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

Luciana Souza
Born (1966-07-12) July 12, 1966 (age 53)
São Paulo, Brazil
GenresJazz, bossa nova
Years active1992–present
LabelsSunnyside, Verve


Music careerEdit

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Souza is the daughter of poet Tereza Souza and musician Walter Santos. She began her career at the age of three by recording jingles for commercials. In 1988, she graduated with a degree in jazz composition from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She received a master's degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1994. She has taught at Berklee and The Manhattan School of Music and was Jazz Artist in Residence with San Francisco Performances from 2004 to 2010.

Souza has performed classical music with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart; chamber music with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, A Far Cry, and the American Composer's Orchestra. Souza has collaborated with new music composers Derek Bermel, Patrick Zimmerli, Rachel Grimes, Angélica Negrón, Shara Nova, Caroline Shaw, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.

In jazz and pop, she has worked with Gil Goldstein, Osvaldo Golijov, Herbie Hancock, Fred Hersch, Guillermo Klein, Hermeto Pascoal, John Patitucci, Romero Lubambo, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Vince Mendoza, Danilo Perez, Maria Schneider, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Ben Wendel, David Binney, Kenny Werner, Kenny Wheeler, Miguel Zenon, and the Yellowjackets.

She is a founding member of Moss, a vocal group with Theo Bleckmann, Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, and Kate McGarry. Since 2006, she has been married to record producer Larry Klein.

Awards and honorsEdit

Souza won a Grammy Award in 2007 as a featured vocalist on Herbie Hancock's album River: The Joni Letters. She was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Brazilian Duos (2003), North and South (2004), Duos II (2006), Tide (2010), and The Book of Chet (2013).[1][2] She was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album for Duos III (2013).

Souza was named Female Singer of the Year in 2005 and 2013 by the Jazz Journalists Association.


  • An Answer to Your Silence (NYC, 1999)
  • The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (Sunnyside, 2000)
  • Brazilian Duos (Biscoito Fino, 2001)
  • Norte E Sul (Biscoito Fino, 2003)
  • Neruda (Sunnyside, 2004)
  • Duos II (Sunnyside, 2005)
  • The New Bossa Nova (Verve, 2007)
  • Tide (Verve, 2009)
  • Duos III (Sunnyside, 2012)
  • The Book of Chet (Sunnyside, 2012)
  • Speaking in Tongues (Sunnyside, 2015)[3]
  • The Book of Longing (Sunnyside, 2018)

As featured vocalistEdit

With Till Bronner

  • 2006 Oceana
  • 2008 Rio

With Guillermo Klein

  • 1999 Los Guachos II
  • 2002 Los Guachos III

With Donny McCaslin

  • 2003 The Way Through
  • 2006 Soar

With Bob Moses

  • 1993 Time Stood Still
  • 2000 Nishoma

With John Patitucci

  • 2001 Communion
  • 2003 Songs, Stories & Spirituals

With Danilo Perez

  • 1998 Central Avenue
  • 2000 Motherland

With Madeleine Peyroux

With Maria Schneider

With others

Further readingEdit

  • 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". Down Beat. October 2012
  • "Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova to Chet Baker" by Melissa Block (NPR) August 31, 2012.[6]
  • 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.[7]
  • 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. ^ "Luciana Souza | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Luciana Souza | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Saudade: An Untranslatable, Undeniably Potent Word". 28 February 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Luciana Souza: From Bossa Nova To Chet Baker". 31 August 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Souza Lends a Fresh Note to Brazilian Music". 14 May 2005. Retrieved 6 December 2014.

External linksEdit