Eliane Elias

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Eliane Elias
Born (1960-03-19) 19 March 1960 (age 61)
São Paulo, Brazil
GenresJazz, bossa nova
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, producer
InstrumentsPiano, vocals
Years active1981–present
LabelsDenon, Blue Note, EMI, RCA, Sony/BMG, ECM Records, Concord
Associated actsHerbie Hancock, Toquinho, Vinicius de Moraes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Steps Ahead, Randy Brecker, Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins, Joao Bosco, Toots Thielemans

Eliane Elias (Portuguese: [ɛliˈani eˈliəʃ]; born 19 March 1960)[1][2] is a Brazilian jazz pianist, singer, composer and arranger.[3]


Elias was born in São Paulo, Brazil. She started studying piano when she was seven, and at age twelve she was transcribing solos from jazz musicians. She began teaching piano when she was fifteen,[4] and began performing at seventeen with Brazilian singer-songwriter Toquinho and touring with the poet Vinicius de Moraes.

In 1981 she moved to New York City, where she attended The Juilliard School of Music.[5] A year later she became part of the group Steps Ahead.[6] In 1993 Elias signed with EMI Classics to record classical pieces, which were released on On the Classical Side.[5]

In 2001, Calle 54, a documentary film by Spanish director Fernando Trueba, included Elias performing "Samba Triste." In 2002 she recorded The Lost Days with Denyce Graves, for whom she wrote a composition entitled "HaabiaTupi." In 2002, Elias signed with RCA/Bluebird, which issued Kissed by Nature. Dreamer was released in 2004 and received the Gold Disc Award, as well as being voted Best Vocal Album in Japan. It reached No. 3 on the pop charts in France and No. 4 on the Billboard magazine charts in the U.S. Around the City was released by RCA Victor in August 2006.[4] In 2007, Elias released Something for You, which won Best Vocal Album of the Year and the Gold Disc Award in Japan. Something for You reached No. 1 on the U.S. jazz charts, No. 8 on Billboard, and No. 2 on the French jazz charts. In 2008, she recorded Bossa Nova Stories to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bossa nova.[6]

In 2009, EMI Japan released Eliane Elias Plays Live. Light My Fire, released in 2011, features four compositions written or co-written by Elias and includes covers of songs by the Doors, Stevie Wonder, and Paul Desmond. In September 2011, her song "What About the Heart (Bate Bate)" was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the category of Best Brazilian Song. In 2012 she collaborated with bassist Marc Johnson on the album Swept Away, the Editor's and Critic's choice in 2012 Downbeat and Jazztimes magazines, respectively. Her 2013 release, I Thought About You, reached No. 1 on the U.S. and French Amazon.com websites; No. 2 on iTunes U.S., France and Brazil; and No. 4 on Billboard.

Made in Brazil, was followed by Dance of Time, which debuted at No. 1 on two Billboard: jazz and world music. Both Made in Brazil and Dance of Time debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in seven countries and won Grammy awards for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year.[7]

Her 2019 album Love Stories reached the #1 position as Best Seller Amazon.com Latin Jazz, #1 Best Seller Amazon.com Brazilian Jazz and #2 Best Seller Amazon.com Orchestral.

Personal life[edit]

Elias is Brazilian of Lebanese descent.[8] She was married to American trumpeter Randy Brecker, with whom she has a daughter, the singer/songwriter Amanda Elias Brecker, born in 1984.[6] She is married to Marc Johnson, who plays bass in her band and co-produces her recordings.[7]


  • 1995: Grammy nomination, Best Jazz Solo Performance, Solos and Duets with Herbie Hancock
  • 1997: Best Jazz Album, Down Beat magazine Readers' Poll, The Three Americas
  • 1998: Grammy nomination, Best Large Jazz Ensemble, Impulsive with Bob Brookmeyer and The Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra
  • 2002: Grammy nomination, Best Latin Jazz Album, Calle 54
  • 2011: Latin Grammy nomination, Best Brazilian Song, What About the Heart (Bate Bate)
  • 2015: Latin Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album, Made in Brazil
  • 2016: Grammy Award winner for Best Latin Jazz Album, Made in Brazil
  • 2017: Latin Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album, Dance of Time[9]
  • 2017: Latin Grammy Award winner for Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album, Dance of Time[9]
  • 2018: Winner of the Edison Lifetime Achievement Award (Holland)
  • Five Gold Disc Awards (Japan)


As leader[edit]

With Steps Ahead

  • Steps Ahead (Elektra Musician, 1983)
  • Holding Together (NYC, 2002)

As guest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eliane Elias biography, BrowseBiography.com, 20 November 2011; retrieved 10 September 2014.
  2. ^ Eliane Elias: Around The City (2006), allaboutjazz.com, 30 September 2006; retrieved 10 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Eliane Elias biography". AllAboutJazz.com. Retrieved 14 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b Smith, Baldwin (20 March 2015). "Jazz Monthly Feature Interview Eliane Elias". jazzmonthly.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b Heckman, Don (6 February 1994). "A Classic Case of Crossover Artistry: Jazz pianist Eliane Elias may be from Brazil, but her repertoire is not just from Ipanema". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ a b c Pena, Tomas (19 February 2009). "In Conversation With Elaine Elias". Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b Verity, Michael. "Eliane Elias Talks About "I Thought About You"". jazz.about.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Eliane Elias bio". Browsebiography.com.
  9. ^ a b Ceccarini, Viola Manuela (20 November 2017). "The 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards in Las Vegas". Livein Style. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Premiere: Eliane Elias To Each His Dulcinea from Man of La Mancha". JazzTimes.

External links[edit]