The unpredictable master-singer from Brazil
Born in 1967, Edson Cordeiro grew up in São Paulo and in the 90s was acclaimed as being Brazil’s new vocal wonder with a range of more than four octaves. He is as much at home in classical operas as in modern jazz, rock, pop and dance music and appears at the carnival of Salvador da Bahia, at European jazz festivals and at concerts with symphony orchestras.
‘Voices like his sound as if they were not of this world’, wrote the Berliner Morgenpost in 1994. Die Welt wrote about a performance of his in Hamburg: ‘It was more than a concert. We were taken by an entertainer par excellence, a wonderful acrobat, a singer without limits and a gifted humorist by the hand.’
In his concerts Edson Cordeiro combines popular Brasilian music, jazz, rock, pop and opera, blends the various styles and genres or presents them pure. His voice is the envy of any coloratura soprano. Who else can effortlessly reach the g with three strokes, which lies a tone higher than Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’? Hopping from style to style he paraphrases Bizets Carmen and songs from Nina Hagen or Janis Joplin. With his four-octave voice, Cordeiro is at home in the carnival of Salvador da Bahia, at great jazz festivals and in classical concert halls. Not only the media are thrilled: his audience grants him standing ovations.
Edson Cordeiro’s musical career has been no less unusual than his voice. At the age of 6 he began singing with a church choir in his hometown São Paulo. At the age of 9 he left school and became a well known street singer familiar with and seemingly fond of all styles - operatic, pop, rock, alleyway and modern Brazilian.
Penniless youngsters in Brazil are convinced they have a clear choice. To become rich and famous they have to become football stars or pop singers. Edson Cordeiro made his choice and had not only the will but also the musicality and the voice. His breakthrough occurred when he had just turned 20 and appeared on television with a maverick interpretation of Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’. In 1996 he was awarded the Prêmio Sharp as Brazil’s best pop-singer.
On his albums, accompanied by his ‘musical right hand’ Maestro Miquel Briamonte, Cordeiro always includes a surprising mixture of classical and modern styles: folk-composers like Gilberto Gil are respected as greatly as classical opera composers, and Cordeiro is not afraid of exploring modern idioms like hip-hop or techno. His voice and his musicality let him delve into old and new music like a child into a coffer. He is always thrilled to find something new but never loses his roots.
Under Clubbing, he has experimented on his last albums with extravagant disco-music and electronic sounds of the 90s. The title refers not only to the song Nightclubbing from David Bowie or Iggy Pop but also to Cordeiro’s enthusiasm for city nightlife. Few of his fans could have expected hip hop, drum ‘n bass, techno, house and disco with a shot of MBP.
Cordeiro wants to use his artistic freedom as fully as possible. ‘This certainly has to do with my contract with Sony, which stipulates only that I have to record six albums. Of course I use this freedom to do whatever interests or thrills me most. Since I am a night-bird – I love night-time! – I also have an intense feeling for the music played in night-clubs. And that is techno, house and dance music.’ (Folker)
Incurable world-music fans may prefer the ‘Brazilian’ Terceiro Sinal with songs from the popular composer Caetano Veloso (Mamãe Coragem) and Gilberto Gil (Super-Homem / A Cancão). The piano, accordion, clarinet, bass clarinet, percussion and viola here create a calm, melancholy and especially lyrical atmosphere. But ‘Third Sign’ also offers two operas from the operas Xerxes and Rinaldo by Händel. These unfold to the accompaniment of a baroque orchestra, till Ave Maria from the Brazilians Vincente Palva and Jayme Redondo brings the sequence to a close.
Author: Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Edson Cordeiro was born on 09.02.1967 in Santo André in São Paulo in Brazil. Already at the age of 6 he joined the church choir Cordeirinhos do Senhor, and at the age of 9 he left school. But this was no fall into oblivion but the start of a career in music, at first as a street-singer. At the end of the 80s his unusual talent was recognised. He appeared on television, recorded his first album for Sony, Brazil, in 1992, and was acclaimed as Brazil’s best pop-singer in 1996.
The Woman´S Voice
Prime Tone Records
Klazz meets the Voice
Klazz Brothers & Edson Cordeiro. Sony Classics
Edson Cordeiro (untitled 2)
Dê-se ao Luxo
Disco Clubbing 2
Disco Clubbing ao Vivo
Edson Cordeiro (untitled)