Eliane Elias is a world-class Brazilian Jazz pianist and singer.
Elias was born into Brazilian Bossa Nova
Elias was born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1960. She started playing piano as a child and by her teenage years was teaching.
Elias turned professional in 1977 by touring with “O Poetinha” (the little poet) Vinicius de Moraes (one of the fathers of Bossa Nova) and guitarist Toquinho.
Elias came to New York in 1981 to attend the Juilliard School of Music. That connects her with Wynton Marsalis, the voice of American Jazz.
Shortly thereafter, Elias recorded her first album Amanda (Passport Jazz, 1985). She just gets bigger and better after that.
Eliane Elias Albums
Elias has released 26 albums as of October 2017. These are her most notable.
Solos and Duets
Solos and Duets (Blue Note, 1995) with Herbie Hancock was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Jazz Solo Performance.”
Eliane performed Samba Triste (Sad Samba) on Fernando Trueba’s legendary movie and album shot at Sony Music Studios on 54th Street in Midtown, Manhattan. Calle 54 (EMI, 2000) was nominated for a Latin Grammy for “Best Latin Jazz Album.”
Something for You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans
Bill Evans (American, 1929 – 1980) was an influential Jazz pianist and composer. The guy must have had two brains because he is famous for the expression in his harmonies, and his melodies were free like scat singing over the top of the song.
Evans was part of Miles Davis’ sextet when they recorded Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959), the best-selling Jazz album of all time.
It just happens that Elias is married to bassist Marc Johnson who was the bassist for Bill Evans’ final trio. Family is the most intimate connection.
Something for You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans was released on the Blue Note label in 2008.
Made in Brazil
Made in Brazil (Concord, 2015) won a Grammy® Award for “Best Latin Jazz Album.”
Dance of Time
Dance of Time (Concord, 2017) is nominated for Latin Grammys® for “Best Latin Jazz Album” and “Best Engineered Album.” It reached #1 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz and World Music charts, and was a #1 iTunes Jazz Album and #1 Amazon.com Best Seller.
Eliane Elias Awards
Made in Brazil (2015) won a Grammy® Award for “Best Latin Jazz Album.”
Dance of Time won an 18th Latin Grammy Award (2017) for “Best Latin Jazz Album” and was nominated for “Best Engineered Album.”
Eliane Elias in New York City
Eliane Elias from Bill Evans to Brazil
Eliane Elias: From Bill Evans to Brazil is a concert at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose Theater in Lincoln Square (Upper West Side), Friday – Saturday, November 3 – 4, 2017 at 8 pm. $35 – $125
The concert has two parts. The first is dedicated to the Bill Evans Trio. It includes two unpublished Evans compositions which were personally given to Elias’ husband bassist Marc Johnson. The band includes Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera who are the surviving members of the last Bill Evans trio.
The second part of the concert is a “Brazilian Journey” with guitarist Rubens de la Corte and drummer Rafael Barata.
Elias travels from Jazz to Samba, Bossa Nova and beyond. If you want to take that trip, Elias is one of the people you want to travel with.
Elias plays Birdland in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, Tuesday – Saturday, December 5 – 9 with shows at 8:30 & 11 pm. $40
For more information, visit elianeelias.com