Celia Mara

Celia Mara

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Célia Mara

Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Origin = Brazil
Born = birth date and age|1961|7|27
Instrument = voice, guitar, programming
Genre = World
Música Popular Brasileira
ReggaeBossa Nova
Occupation = singer-songwriter, producer
Years_active = 1978–present
Label = globalista records [http://www.globalistarecords.net]
Associated_acts = bastardista, potênciaX
URL = [http://www.celia-mara.net/ www.celia-mara.net]

Célia Mara Brazilian singer-songwriter and producer,is living since the 1990s in Vienna, Austria and since 2003 also partly in Salvador/Bahia.

She defines herself as "bastardista": violating race , gender and class structures; hybrid; mostly women made, mestizo mixed, out of rules, illegitimate, from an impure race...; or "nu Brazilian flavor", presenting a Latinized worldbeat - multicultural world music with strong Brazilian roots, singing in Portuguese, English, German, French, and Spanish.

Early life

Célia Mara was born in Pedra Azul, Minas Gerais, a small town in the [http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vale do Jequitinhonha|vale do Jequitinhonha] [ [http://www.onhas.com.br Onhas.com - O Vale do Jequitinhonha Sem Froteiras ] ] , one of today's poorest regions of the world, but formerly rich in minerals [ [http://www.tanto.com.br/jequitinhonha-fotos.htm jequitinhonha ] ] . She grew up with her mother and four sisters, in an ambient of political oppression and of censurship, during the military dictatureship. Surrounded by the sounds of the [http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congada|Congadas de Minas] , the sacred drums of Candomble, Christian songs and the melancolic Folclore de Minas, [http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seresta|Seresta] and Boleros, she soon discovered her passion for music. Already as a child, she loved to sing over the rooftops of her hometown. But she suffered gender discrimination at school, as she was not allowed to play percussion. Being a working class girl, she couldn't even study any other instrument.

Early career in Brazil

"Célia Mara started her musical career as a 16 years old girl, as an autodidact on the guitar. Highly influenced by the Tropicalismo, she started early to play songs from Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque but also from Mercedes Sosa or her own compositions on local events. In 1979 she was the first women (and Female composer) of the Vale de Jequintinhonha partecipating to a regional event: the [http://www.anovademocracia.com.br/12/31.htm|festivale] , organized by Tadeu Martins.

With 19 years, she moved to Belo Horizonte, where she started playing in bars; socially engaged, she performed as well at the universities and at the big strikes against the military regime. Soon, she had shows in major jazzclubs – like the cabare mineiro, or in big theatres like the [http://www.palaciodasartes.com.br/home/default.aspx|„Palacio das Artes“] in Belo Horizonte, presenting already a fusion between rural and urban songs. Her first solo program „um passarino no coração“ was well received by the regional press. She started travelling through her music, played in [http://www.sescsp.org.br/sesc/busca/index.cfm?UnidadesDirector=58|SESC Pompeia] (Sao paulo), [http://www.funarj.rj.gov.br|teatro Vila Lobos] (Rio de Janeiro). TV appearances like in [http://www.rolandoboldrin.com.br|Som Brasil de Rolando Boldrin] in TV Globo gave a push to her career."

Coming to Europe

"In the early 1990s, she was invited to perform at a small festival in Switzerland, in Solothurn. Her first tour brought her to small clubs and minor festivals in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy. She decided to stay in Europe and choose first Salzburg, then Vienna as her new homebase.

A solo mpb project

She found herself in Austria, discovering the local jazz- and ethno-scene, playing frequently in small clubs. Soon, she performed at important regional jazzfestivals (f.e Jazzfestival Burghausen, Jazzfest Jena). She started composing her first “Brazil-European’s" and became known for her own style: hot, melancholy Samba-Jazz Fusions (influenced by Pharao Sanders, Marisa Monte but also Dee Dee Bridgewater) or Samba-Funk Fusions (influenced by James Brown, US3) She performed solo or with her Duo-Project at various smaller jazz-festivals or as opening group for Abdullah Ibrahim, Airto Moreira & Flora Purim.

hot couture do samba

Her debut-album in 1997, "„Hot Couture do Samba“", partly arranged by Brazilian producer Leteires Leite, former musical director of Daniela Mercury, partly made in collaboration with the Viennese soundcollective sunshine enterprises, opened her the way to the important Austrian festivals (like Jazzfest Wiesen, opening the shows of James Brown or Candy Dulfer, or at Jazz over Villach) and the national Austrian Radio. With her band PotênciaX, formed by excellent Jazz-instrumentalists from Austria (most of them awarded with the Hans Koller Preis), she presented her independent style of Samba meets funk and jazz - original Brazilian grooves mix with sophisticated instrumental interpretations in a European music concept.


In 1999,she recorded at the Viennese Radiohall, during the benefit event "Jazz for Kosovo", which was (Art Farmer’s last live-concert), the album "necessário". All songs Célia Mara presented were dedicated to the question of human rights – a global appeal against war, a collection of MPB with critical songs from Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque… and herself. In 2000, Célia Mara was selected „best world music artist Austria“ in the Concerto Poll 2000." ...

