Marisa Monte - The Muse of Brazilian Pop
Marisa Monte belongs to a new generation of Brazilian musicians who have opened themselves to international influences. As the inheritor of the typically Brazilian sounds of musicians like Caetano Veloso, Astrud Gilberto, Gilberto Gil, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Elis Regina, she combines this tradition with elements of international jazz and pop music. Marisa Monte was born in 1967 in Rio de Janeiro, where she is still living.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Marisa Monte began to study music at the age of 14. At the age of 20 she went to Rome to learn classical European song. It was a productive stay which extended her already notable vocal abilities through further knowledge and skills. Back in Brazil she worked at combining this new potential with the music of her homeland. Her first album was a recording of unusual pop music enabling her expressive voice to scintillate in the most varied ways.
On this first CD, entitled "Marisa Monte", stand world-famous classics from Gershwin and Weill next to a samba "South American Way" from Carmen Miranda and a reggae version of Marvin Gaye´s "I heard it through the Grapevine". Some songs from Brazilian composers too belong to this colourful melange welcomed by music critics.
Her second album "Mais" was produced by Arto Lindsay, the king of subversive bossa nova, in 1991. Such diverse musicians as Ryuichi Sakamoto and John Zorn worked with her on it. Already some pieces composed by Marisa Monte herself were to be heard. "Mais" - in Brazil a great hit with platinum status - brought Marisa Monte world-wide recognition. The album´s success led to concerts in America and Europe and to a triumphal performance at the Montreux jazz-festival.
Marisa Monte´s next two albums - "Rose and Charcoal" (1994) and "A Great Noise" (1997) - were likewise produced by Arto Lindsay and widely acclaimed. With the production of "Rose and Charcoal" Marisa Monte also began working intensely with Carlinos Brown. "A Great Noise" contains both live and studio recordings, among them being Laurie Anderson´s interpretation of Monte-texts in English, an arrangement from Philip Glass ("Ao Meu Redor") and an acoustic version of Lou Reed´s "Pale Blue Eyes".
Despite her international success Marisa Monte has remained true to her musical roots, to her standard of music-making and to her homeland. Monte lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.
Author: Haus der Kulturen der Welt
1967 born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
1987 study of classical music in Rome
1990 performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival
1991 production by Arto Lindsay of the CD ´Mais´ which became an international success