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Alverno Presents Announces the Performance of Three Brazilian Superstars

Jan. 13, 2010

Five years ago the Alverno Presents audience luxuriated in the serene and elegant sensuality of Grammy winner Luciana Souza as she unfurled her “ethereal, wordless vocal lines” and “haunting, technically mercurial scat lines” (Chicago Tribune) that make her one of the great jazz artists of our time. Two seasons later, Alverno Presents audiences experienced “the unbridled imagination, intense musical knowledge, skill and lust for sheer joy” (Relix magazine) from that mad genius of world percussion Cyro Baptista. On February 13, at 8 p.m., these two great artists will join with their Brazilian compatriot, master guitarist Romero Lumbabo, for an evening of exquisite music making. The performance will be held in the Alverno College Pitman Theater, 39th St. and Morgan Ave.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at or by calling the Box Office at 414-382-6044. Box Office hours are 12 noon – 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday and until curtain on day of performance.


Souza is one of jazz’s leading singers and interpreters. Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, she grew up in a family of Bossa Nova innovators. Her work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music and an enlightened approach to classical repertoire and new music. As a leader, she has seven acclaimed releases, including her three Grammy-nominated records “Brazilian Duos” (2002), “North and South” (2003), and “Duos II” (2005). Her debut recording for Universal/Verve, “The New Bossa Nova” (2007), met with critical acclaim (Billboard Latin Jazz Album of the Year) and offers an exquisite personal interpretation on songs by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Steely Dan, and a sublime duet with James Taylor. She has performed and recorded with greats like Herbie Hancock (on his Grammy winning record “River – The Joni Letters”), Paul Simon, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Hermeto Pascoal and many others. Her complete discography contains more than 50 records as a side singer. Souza’s singing has been called “transcendental,” “perfect,” and of “unparalleled beauty.” Entertainment Weekly said, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries.” In 2005, Souza was awarded “Female Jazz Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association.


Since arriving in the United States in 1980 from his native Brazil, Cyro Baptista has emerged as one of the premiere percussionists in the country. Coinciding with the rise in the public’s interest of world music, Baptista has managed to record and tour with some of music’s most popular names. His mastery of Brazilian percussion and the many instruments he creates himself have catapulted him to world renown. He gives free reign to his imagination in his percussion and dance ensemble project, “Beat the Donkey,” mixing his tremendous musical skills, natural humor and theatrical ways with instruments from Brazil, the Middle East, Indonesia, Africa and the U.S. Baptista’s credits read like a “Who’s Who” of modern music. He has toured extensively with Yo-Yo Ma’s “Brazil Project,” Trey Anastasio’s band (of Phish), John Zorn’s “Electric Masada,” Herbie Hancock’s Grammy award-winning “Gershwin’s World,” Sting, and Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints.” Other artists Baptista has performed and recorded with include David Byrne, Kathleen Battle, Gato Barbieri, Dr. John, Brian Eno, Robert Palmer, Melissa Etheridge, Laurie Anderson, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Michael Tilson Thomas, Daniel Barenboim, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton Marsalis, Medeski Martin & Wood, Spyro Gyra, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Santana. He also has played with many respected Brazilian artists such as Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, Ivan Lins, Marisa Monte and Nana Vasconcelos.


Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1995, Romero Lumbabo studied classical piano and music theory as a young boy. From the time he played his first notes on the guitar at age thirteen, he devoted himself to that instrument. The rhythms and melodies defining Brazilian music and American jazz fascinated him. In 1985, Lumbabo left Brazil for New York where he became very much in demand, not only for his authentic Brazilian sound but also for his command of a variety of styles. He has established himself as a composer and performer on his own critically acclaimed recording projects and collaborations with many outstanding artists, including Dianne Reeves, Michael Brecker, Yo-Yo Ma, Kathleen Battle, Diana Krall, Herbie Mann, Wynton Marsalis, Jane Monheit, Kenny Barron, Ivan Lins, Grover Washington Jr., Vernon Reid, Flora Purim and Airto, Paquito D’Rivera, Harry Belafonte, Larry Coryell and Gato Barbieri, among many others.


For additional information, please contact Alverno Presents Director David Ravel at

414-382-6150 or e-mail


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