Kenia offers a selection of shows, from musical concerts to multi-disciplinary events, that are designed to bring talented performers and exciting material which may be tailored to fit a variety of presenter’s needs.  Special shows (such as these) are available, along with kickin’ concerts featuring Kenia and her band playing some hot Brazilian bossa nova, samba and choro.  Contact Mooka Entertainment regarding bookings and to see how a show may be tailored to your audiences, venue and budget.  Outreach activities may accompany each show.

Viva Bahia!

Viva Bahia! is an intimate concert featuring Brazilian songstress Kenia for a celebration of vibrant music by legendary Bahian composers such as Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Dorival Caymmi and Joao Gilberto, the “Father of Bossa Nova.”

“Have you ever been to Bahia, Donald?” asks Zé Carioca.
“No I haven’t,” replied Donald Duck.
“No? Oh, I am sorry for you. Ah, Bahia…” sighs Zé Carioca. “It is like a song in my heart, a song with love and beautiful memories.”

This is a scene from “The Three Caballeros,” a Disney animated movie released in 1944, where the parrot Zé Carioca—Donald Duck’s Brazilian counterpart—takes Donald through an exciting journey to Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, Brazil.

Bahia is one of 26 states in Brazil, uniquely known for its diverse and creative culture and as the birthplace of many noted Brazilian artists, writers and musicians. Viva Bahia! takes the audience on a trip to a Bahian “state of mind,” with songs about the beautiful beaches, delicious foods like vatapa, and call and answer songs that involve the audience and really make you move! The bossa nova and hot Brazilian beats are accompanied by a media projection of the tropical locals and beautiful peoples and arts of Bahia. Ah, Bahia….

This show was first performed in 2011 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre in Pittsburgh by Kenia and her dear friend and jazz legend Ivan Lins (see video).

Repertoire includes songs by Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Dorival Caymmi and Joao Gilberto. This show may be customized to suit the venue, from Kenia and her Trio to a full big band.

Outreach activities may include workshops on Afro-Brazilian rhythms for school children; Afro-Brazilian rhythms for adults; master classes in Brazilian phrasing for jazz and vocal students and artists.

A Tribute to Elis Regina

Elis Regina was a dynamic and popular Brazilian vocalist known for her personal interpretation, precise yet flowing vocalization and flamboyant performances.  Kenia soulfully presents this great talent’s interpretation of songs, in a tribute to both Elis’ style and Brazil’s Tropicália movement of the late 1960’s – music that stepped away from bossa nova to bring in a rock n’ roll influence and combine the popular and the avant-garde.

Born in 1945, she won her first festival song contest in 1965 singing Arrastão (Pull the Trawling Net), which, when released as a single, made her the biggest selling Brazilian recording artist since Carmen Miranda. The second LP with Jair Rodrigues, Dois na Bossa, set a national sales record and became the first Brazilian LP to sell more than one million copies. At age 21 she was the most popular and highest paid singer in Brazil.  She helped begin and popularize a new musical style now known as MPB (Música Popular Brasileira or Brazilian Popular Music).  She died suddenly at the young age of 36 from drug use.

“Regina brought a mischievous streak and a jazz singer’s taste for adventure to everything she did. She reimagined samba and bossa nova classics. And in the late ’60s, she became a champion of the young Brazilian songwriters who were integrating elements of British and American rock. Her interpretations of songs such as “Nada Sera Como Antes,” by Milton Nascimento, helped bring attention to this new generation of talents — the movement known as Tropicália.” – Tom Moon, 50 Great Voices, NPR Music.

Repertoire may include Cai Dentro, Madalena, Nada Sera Como Antes, O Bebado E O, Equilibrista, Samba Pra Elis, Essa Mulher, Aguas De Marco, Quaquara – Vou Deitar E Rolar, Casa Forte, E Com Esse Que Eu Vou, Agota Ta, Basta De Clamares, Vera Cruz, Amor Ate O Fim.  This show is presented by Kenia and her Trio and may be accented by additional percussion and brass, or presented by a full big band.

Outreach activities include workshops on Brazilian harmony and rhythms; master classes in Brazilian phrasing; lectures and demonstrations describing Regina’s influence in Brazilian Contemporary music and on the influence of Brazilian Popular Music on jazz.

