ELIANE ELIAS

Bio

SHORT BIO/PROGRAM NOTES

ELIANE ELIAS

Hot off her 2022 GRAMMY win for Best Latin Jazz Album for Mirror Mirror,  internationally acclaimed recording artist, pianist/singer/composer/arranger Eliane Elias’ distinctive musical style and artistry is one of the most celebrated and recognizable sounds in jazz and Brazilian music.  She blends her Brazilian roots and alluring voice with her virtuosic instrumental jazz, her classical and compositional skills, while she consistently displays her pianistic mastery and ability to integrate the many artistic roles she takes on.

With 31 albums and over 2.4 million albums sold to date, Eliane Elias has a strong presence on Spotify with over 600,000 monthly listeners and over 26 million Spotify listens of her song “Little Paradise.”  She has toured 74 countries, is a four-time Gold Disc Award recipient, a three-time Best Vocal Album winner in Japan and winner of the 2018 Edison Lifetime Achievement Award in Holland, to name a few accolades.  Her 2019 and 2021 albums (Love Stories and Mirror Mirror) were both voted “Downbeat’s Best Album of the Year – Masterpiece” and as most of her previous releases, her recordings hit #1 on the jazz charts worldwide. To date Eliane has won two GRAMMY Awards, one Latin GRAMMY and has been nominated 10 times in 5 different categories.  On her new album, Quietude released Oct. 14, 2022 she transports us into another world with a lusciously relaxing journey into the Brazilian bossa nova.

Eliane’s live performances showcase her piano, vocals, arranging and compositional skills, together with her charismatic personality, bringing a wide spectrum of musical experiences and unique presentations to the audience.

Melding her immense talents in jazz, Brazilian, classical, and pop music, Eliane Elias is as Jazziz magazine has called her, “A citizen of the world” and “an artist beyond category.”

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“Elias’ intoxicating vocals emote the ambient calm of a forest after a soft rain; her vibrancy is a force unto itself. With powerful artistry, her naturally prodigious talent is even stronger as the years pass—a feat capable only by the true elites of the musical world.” ***** – DownBeat

The Brazilian pianist and singer Eliane Elias commands the keyboard with a forceful two-handed muscularity that belies her image as a blond older sister of the mythical Girl from Ipanema. The more percussive her pianism becomes, the more she opens up a song and reimagines it in what might be called a romantic carnival groove…a celebration of the vitality of a culture overflowing with life and natural beauty.”

– The New York Times


ELIANE ELIAS BIOGRAPHY

Over the course of a distinguished career spanning 31 albums, multi-GRAMMY®-winning pianist/singer/composer Eliane Elias’ distinctive musical style has emerged as one of the most unique and immediately recognizable sounds in jazz. With over 2.4 million albums sold to date, Elias blends her Brazilian roots and alluring voice with her virtuosic instrumental jazz, classical and compositional skills, while she consistently displays her pianistic mastery and ability to integrate the many artistic roles she takes on.

Elias’ 2021 album Mirror Mirror on Candid Records earned the 2022 GRAMMY® Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. The album features piano duets with the late legendary jazz great Chick Corea, and famed Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés.  

Hot off the success of Mirror Mirror, Eliane brings us her latest recording Quietude released on Candid Records in October 2022.”  On Quietude, the piano takes a lower profile with Eliane’s intoxicating and intimate singing taking center stage, often with acoustic guitar support in a swinging bossa nova sensibility.  The vocalist-guitarist duo brings the authentic tradition but in a very personal and expressive way through Eliane’s harmonic approach as revealed in these gorgeous arrangements.  “I like to make music that I personally would like to hear” states Eliane. “This album makes me feel good, at peace and relaxed and I hope that listeners feel the same.”

To date, Eliane has won two GRAMMY® Awards, a Latin GRAMMY® Award, four Gold Disc Awards and is a three-time Best Vocal Album winner in Japan. She was the recipient of the 2018 Edison Lifetime Achievement Award in The Netherlands.  She’s been nominated for ten GRAMMY® Awards in five different categories.   Her three most recent recordings reached the #1 position on the Billboard charts, iTunes, jazz radio charts and Amazon best seller charts and her albums (Love Stories and Mirror Mirror) were both voted “Downbeat’s Best Album of the Year – Masterpiece”.   Eliane has toured 74 countries, has a strong presence on Spotify with over 600,000 monthly listeners and over 26 million Spotify listens of her song “Little Paradise.” 

Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Elias’ musical talents began to show at an early age. She started

studying piano at age seven and at age 12 was transcribing solos from the great jazz masters. By the time she was 15, she was teaching piano and improvisation at one of Brazil’s most prestigious schools of music at the time, CLAM.  Her performing career began in Brazil at age 17, working with Brazilian singer/songwriter Toquinho and the great poet Vinicius de Moraes, who was also Antonio Carlos Jobim’s co-writer/lyricist. In 1981, she headed for New York and in 1982 landed a spot in the acclaimed group Steps Ahead. Her first solo album release was a collaboration with Randy Brecker in 1984 entitled Amanda. Shortly thereafter her solo career began, spanning 28 albums to date with the release of Love Stories. In her work, Elias has documented dozens of her own compositions, her outstanding piano playing and arranging and beautiful vocal interpretations. She started winning polls in 1988 when she was voted Best New Talent in Jazziz magazine Critic’s Poll.

Together with Herbie Hancock, she was nominated for a GRAMMY® in the Best Jazz Solo

Performance category for her 1995 release Solos and Duets. This recording was hailed by Musician magazine as “a landmark in piano duo history.” In the 1997 DownBeat Readers Poll, her recording The Three Americas was voted Best Jazz Album. Elias was also named in five other categories: Beyond Musician, Best Composer, Jazz Pianist, Female Vocalist and Musician of the Year. Considered one of the great interpreters of Jobim’s music, Elias has recorded two albums solely dedicated to the works of the composer: Plays Jobim (1989)  and Sings Jobim (1998). Her Sings Jobim won Best Vocal Album in Japan, was the number one record on Japan’s charts for over three months and was awarded Best Brazilian Album in the Jazziz Critics Poll. Both of these albums are a part of Elias’ catalogue of fourteen Blue Note Records recordings.

Moreover, as a testament to the quality of her writing, the renowned Danish Radio Big Band has performed and recorded Elias’ compositions, arranged and conducted by the legendary Bob

Brookmeyer. The CD recording of this project, entitled Impulsive, received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2001.That same year, Calle 54, the highly-acclaimed documentary film by Oscar-winning Spanish director Fernando Trueba, featured Elias’ performance of “Samba Triste” and also received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.

On the Classical Side, recorded in 1993, demonstrated Elias’ classical skills with a program of

Bach, Ravel and Villa Lobos. In 2002, Elias recorded with opera sensation Denyce Graves. For

this recording, The Lost Days, she arranged two Brazilian classical pieces and wrote an original classical composition especially for Graves titled “Haabiá-Tupi.”

In 2002, Elias signed to the RCA Music Group/Bluebird label and released Kissed by Nature, an

album consisting of mostly original compositions. Dreamer, her second recording for the label

(Released in 2004), was a fresh mix of tunes from the Great American Songbook, Brazilian bossa novas and two new originals, sung in English and Portuguese and supported by a full

orchestra. Dreamer received the Gold Disc Award and was voted Best Vocal Album in Japan.

It reached number 3 on the pop charts in France and number 4 on the Billboard charts in

the U.S.  Elias ‘Around the City, released on RCA Victor in 2006, merges bits of bossa

nova with shades of pop, jazz, Latin and even rock ’n’ roll. Around the City features Elias’ vocals and songwriting in collaborations with producers Andres Levin and Lester Mendez, as well as fresh takes on pop classics such as Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” and Bob Marley’s “Jammin’.” Elias returned to Blue Note/EMI in 2007 with Something for You, a tribute to the music of pianist Bill Evans. While touching the essence of the pianist/composer, she also brings her own unique gifts to the surface, as a composer, interpreter, outstanding instrumentalist, and beguiling vocalist. This release won Best Vocal Album of the Year and the Gold Disc Award in Japan. This is also the third consecutive recording of Elias to receive these awards and her fourth overall. Something for You reached number 1 on the U.S. Jazz Radio charts, number 8 on Billboard and number 2 on the French jazz charts.

