Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, acclaimed vocalist Kenia has become one of the foremost exponents of Brazilian song in the United States. From her debut on the great trumpet player Claudio Roditi’s, “Red on Red,” to her upcoming 2020 Mooka Records release, she has epitomized the breezy elegance, refinement and groove of the best of modern Brazilian music. In 2008, Kenia won the Brazilian Press Award for Best CD of the Year, and was nominated for a Grammy for her release, “Simply Kenia.” Along with eight critically acclaimed solo releases (and counting), Kenia has performed at national and international festivals, from the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival to the Bonaire Heineken Jazz Festival in the ABC Islands. “Singing, swaying, Kenia is Brazil, scatting, lively, absolutely irresistible” Spirit to Spirit: a Portrait of Jazz in the New Century.
Culturally diverse and musically rich Brazil has influenced the musical landscape of many genres both here in the U.S. and internationally for centuries. Kenia takes the listener on a musical tour of her native homeland as she invites you to meet new songs and revisit some familiar tunes – from gorgeous ballads to upbeat Brazilian forro, with some bossa nova and samba on the side. Her voice embodies the best of the Brazilian sound – deep and sultry, richly diverse, unexpectedly explosive – and her ability to translate the complex rhythms of her Brazilian homeland into her own unique creations is renowned. She is equally enchanting performing standards by big names (Gershwin, Lennon and McCartney), works by contemporary composers (Romero Lubambo, Luiz Simas) and original material with her own lyrics and music composed for Kenia by the likes of Antonio Adolfo.
Kenia has collaborated with many jazz icons such as Ivan Lins as well as up and coming artists such as trumpeter Sean Jones. In addition to numerous performances and awards, Kenia also presents professional workshops on Afro-Brazilian rhythms for school children and adults, and master classes in Brazilian phrasing for jazz and vocal students and artists.
Kenia is also proud to work for various humanitarian and community outreach projects, particularly with the Allies for Health and Wellbeing (formerly Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force), The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Children’s Home and Mario Lemieux Family Center.