Luciana Souza

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Luciana Souza
Luciana Souza, photo by Kim Fox, 2015
Background information
Born July 12, 1966
São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Jazz, Bossa nova
Occupation(s) 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 Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon and James Taylor.

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


As leader

  • Speaking In Tongues (Sunnyside, 2015)
  • The Book of Chet (Sunnyside, 2012)[1] - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Duos III (Sunnyside, 2012)[1] - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Tide (Universal Jazz France, 2009) - Grammy Nominated Record
  • The New Bossa Nova (Universal Jazz France, 2007)[2][3]
  • Duos II (Sunnyside, 2005)[4] - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Neruda (Sunnyside, 2004)
  • North and South (Sunnyside, 2003) - - Grammy Nominated Record
  • Brazilian Duos (Sunnyside, 2002) - Grammy Nominated Record
  • The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (Sunnyside, 2000)
  • An Answer to Your Silence (NYC, 1998)

As featured vocalist

  • Clarisse Assad – Imaginarium (Adventure, 2014)
  • Derek BermelCanzonas Americanas (Cantaloupe, 2012)
  • Ryan Truesdell – Centennial (ArtistShare, 2012)
  • Vince MendozaNights on Earth (Horizontal, 2011)
  • Bobby McFerrinVOCAbuLaries (EmArcy, 2010)
  • Till BrönnerRio (Universal Germany, 2008)
  • Walter BeckerCircus Money (Mailboat, 2008)
  • Moss – Moss (Sunnyside, 2008)
  • Rebecca PidgeonBehind the Velvet Curtain (Great American Music, 2008)
  • Herbie HancockRiver: The Joni Letters (Verve, 2007)
  • Los Angeles Guitar QuartetLAGQ Brazil (Telarc, 2007)
  • Maria SchneiderCerulean Skies (Artist Share, 2007)
  • Osvaldo GolijovOceana (Deutsche Grammophon, 2007)
  • Edward Simon / Dave BinneyOceanos (Criss Cross, 2007)
  • Stephen BishopSaudade (Target, 2007)
  • Fernando Huergo – The Structure of Survival (Fresh Sound, 2006)
  • Oscar Castro NevesAll One (Mack Avenue, 2006)
  • Donny McCaslinSoar (Sunnyside, 2006)
  • Aaron GoldbergWorlds (Sunnyside, 2006)
  • Till BrönnerOceana (Universal, 2006)
  • Tim RiesThe Rolling Stones Project (Concord, 2005)
  • OSESP, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (Biscoito Fino, 2005)
  • Edward Simon – Simplicitas (Criss Cross, 2005)
  • Helen Richman / Jenny Mitchell – Duo Essence (Essence, 2005)
  • Maria Schneider Orchestra – Concert in the Garden (Artist Share, 2004)
  • Miguel ZenonCeremonial (Marsalis Music, 2004)
  • Fred HerschTwo Hands, Ten Voices (Broadway Cares, 2004)
  • Deidre Rodman – Simple Stories (Sunnyside, 2003)
  • Donny McCaslinThe Way Through (Arabesque, 2003)
  • John PatitucciSongs, Stories, Spirituals (Concord, 2003)
  • Cyro BaptistaBeat the Donkey (Tzadik, 2003)
  • Aquilo del Nisso – Cinco (Zabumba, 2003)
  • Guilhermo Klein – Los Guachos II (Sunnyside, 2002)
  • Clarence Penn – Saomaye (Verve, 2002)
  • Osvaldo GolijovLa Pasion Segun San Marcos (Hänssler, 2001)
  • John PatitucciCommunion (Concord, 2001)
  • Andrew Rathbun – True Stories (Fresh Sound, 2001)
  • Danilo PerezMotherland (Verve, 2000)
  • Ben Sher – Please Take Me to Brazil (BGI, 2000)
  • Bob MosesNishoma (Grapeshots, 2000)
  • Andrew Rathbun – Jade (Fresh Sound, 2000)
  • Steve KuhnThe Best Things (Reservoir, 2000)
  • Guilhermo Klein – Los Guachos II (Sunnyside, 1999)
  • Danilo PerezCentral Avenue (Verve, 1999)
  • Ben Sher – Tudo Bem (BGI, 1998)
  • Fernando Brandão – Tempero Brasileiro (FBM, 1998)
  • Fernando Huergo – Living These Times (Fresh Sound, 1998)
  • Eric T. Johnson – By the Sea (Laugh and Jungle, 1997)
  • Arthur MaiaArthur Maia (Paradoxx, 1997)
  • David Zoffer – The Beginning of the End (Zoffco, 1996)
  • George GarzoneAlone (NYC, 1995)
  • Bob MosesTime Stood Still (Gramavision, 1994)
  • Hermeto PascoalA Festa dos Deuses (Polygram, 1992)
  • Adoniram Barbosa – O Poeta do Bexiga (Som Livre, 1990)

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 Nominee/Work 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 in and sang on David Mamet's movie Redbelt (2008).
  • Luciana Souza sang on the soundtrack of the animated movie Rio (2011), as part of The Rio Singers.

In Media[edit]

  • 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.[5]
  • Mcgowan, Chris. “Luciana Souza: A Bossa Nova Baby Makes Her Way in the Jazz Realm”. The Huffington Post. January 4, 2014.
  • Morrison, Allen. “Distill Everything”. Downbeat Magazine. October 2012.
  • "Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova to Chet Baker" by Melissa Block (NPR) August 31, 2012.[1]
  • Blumenfeld, Larry. “Loneliness in Two Languages”. The Wall Street Journal. August 27, 2012.
  • Jacki Lyden. “Souza Lends a Fresh Note to Brazilian Music”. NPR. May 14, 2005.[4]
  • 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.


  1. ^ a b c "Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova To Chet Baker". 31 August 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Souza's 'New Bossa Nova' Covers Pop Standards". 15 October 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Luciana Souza: Revising Pop by Way of Bossa Nova". 21 October 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Souza Lends a Fresh Note to Brazilian Music". 14 May 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Saudade: An Untranslatable, Undeniably Potent Word". 28 February 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 

External links[edit]