2008 marked the 50th anniversary of the birth of the bossa nova. In celebration of this event, Elias recorded Bossa Nova Stories, featuring some of the landmark songs of Brazil with American classic and pop standards, exquisitely performed as only she can, with lush romantic vocals and exciting playing accompanied by a top-notch rhythm section and strings recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. Destined to become a classic, Bossa Nova Stories achieved the following: number 1 on the French charts (2008), number 1 Vocal Album from Swing Journal in Japan (May-June 2008), number 1 iTunes Top Jazz Album (January 2009), number iTunes Top Latin Album (January 2009) and number 2 debut on Billboard’s Overall and Top Jazz Charts (January 2009). Bossa Nova Stories was also nominated by the Brazilian GRAMMYs (20th Prêmio da Música Brasileira, 2009) for Best Foreign Album.

In 2010, Blue Note Records and EMI Japan released Eliane Elias Plays Live, an all-instrumental trio album with bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron of a live concert recorded in Amsterdam on May 31, 2002. This performance demonstrates modern jazz trio playing at the highest level and spotlights Elias’ inventiveness and command of the instrument on a collection of jazz standards and one original.

Light My Fire, released May 31, 2011, was the first of six albums she recorded for Concord Records. It featured four compositions by Elias as well as covers of familiar works by songwriters as diverse as Jim Morrison and the Doors, pop icon Stevie Wonder and jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond. Backing Elias was a crew of 12 high-caliber players, including Brazilian icon, guitarist/vocalist Gilberto Gil and trumpeter Randy Brecker. On Light My Fire, Elias wore many hats—as singer, pianist, composer, arranger and producer. In September 2011, her song “What About the Heart (Bate Bate)” was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY® in the category of Best Brazilian Song.

On May 28, 2013, Concord Jazz presented Elias’ I Thought About You (A Tribute to Chet Baker), an album that offered her personalized spin on the work of a key American jazz artist while spotlighting her connection to the singer-instrumentalist tradition. Long known for her native feel of Brazilian music, I Thought About You truly confirmed Elias’expertise as an interpreter of American standards. In addition to receiving glowing critical praise, I Thought About You reached number 1 album in the U.S. and France in sales on Amazon.com, number 2 on iTunes in several countries including the U.S., France and Brazil, number 4 on Billboard’s jazz charts and top jazz radio charts.

Made in Brazil, released on March 31, 2015, on Concord Jazz, brought Elias her first GRAMMY® win in the category of Best Latin Jazz Album in 2016, after seven previous GRAMMY® nominations. In her long career as a solo artist, it results from the first time she’s recorded a disc in her native Brazil since moving to the United States in 1981. It marked a musical homecoming for Elias. Her following album, Dance of Time, which debuted at number 1 on two Billboard charts, the iTunes Jazz Albums chart and the Amazon.com Brazilian and Latin Jazz charts, was also recorded in Elias’ homeland and took home a Latin GRAMMY® for Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album.

On April 13, 2018, Elias followed up those wins with the all-instrumental Music from Man of La Mancha, also via Concord Jazz. Featuring nine individualized interpretations of songs composed by the late Mitch Leigh for the legendary 1960s Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, it was a project Elias undertook in 1995 that was waiting for it’s release having been stymied by past contractual issues. Leigh himself tracked down Elias after hearing her ingenious arrangements of Jobim’s music and commissioned her to arrange and produce the recording. Honored by the offer, she accepted and recruited two different all-star trios — one featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette and the other Marc Johnson on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums, with Manolo Badrena joining on percussion. This album also reached the #1 position on the Billboard Jazz Charts and on iTunes in several countries.

Elias’ 2019 album Love Stories is an orchestral, all-English album released via Concord Jazz.  “I am very proud of this production and feel it’s one of the most romantic sets of music I’ve ever produced,” she says of the project, which she recorded in Brazil and at London’s Abbey Road Studios. She brings a stellar lineup of some of Brazil’s most sought-after rhythm section players plus Marc Johnson, her longtime musical partner and co-lyricist, on bass. Orchestrator Rob Mathes returns for his fourth recording with Elias here. With Love Stories, Elias continued hitting the #1 position on charts worldwide, including Amazon Best Seller on Latin, Brazilian and Orchestral charts as well as #1 on iTunes in 7 countries and again, the top of the Billboard Jazz Charts.