Going Electronic (2000 up to now)

"Looking to realize what she bears in mind musically, she discovered the computer as an arranging and producing tool already in 2000. It enabled her to fuse her visions of Brazilian roots music with sophisticated sounds, all kind of different influences from all over the world and formatting them in a contemporary concept of electronic music in a danceable style.She was influenced by the electronic movement in Vienna and different artists, just to name a few: Manu Chao, Tom Zé, Carlinhos Brown, Guru & Jazzmattaz." ...


Célia Mara produced her latest album BASTARDISTA between 2004 and 2005, with the help of her keyboarder Geri Schuller and mixer Pogo Michael Kreiner. It has been released in May 2005 on the artists label Globalista: no border media and is distributed by Soulseduction. Bastardista brought her straight ahead in the Top 10 of the European World Music Charts, climbed up the play lists in Greece and Russia, was ranked various times among the „best of the year, best of the week“ selections in different countries . It got amazing reviews in the international music-press, f.i. in songlines/UK or globalrhythm/USA, Various tracks from bastardista were compiled on excellent releases or remixed by well known DJ’s (Kid Loco, Frankie Valentine, Colours).…Célia Mara won the 2006 Brazilian culture export award “COPA DA CULTURA“, Brazil in Germany.… She had the honour to jam with Joe Zawinul at Birdland; with the live project, she performed on various huge festivals in Europe (like the Africa-festival in Würzburg, Zeltival/Karlsruhe, Sabor de Samba/Offenburg or Sunsplash/Wiesen) and on major festivals in Russia (Ethnoland, Moscow). She presented her bastardista songs during the carnival in Brazil as well as in exclusive clubs or concert houses between London, Moscow, Praha and Sofia. And, highlighting the bastardista live-tour, she performed at the fabulous Vienna Opera house, during the jazzfest vienna, sharing the stage with legendary Omara Portuondo!

Santa rebeldia

2007 Célia Mara is producing the album Santa Rebeldia. The recordings, directed by keyboarder Dieter Stemmer, happen in different homestudios in Vienna. Extrarecordings are made in Barcelona and Salvador de Bahia, the WR Studios. The album features Spanish singer Amparo SanchezAmparanoia as guest.

Social involvement

"Célia Mara always understood herself as an artist involved in social movements. Since her youth in Brazil, supporting the left parties, she always gave her voice to questions of social justice.From 1999 to 2003 she supported the project Nika Jaina in the favela Morro do Salgueiro in Rio de Janeiro, a youth targeted education and black consciousness program run by Dona Ivete, Mãe de Santo da Umbanda. Together with cultural anthropologist Silvia Santangelo Jura, they organized various activities supporting the project. F.i., in 1999, she produced the benefit-CD "Necessàrio".In 2002, Silvia Santangelo Jura produced the documentary “Salgueiro Queens – relative citizenship”, awarded as best video production at black international cinema Berlin 2002; Célia contributed the soundtrack and participated to the production. In 2002, for organizing the event “culture is our weapon” presenting the video and the project in the Kunsthalle Wien, projectspace, Célia Mara and Silvia Santangelo Jura were awarded with the Herta Pammer Preis 2003.

Célia Mara performed at various events against racism, social unjustice, gender discrimination or homophobia, the most prominents were certainly her performances at CSD, Berlin Siegessäule for nearly 500.000 people.

In 2003, she worked in Salvador, Bahia for UNESCO / cultural industries teaching Latin American artists.

Actually, she is involved in developing the project Matria.tv, which will broadcast female realities of the peripheries of this world. On the other hand, as independent artist, she supports the initiative fair music."


* Santa Rebeldia (2008; globaCD_SR08 [http://www.celia-mara.net/?page_id=88 globalista records] distribution: Austria: [http://www.hoanzl.at hoanzl/A] Deutschland: [http://www.indigo.de |Indigo]
* Bastardista (2005; globa_CD05 [http://www.globalistarecords.net |globalista:no border media] ),distribution: [http://www.soulseduction.com]
* Necessàrio - live at ORF Radiokulturhaus (2000; art libre/ORF) globa_CD00 [http://www.globalistarecords.net |globalista:no border media] ),distribution: [http://www.soulseduction.com]
* Hot Couture do samba (1998; art libre) globa_CD98 [http://www.globalistarecords.net |globalista:no border media] ),distribution: [http://www.soulseduction.com]


* 2000: [http://www.concerto.at|Concerto Poll] : best world music artist Austria
* 2003: [http://www.eza.at/index1.php?menuid=4&submenuid=169|herta pammer preis] for the event: culture is our weapon
* 2006: [http://www.copadacultura.gov.br|COPA DA CULTURA] , [http://www.cultura.gov.br/site/?p=2748] Brazilian culture export award for bastardista




External links

* [http://www.celiamara.net célia mara's site]
* [http://myspace.com/celiamara1 célia mara's myspace]

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