Luciana Souza

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Luciana Souza
Born (1966-07-12)July 12, 1966
São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Jazz, bossa nova
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1992–present
Labels Sunnyside, Verve

Luciana Souza (July 12, 1966, São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian jazz singer and composer who also works in classical and chamber music.

Music career[edit]

Souza is the daughter of poet Tereza Souza and musician 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 and The Manhattan School of Music.

She began her career at the age of three by recording jingles for commercials. She has also worked in the field of 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 and 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.

She has appeared and recorded with Danilo Perez, Hermeto Pascoal, Romero Lubambo, Maria Schneider, Kenny Werner, John Patitucci, Guillermo Klein, David Binney, Miguel Zenon, Donny McCaslin, Ben Wendel, Vince Mendoza, Herbie Hancock, and Osvaldo Golijov. She has worked and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon and James Taylor.

Souza won a Grammy in 2007 as a featured vocalist on Herbie Hancock's album River: The Joni Letters. She 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.

Since 2006, she has been married to producer and musician Larry Klein



  • An Answer to Your Silence (NYC, 1998)
  • The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (Sunnyside, 2000)
  • Brazilian Duos (Sunnyside, 2002)
  • North and South (Sunnyside, 2003)
  • Neruda (Sunnyside, 2004)
  • Duos II (Sunnyside, 2005)
  • The New Bossa Nova (Universal Jazz France, 2007)
  • Tide (Universal Jazz France, 2009)
  • Duos III (Sunnyside, 2012)
  • The Book of Chet (Sunnyside, 2012)
  • Speaking in Tongues (Sunnyside, 2015)

As featured vocalist[edit]

Grammy nominations[edit]

  • Best Jazz Vocal Album: Brazilian Duos (2003), North and South (2004), Duos II (2006), Tide (2010), The Book of Chet (2013)[1][2]
  • Best Latin Jazz Album: Duos III (2013)


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

Further reading[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.[3]
  • 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". Down Beat. October 2012
  • "Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova to Chet Baker" by Melissa Block (NPR) August 31, 2012.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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. ^ "Souza's 'New Bossa Nova' Covers Pop Standards". 15 October 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Luciana Souza: Revising Pop by Way of Bossa Nova". 21 October 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Saudade: An Untranslatable, Undeniably Potent Word". 28 February 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova To Chet Baker". 31 August 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Souza Lends a Fresh Note to Brazilian Music". 14 May 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 

External links[edit]