The São Paulo native tapped into a deep well of emotion for this project, which delves into various expressions of love that run the gamut from romantic and dreamy to profound and abiding. Elias’ strong connection to the bossa nova tradition features prominently here, as well, shining through in fresh, modern ways as she interprets several classic works made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos Jobim plus some of her all-time favorites. Elias also mines her own heart for inspiration on three stunning new original compositions.

In review of Elias’ unique gifts as a pianist, singer, composer and arranger as well as her versatility melding her immense talents in jazz, pop, classical and Brazilian music, the New York Times has described Elias’ live concert as “a celebration of the vitality of a culture overflowing with life and natural beauty” and Jazziz magazine proclaimed her, “a citizen of the world” and “an artist beyond category.”


PRESS RELEASE

QUIETUDE

(Candid Records)

At its sacred essence, music can transport us into another world. That’s especially relevant today, at a time when we are all surrounded by disruptions. Music is a healing force that can rescue us from what seem like uncertain times, offering a tranquil meditative tone.  Quietude, the 31st album by renowned virtuoso pianist and alluring vocalist Eliane Elias, a luscious journey into the calmness of Brazilian bossa nova melodies, does just that.

A showcase of Elias’ sensuous Portuguese vocals, Quietude arrives after two brilliant recordings that reveal what an adventurous, multifaceted artist she is.  Love Stories from 2019, featured soft-focused classics and original compositions, mostly sung in English and arranged with full orchestration.  In contrast, her 2022 GRAMMY® winning masterwork Mirror Mirror, was a dazzling wall-to-wall duo instrumental piano excursion with friends Chick Corea and Chucho Valdés – her first piano-only album since her superb Solos and Duets with Herbie Hancock in 1995.

On Quietude, the piano takes a lower profile with Eliane’s intoxicating and intimate singing taking center stage, often with acoustic guitar support in a swinging bossa nova sensibility.  The vocalist-guitarist duo brings the authentic tradition but in a very personal and expressive way through Eliane’s harmonic approach as revealed in these gorgeous arrangements.

“I like to make music that I personally would like to hear. This album makes me feel good, at peace and relaxed and I hope that listeners feel the same”, states the multi- GRAMMY® Award winner.  The music of Quietude takes one into a meditative state. It has a calming effect. Although the songs are sung in the romantic language of Brazilian Portuguese, the sound of Eliane’s voice together with the guitar is a universe unto itself. With the tonal quality of her sound, the expressive colors and dynamics, and the way she swings and phrases the melodies, understanding the Portuguese lyrics becomes unnecessary for one to be immersed in this recording.

Given that the piano on Quietude plays a secondary role, does Eliane worry about her fans wanting more? “Not at all,“ she says. “This is a vocal feature. The piano generally takes a secondary role by accompanying, interjecting melodic phrases and playing a few brief solos. On some songs, there is no piano. After all, traditionally, Brazilian bossa nova is sung with guitar accompaniment. It’s a sound.”

Eliane enlists three marvelous guitarists for Quietude. Marcus Teixeira who has been recording with her since her GRAMMY® winning 2015 album Made in Brazil, Lula Galvão, considered the current master of Brazilian acoustic guitar, and the great Oscar Castro-Neves, a longtime colleague who sadly had passed away in 2013. “He was one of a kind,” Eliane says. “I’m glad that I had saved this previously unreleased recording of  ‘Tim-Tim Por Tim-Tim” and that Oscar’s beautiful playing could be included in this guitar-centric album.”

In many ways, Eliane’s embrace of these Brazilian compositions – ranging from legends Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim to Dorival Caymmi  and  Roberto Carlos –  marks an expressive return home. As a child piano prodigy, she broke into the performing world touring with de Moraes and throughout her career, she maintained a special relationship with Jobim. In fact, two of her albums are dedicated to him and she received his blessing upon hearing her arrangements of his material.  When jazz saxophone giant Joe Henderson was recording his own 1995 Jobim tribute, Double Rainbow, Eliane was called in by Jobim himself,  who was ailing,  to take his place on the recording session.  “Jobim was not well,” says Eliane. “He asked me to be a part of the sessions and told me that he trusted me to play as he might, with his sensibilities which his music required. I was flattered.”  That stands as a testament to a beautiful relationship based on mutual trust, admiration and respect.

