Luciana Souza

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Luciana Souza
Born July 12, 1966
São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Jazz, Bossa nova
Occupations Singer, composer
Instruments Vocal, scat singing
Years active 1992–present
Labels Sunnyside, Universal Jazz France

Luciana Souza (July 12, 1966, São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian jazz singer and composer who has crossed over into classical music.

Daughter of poet Tereza Souza and singer-composer-guitarist Walter Santos, she grew up in São Paulo. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston from which she received a Bachelor's degree in Jazz Composition in 1988. She then received a Master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1994. She has taught at Berklee College of Music in Boston and at The Manhattan School of Music, in New York.

She began her career at the age of three by recording jingles for commercials. She has also worked in the field of European classical music, working with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, composer Osvaldo Golijov, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. She has worked with New Music composers Derek Bermel and Patrick Zimmerli. She has worked in chamber music with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the American Composer's Orchestra. Souza was Jazz Artist in Residence with San Francisco Performances from 2004 to 2010.

Luciana Souza has been nominated six times for a Grammy Award in the categories of Best Jazz Vocal Album (five times) and Best Latin Jazz Album (one time) in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2010 and twice in 2013. She has appeared and recorded with both renowned jazz musicians and composers of new music, including Danilo Perez, Hermeto Pascoal, Romero Lubambo, Maria Schneider, Kenny Werner, John Patitucci, Herbie Hancock, and Osvaldo Golijov. Luciana Souza has worked and recorded with Paul Simon and James Taylor.

She has been married to music producer Larry Klein since 2006.


As leader

  • The Book of Chet (Sunnyside Records, 2012) - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Duos III (Sunnyside Records, 2012) - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Tide (Universal Jazz France, 2009) - Grammy Nominated Record
  • The New Bossa Nova (Universal Jazz France, 2007)
  • Duos II (Sunnyside Records, 2005) - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Neruda (Sunnyside Records, 2004)
  • North and South (Sunnyside Records, 2003) - - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Brazilian Duos (Sunnyside Records, 2002) - Grammy Nominated Record
  • The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (Sunnyside Records, 2000)
  • An Answer to Your Silence (NYC Records, 1998)

As featured vocalist

  • Clarisse Assad, Imaginarium, 2014, Adventure Music
  • Derek Bermel, Canzonas Americanas, 2012, Cantaloupe
  • Ryan Truesdell, Centennial, 2012, ArtistShare
  • Vince Mendoza, Nights on Earth, 2011, Horizontal
  • Bobby Mcferrin, VOCAbuLaries, 2010, Emarcy
  • Till Bronner, Rio, 2008, Universal Germany
  • Walter Becker, Circus Money, 2008, Mailboat Records
  • Moss, Moss, 2008, Sunnyside
  • Rebecca Pidgeon, Behind the Velvet Curtain, 2008, Great American Music
  • Herbie Hancock, River, 2007, Verve
  • Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, LAGQ Brazil, 2007, Telarc
  • Maria Schneider Orchestra, Cerulean Skies, 2007, Artist Share
  • Osvaldo Golijov, Oceana, 2007, Deutsche Grammophon
  • Edward Simon/Dave Binney, Oceanos, 2007, Criss Cross
  • Stephen Bishop, Saudade, 2007, Target
  • Fernando Huergo, The Structure of Survival, 2006, Fresh Sound
  • Oscar Castro Neves, All One, 2006, Mack Avenue
  • Donny McCaslin, Soar, 2006, Sunnyside
  • Aaron Goldberg, Worlds, 2006, Sunnyside
  • Till Bronner, Oceana, 2006, Universal
  • Tim Ries, The Rolling Stones Project, 2005, Concord
  • OSESP, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, 2005, Biscoito Fino
  • Edward Simon, Simplicitas, 2005, Criss Cross
  • Helen Richman/Jenny Mitchell, Duo Essence, 2005, Essence
  • Maria Schneider Orchestra, Concert in the Garden, 2004, Artist Share
  • Miguel Zenon, Ceremonial, 2004, Marsalis Music
  • Fred Hersch, Two Hands, Ten Voices, 2004, Broadway Cares
  • Deidre Rodman, Simple Stories, 2003, Sunnyside
  • Donny McCaslin, The Way Through, 2003, Arabesque
  • John Patitucci, Songs, Stories, Spirituals, 2003, Concord
  • Cyro Baptista, Beat the Donkey, 2003, Tzadik
  • Aquilo Del Nisso, Cinco, 2003, Zabumba
  • Guilhermo Klein, Los Guachos II, 2002, Sunnyside
  • Clarence Penn, Saomaye, 2002, Verve
  • Osvaldo Golijov, La Pasion Segun San Marcos, 2001, Hanssler
  • John Patitucci, Communion, 2001, Concord
  • Andrew Rathbun, True Stories, 2001, Fresh Sound
  • Danilo Perez, Motherland, 2000, Verve
  • Ben Sher, Please Take me to Brazil, 2000, BGI
  • Bob Moses, Nishoma, 2000, Grapeshots
  • Andrew Rathbun, Jade, 2000, Fresh Sound
  • Steve Kuhn, The Best Things, 2000, Reservoir
  • Guilhermo Klein, Los Guachos II, 1999, Sunnyside
  • Danilo Perez, Central Avenue, 1999, Verve
  • Ben Sher, Tudo Bem, 1998, BGI
  • Fernando Brandão, Tempero Brasileiro, 1998, FBM
  • Fernando Huergo, Living These Times, 1998
  • Fresh Sound, Eric T. Johnson, By The Sea, 1997, Laugh and Jungle
  • Arthur Maia, Arthur Maia, 1997,Paradoxx
  • David Zoffer, The Beginning of the End, 1996, Zoffco
  • George Garzone, Alone, 1995, NYC
  • Bob Moses, Time Stood Still, 1994, Gramavision
  • Hermeto Pascoal, A Festa Dos Deuses, 1992, Polygram
  • Adoniram Barbosa, O Poeta do Bexiga, 1990, Som livre

