Elza Soares started singing Samba in 1950s Rio. She made hits and had a tabloid life in the 1960s and 70s. Tragedy pursued her into obscurity, but Soares came roaring back in 1999 and keeps making Samba in every musical style.
The Brazilian legend plays The Town Hall in Midtown, Friday, May 19, 2017 at 8pm.
Forró in the Dark, NYC’s best Brazilian party band, opens the show.
Get Tickets! $37-47
Elza Soares is from Planet Samba
In a career racked by tragedy, legendary Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares has persevered as a singular voice for the voiceless. Rising from the favelas of Rio, where she was forced into marriage at the age of 12 and gave birth to her first child at 13, Soares’ big break came when she appeared on a Brazilian talent show, supposedly to buy medicine for her children.
Her otherworldly voice and searing lyrical perspective earned her admirers and detractors in equal measure, eventually leading to her appearing on the Brazilian dictatorship’s blacklist and fleeing the country, only to return years later hailed as a national hero.
Now in her 70s, Soares has maintained a cohesive style that is thoroughly informed and yet somehow unbounded by her personal struggles. Her latest album, The Woman at the End of the World (A Mulher do Fim do Mundo on Circus 2015), was a continuation of her lifelong work on behalf of the oppressed, meant “to talk about women, to talk about blackness, and to talk about sex.”
As part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York 2017 and in partnership with Brasil Summerfest & City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage, Soares will bring her undeniable charisma and unforgettable voice to a performance at The Town Hall. Elza Soares will also return to NYC this summer to headline SummerStage as part of Brasil Summerfest.
This article was first published on April 25, 2017