Still, on QuietudeEliane says that the material she chose to record owed less to her relationship to the composers and more to her relationship with the songs themselves. She opens the album romantically with a gently swinging take on the Carlos Lyra-Moraes song “Você e Eu” (“You and I”). She says, “I like the interactions of myself and Lula, the results of the modulations and colors that the arrangement brings to the tune.  We are connected, there’s nothing harsh. And I like singing this song that says that no matter what happens, it will always be ‘You and I’.”

Another of Eliane’s favorites is the melody-rich “Marina,” composed by celebrated Brazilian musician Dorival Caymmi . This song is beautifully sung by Eliane accompanied by guitarist Teixeira, drummer Celso de Almeida and bassist/co-producer Marc Johnson. “I started studying harmony at age 10 when my mother found me a piano teacher who was a professional performer” she says. “Coincidentally, the song ‘Marina’ was the second Brazilian pop song that he had me learn. I still have the music notebook with the melody and chord changes notated by the teacher. Isn’t that sweet?” 

Eliane delivers a duo setting of Dorival Caymmi’s tunes in the track titled “Bahia Medley.” Though born in São Paulo, she says she’s always had a love affair with Bahia where “some great songwriters came from and where the people generally are more calm, more laid back.” The album cover photo was taken in Bahia.  Eliane also pays heartfelt homage to the state of northeast Brazil with the song “Bahia Com H,” played largely as a vocal-guitar duo with a slight piano embellishment.

Eliane dips into the Jobim songbook with a gorgeous take on his “Só Tinha Que Ser Com Você” (“This Love That I’ve Found”), a song she fell in love with in her teens. She closes her version with an authoritative, swinging and succinct piano solo. As a reminder of her technical prowess, she delivers another short but brilliant piano solo on the end of “Brigas, Nunca Mais” (”No More Fighting”).

Other highlights include the Eliane-Lula take on the beauty, “Olha” (”Look”); the full band upbeat rollick (complete with vocalese) through “Bolinha de Papel” (“Little Paper Ball”) which has cute lyrics about domestic issues; and the declarative love for the Samba “Eu Sambo Mesmo”(”I Really Like Samba”).  Quietude ends perfectly with “Saveiros,“ a duo vocal affair with 79-year-old Brazilian luminary Dori Caymmi (the son of Dorival Caymmi) who co-composed the tune with Nelson Motta about men taking their sail boats out to sea. Eliane explains: “I can visualize this beautiful lyric about sailboats that set out to sea before sunrise, hoping that the winds will allow them to return home at sunset. With each boat that appears on the horizon there’s a song of joy for having once again conquered the sea.”

With her intoxicating vocals on this vibrant bossa nova journey, Eliane has masterfully told these calming musical stories to her listeners. Her artistry demonstrates that alongside her many accolades as a brilliant pianist, Eliane can wear the crown as the reigning queen of the bossa nova.

More about Eliane Elias

Hot off her 2022 GRAMMY win for Best Latin Jazz Album for Mirror Mirror,  internationally acclaimed recording artist, pianist/singer/composer/arranger Eliane Elias’ distinctive musical style and artistry is one of the most celebrated and recognizable sounds in jazz and Brazilian music.  She blends her Brazilian roots and alluring voice with her virtuosic instrumental jazz, her classical and compositional skills, while she consistently displays her pianistic mastery and ability to integrate the many artistic roles she takes on.

With 31 albums and over 2.4 million albums sold to date, Eliane Elias has a strong presence on Spotify with over 600,000 monthly listeners and over 26 million Spotify listens of her song “Little Paradise.”  She has toured 74 countries, is a four-time Gold Disc Award recipient, a three-time Best Vocal Album winner in Japan and winner of the 2018 Edison Lifetime Achievement Award in Holland, to name a few accolades.  Her 2019 and 2021 albums (Love Stories and Mirror Mirror) were both voted “Downbeat’s Best Album of the Year – Masterpiece” and as most of her previous releases, her recordings hit #1 on the jazz charts worldwide. To date Eliane has won two GRAMMY Awards, one Latin GRAMMY and has been nominated 10 times in 5 different categories.  

“The Brazilian pianist and singer Eliane Elias commands the keyboard with a forceful two-handed muscularity that belies her image as a blond older sister of the mythical Girl from Ipanema.” – The New York Times

“Her vibrancy is a force unto itself. With powerful artistry, her naturally prodigious talent is even stronger as the years pass—a feat capable only by the true elites of the musical world.” – DownBeat