Vera Mara

Vera Mara and The Brazil Quartet, featuring Cidinho Teixeira

VeraMara-with-mikeVera Mara is a Brazilian singer who has a been a dynamic presence on the Brazilian music scene in New York for over 10 years. She has a voice that is lyrical, clear and compelling. Her repertoire is astounding, and she brings her own distinctive touch to each interpretation. Vera was a principal in the ensemble “Brasil & Company” with Paul Meyers (guitar) performing as a duo and with their ensembles ranging from quartet to septet. Today, her own formation consists of the crème de la crème of Brazilian instrumentalists, including the great Brazilian pianist Cidinho Teixeira, bassist Itaiguara Brandão and drummer Adriano Santos, plus saxophone and/or flute as appropriate.

About Vera Mara

A native Brazilian, Vera Mara studied at the Brazilian Conservatory of Music and the Frederick Chopin School of Music. There she began her career performing at Rio de Janeiro’s finest clubs as a soloist. She also sang backup with the great singer and composer (and currently Brazil’s Minister of Culture) Gilberto Gil. She performed on Brazilian television and recorded studio jingles. In Lima, Peru, she headlined at Satchmo Jazz Club. She toured and performed in Switzerland and Austria with guitarist Ben Sher. In Istanbul, Turkey, she performed with “Brasil & Company” at the “Q” Jazz Club. Just before moving to the U.S., she toured Italy for six months with her brother, the great Brazilian pianist Cidinho. Together they moved to New York in the 1980s and formed “Terra Brazil”, one of the most popular Brazilian groups on the New York scene, performing at many clubs, festivals and concerts. In the USA, Vera has been featured in many jazz and Brazilian music concerts, festival and clubs, from New York to Florida (including the Blue Note, S.O.B’s, Tavern on the VeraColorCU.no.micfornewwebsiteGreen, and Lincoln Center summer concerts), with appearances in Washington, Philadelphia and New Jersey (Willowbrook Jazz Festival, Trumpet’s Jazz Club, Watchung Arts Center and many others). She has been highly sought after for private events and parties, including two for Maestro Kurt Masur, in New York City and along the East Coast. She has also been featured with notable artists such as Santi Debriano and David Kikowski both in concert and on recordings, and she created and recorded several very popular dance club recordings that received world-wide attention. Vera has also taught/coached many singers in Portugese and Brazilian music.

About Cidinho Teixeira

Born in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Cidinho Teixeira began his musical career at age 15 as a piano and accordion virtuoso. He moved to Rio de Janeiro where he established himself on the musical scene, performing, recording and touring with the great artists Gilberto Gil, Simone, Gal Costa, and with his own group “Som Tropical” which recorded for Polygram Records. He toured extensively throughout Europe and South America and did a tour of Africa with Gilberto Gil. Since moving to the USA, he has been one of the most highly sought-after pianists, performing in clubs and festivals both with his own groups and with singers, including his sister, Vera Mara, with whom he co-led one of the most popular Brazilian bands in New York City, “Terra Brasil.” He has also recorded with notable American jazz artists including Mark Murphy and arranged most of the music for a recent CD by Blossom Dearie. A master of many genres and a prolific composer, Cidinho has appeared on dozens of recordings as both soloist and sideman. He is currently working on an instructional book on Brazilian piano, as well as a solo CD.

About Itaiguara Brandão

Born in Rio de Janeiro, bassist Itaiguara Brandao came to the United States in 1993 to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he graduated summa cum laude. He was honored with a Professional Music Achievement Award from Berklee in 1995, and was granted a special visa issued by the US Government to “foreigners with extraordinary abilities.” He then moved to New York, where he has been working for record companies such as SONY, BMG, LUX, Malandro Records, ClaveBop, as well as performing and recording with musical luminaries like Randy Brecker, Paul Winter, Paquito de Rivera, Robin Eubanks, Dave Kikoski, Emilio Santiago, Elba Ramalho, Guilherme Arantes, Bebel Gilberto, Romero Lubambo, Hugo Fattoruso, in the USA and throughout Europe, and serving as musical director for the Paulo Braga Band. He participated in an educational book/CD written by Nelson Faria and published by SHER MUSIC CO.

About Adriano Santos

Born in São Paulo, Adriano Santos is part of a new generation of Brazilian drummers. He began his drum studies at the age of twelve at Zimbo Trio Music School in Sao Paulo. In 1988 he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music where he got his B.A. in Film Scoring. Moving to New York in 1995, he started his Master Degree at City College of New York where he studied with the jazz legend Ron Carter. He has performed with top international artists such as Gal Costa, Astrud Gilberto, Leny Andrade, Luciana Souza, Romero Lubambo, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Nelson Faria, Leo Gandelman, Paulo Moura, Eumir Deodato, Ulysses Rocha, Tom Scott, Cliff Korman, Santi Debriano, Hendrik Meurkens, Vana Gierig, Dave Pietro, Paul Winter and the Boston Pops. Adriano is also a faculty member of the Drummers Collective in New York, has written articles for specialized drum magazines, and has released a new book by the Collective called, &Afro-Caribbean & Brazilian Rhythms for Drumset.& Adriano currently performis with vocalist Barbara Mendes, the virtuoso fiddle player Eileen Ivers and the Immigrant Soul Band, the Cape Verde singer Fantcha, Cliff Korman’s Gafieira Dance Club, Dave PietroÕs Quintet, Leonardo CiogliaÕs Quizamba Project, and Brazooca Band. In October 2003, he performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, as part of the tribute concert for Antonio Carlos Jobim and Stan Getz.

Critical acclaim for Vera Mara

“Mara has a pure, pitch-perfect voice that sounds like sunshine. . . she’s soulful and precise even on breakneck tempos. . . [she] sings and writes in both English and Portuguese . . . and also plays a mean triangle and shaker. . .”
— Judith Schlesinger, All Music Guide

“a dynamic singer whose glorious voice and rhythmic shaker capture the spirit of her native country. Her singing is clear, precise and capable of delivering a wide range of emotions. . .”
— The Monthly Aspectarian

“. . . Mara’s vocals shifting between Portuguese and English. . . a former backup vocalist for Gilberto Gil, she captures the lilt wonderfully and has a special knack for scat singing. . . .”
Micheal Cowan, Rhythm Magazine

“. . . smooth/sweet vocals by lead singer Vera Mara. . . I was (actually) reminded (in some fashion) of the first time I listened to Getz with Astrud Gilberto – yeah, this is that GOOD! Vera’s voice is crystal clear and liquid throughout, and her scat on the opening track is astounding!”
— Dick Metcalf, Zzaj Productions

Ellen Azorin, President
Cantaloupe Music Productions, Inc.
Phone: 212.724.2400
E-Mail: music.inquiry@cantaloupeproductions.com

Corcovado (quintet):

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One Note Samba (quintet):

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Tico Tico (quintet)

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Mas Que Nada (quintet):

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Seresta (quintet):

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