A Day in Bahia


“A Day in Bahia” expands on the Bahian musical theme featured in the show Viva Bahia! and presents an inter-disciplinary, multigenerational approach that coalesces to spotlight this unique state in Brazil, known for its diverse and creative culture and as the birthplace of many noted Brazilian artists, writers and musicians. Bahia, settled by the Portuguese and site of the world’s largest African slave importation, portrays the blending of many cultures, religions and ethnicities into one society. The day gives the community a chance to participate in celebrating the rich Afro-Brazilian culture of Bahia through a diverse repertoire of music, dance, martial arts and visual arts.

The day begins with one or two workshops in Afro Brazilian folkloric rhythms and/or dance, led by members of the New York-based Ologundê ensemble. Comprised of Brazilians living in the United States and Brazil, Ologundê includes former members of world-renowned music and dance troupes and is under the direction of noted percussionist Dendê from the famed Timbalada band. The ensemble has performed throughout the US since its formation in 2002 and toured Greece as part of the Cultural Olympiad, appearing at the Kalamata Dance Festival and at the Athens Festival at the Acropolis.

In the evening, a spectacular show begins with Kenia and her trio performing the lively music of legendary Bahian composers such as Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Dorival Caymmi and Joao Gilberto, who is known as the “Father of Bossa Nova.” The music will be complimented by accompanying media projection that showcases the diverse cultures and arts existing in Bahia today. The bossa nova beat gives way to other Brazilian beats, accompanied by members of Ologundê performing rituals associated with Candomblé, a synthesis of the Yoruba and Catholic religions in which various Orixás (gods) are invoked; maculélé, a warrior dance which utilizes sticks and machetes and was originally created in the sugar cane fields by slaves; the breathtaking capoeira martial arts dance, created as a secretive way for slaves to build strength through muscular dance when fighting was forbidden.

A Day in Bahia may also include an exhibit of original paintings of the Baianas (Bahian women) by D. Pires and the beautifully handmade, traditional costumes of the Orixás. The exhibits may be on display one day only or may run for a full week preceding the day of events.

This program is adapted from Week in Bahia, an original six day program presented in April, 2012 in Pittsburgh by Mooka Entertainment and the University of Pittsburgh, PNC Bank, Highmark, the Hunt Foundation and other sponsors.  Check out the Week in Bahia website for further information on the artists and material.

Repertoire includes one or two workshops; an evening show including two complete performances of music and dance; an exhibit of original paintings and handmade-in-Brazil costumes.

Artists include Kenia, Ologundê, D. Pires and/or others based on scheduling.

The performances of A Day in Bahia will come together as an exciting, multidisciplinary approach to learning about and experiencing the truly distinctive Afro-Brazilian identity of Bahia. Workshops, performances and exhibits may be tailored to fit a specific venue and budget may be presented at schools, theaters, and other venues.


A Celebration of Sergio Mendes

The Americas in Concert is bringing to the stage of The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater an exciting and yet intimate concert of the best of Samba Jazz made famous by Sergio Mendes, who in the late 60’s created the perfect blend of the Brazilian and American pop.

This remarkable opportunity to enjoy the best of samba jazz has been arranged by the three-time Grammy nominee Maestro Jovino Santos Neto (, one of Brazil’s most brilliant musicians, a master pianist, composer and arranger. Currently based in Seattle, Washington, he has throughout his career been closely affiliated with the Brazilian master Hermeto Pascoal.  He was an integral part of Pascoal’s group from 1977 to1992, where he fine-tuned his artistry, performing around the world and co-producing several legendary records.

Neto will be joined by Jamey Haddad on drums (, who has collaborated and worked with Paul Simon, Carly Simon and many other stars; Lucas Ashby on percussion (, currently with the Big Mean Sound Machine; and bassist Roberto Occhipinti ( who, among other notable performances, has toured and recorded with Blue Note recording artist Jane Bunnett and Spirits of Havana.

Special guest appearance by Pittsburgh’s own KENIA. Together, the group will bring to Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh the best known Samba Jazz worldwide made famous by Sergio Mendes.




Brazilian Vocalist Extrordinaire Kenia