Luanda Jones

It is often said that the only constant is change, but so often in a person’s life that change is plays an essential role in both personal and artistic growth. Such has been the case in the life of Brazilian singer/songwriter Luanda Jones, whose musical output has shifted quite significantly from her early successes in her native Rio de Janeiro to her most recent presentations half a world removed. Born into a musical family, Luanda was blessed with a deep melodic richness early on. Her father Luis Moreno, a drummer for famed artists Raul Seixas, Elis Regina, and prog rockers “O Terço”, and mother Irinéa Maria Ribeiro, a recognized songwriter of over 30 years with credits including the legendary Tim Maia, each provided their inquisitive daughter with an early musical education most would dream of. Those expansive first teachings, combined with a vibrant, incredibly sonic home atmosphere, helped to carry Luanda to the stage at the tender age of nine and spawn a long-running career of artistic expression from which she has never strayed. Despite the understandable difficulties inherent in throwing herself into the unknown artistic reality of a completely foreign land, it wasn’t long before Luanda began making a name for herself in the Toronto music scene. Apart from becoming an early staple at west end hotspot Lula Lounge and being featured in the 2007 edition of Toronto’s annual BrazilFest, she was also called upon to perform in each of the first two years of Toronto’s now burgeoning LuminaTO festival. Luanda earned two interview features the following year on CBC radio’s Big City Small World and Q, with Jian Ghomeshi, for which she was asked to play alongside David Letterman’s Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer. Adding to her list of career high water marks with showings at the Prince Edward County, Brampton Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival and TD Toronto Jazz Festivals, she traveled back to both France and Portugal in early 2012 for a handful of shows before returning to Toronto to share the stage with famed Brazilian guitarist and songwriter Guinga, at the Korner Hall. The fellow Rio native was a welcome addition to a growing lineup of other notable musicians who Luanda has also had the pleasure of performing with on Canadian soil, such as Carmen Souza, Badi Assad, Pedro Luis, Jovino Santos Neto, Benjamim Taubkin, among others. She also had performance in Moscow and Croacia with Hendrik Meurkens and his band from New York. All of these many explorations have imbued in Luanda sense of songcraft far removed from the MPB stylings of her earlier MPB days. The singer’s latest batch of compositions bring together all of the disparate and inspirational sounds encountered along her worldly travels, melding together influences running from quant bossa nova and comforting roots to more frenetic electronic and afro beat flavours. This newfound creative energy comes in preparation for her next full-length musical endeavor, an album to be released that will no doubt bring about new changes and a next phase in the growth and stylistic development of this inspired talent.


Featured Performances

Jazz Canada I – a Tribute to Jobim & Shorter

Saturday, July 29 | 7:30 pm

Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

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