Brazilian vocalist Kenia releases “Kenia Celebrates Dorival Caymmi” on April 27

Brazilian vocalist Kenia, who reemerged on the jazz scene two years ago with the critically-acclaimed album “Simply Kenia,” will release on April 27 her latest project “Kenia Celebrates Dorival Caymmi” (Mooka Records).
Known for her ability to translate the complex rhythms of her homeland into jazzy creations that made her a star of the smooth jazz movement two decades ago, Kenia digs into Brazil’s cultural legacy on the 15-track session. She tackles the musical legacy of Brazilian composer and singer Dorival Caymmi who spent more than seven decades creating an aural portrait of Bahia, the stronghold of Brazil’s vibrant African culture. The author of such fabled standards as “Samba da Minha Terra,” “Doralice” and “Voce Ja Foi a Bahia,” Caymmi has long been recognized as a singular figure in Brazilian popular culture.
“Dorival’s music lies just between the two major movements in MPB (
Música Popular Brasileira, or Brazilian Popular Music),” Kenia said in a news release, “the Samba of the 1920s and 30s and the Bossa Nova of the late 1950s and ’60s. Caymmi’s music served as a kind of a smooth transition between these two styles. And, although he had two very distinct lines of composition, the link between these two movements is characterized by his firm foundation of Samba, sprinkled with some Bahian spices.”
Brazilian musicians such as pianist Fernando Merlino, bassist Leo Traversa, percussionist Airto Moreira, guitarists Eric Susoeff and Marty Ashby, the singer’s son Lucas, who contributes his growing skills as a percussionist, and trombonist Jay Ashby, and sound engineer Jay Dudt collaborated with Kenia on this project.
Kenia is best known in the United States when she recorded with trumpeter Claudio Roditi on his album “Red on Red.” Several years later, she launched her solo recording career, producing four popular and critically-acclaimed albums for the MCA and Denon labels between 1987 and 1991. She also established herself as one of the most popular and successful U.S. based Brazilian musicians since the heyday of Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66. In 1997, Kenia launched her own label, Mooka Records.

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