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Luciana Souza was awarded Female Jazz Singer of the Year in 2005 and 2013 by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Grammy Awards[edit]

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Souza sang on the song "Amelia" on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters, which won Album of the Year .

Year Recipient Award Result
2003 Brazilian Duos Best Jazz Vocal Album Nominated
2004 North and South Nominated
2006 Duos II Nominated
2008 River: The Joni Letters Album of the Year Won
2010 Tide Best Jazz Vocal Album Nominated
2013 The Book of Chet Nominated
Duos III Best Latin Jazz Album Nominated


  • One track from her composition Duos II, "Muita Bobeira", was included with Microsoft Windows Vista.
  • Luciana Souza appeared and sang on David Mamet's Redbelt movie (2008).
  • Luciana Souza sang on the soundtrack of the animated movie Rio (2011), as part of The Rio Singers.


  • [1], "Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova to Chet Baker" by Melissa Block (NPR)
  • Mcgowan, Chris. “The Brazilian Music Book: Brazil's Singers, Songwriters and Musicians Tell the Story of Bossa Nova, MPB, and Brazilian Jazz and Pop”. Culture Planet, June 2014
  • Smith, Steve. “Crossing Borders with Allure”. The New York Times. April 7, 2014.
  • Garsd, Jasmine. “Saudade - An unstoppable, Undeniably Potent Word”. NPR, Alt Latino. February 28, 2014.
  • Mcgowan, Chris. “Luciana Souza: A Bossa Nova Baby Makes Her Way in the Jazz Realm”. The Huffington Post. January 4, 2014.
  • Blumenfeld, Larry. “Loneliness in Two Languages”. The Wall Street Journal. August 27, 2012.
  • Morrison, Allen. “Distill Everything”. Downbeat Magazine. October 2012.
  • Jacki Lyden. “Souza Lends a Fresh Note to Brazilian Music”. NPR. May 14, 2005.
  • Teachout, Terry. “She’s Brazilian, Tempered by a Bit of Everything Else”. The New York Times. August 4, 2002.
  • Ratliff, Ben. “Guitar and Conversation: A Singer at Ease with Her Roots”. The New York Times. November 27, 2001.

External links[edit]