse sang in Milan on behalf the Brazilian Cultural Institute, in duo with a guitarist. Yet she travelled and toured Japan with her usual band (Blue Note and Cotton club among the venues hit by the artist). Whereas when in Rome, where she resides, she has experimented successfully singing with full Big Band on a few occasions. Adding a touch of Swing to her style of performing, Rosalia is certainly proving her acquired versatility.

Rosalia’s last album “D’Improvviso” has been released on November 2009. It recalls places and tastes connected to the Brazilian music of the past and in particular to the sixties. A genuine album touched by a singular Afro-Jazz sound, whose compositions show several aspects expressed by the different essences of the huge Brazilian music tradition. Slavery, politics, cultural movements of the 50’s-60’s, shanty-towns and the importance of the mixture rhythm/harmony where the Brazilian music is more intensified than the other ones. All of these elements were examined during the recording phases – in particular during the relaxing moments – with Rosalia and the other musicians. In this amazing new album Rosalia gets graceful carried away interpreting only herself. Finally she has the consciousness of holding the key which opens the door to the vibrant sound of her identity.

* * *