Célia Mara

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participation in

  • WOMEX 2010
  • WOMEX 2006
  • WOMEX 2005
  • WOMEX 2004
  • WOMEX 2003

célia mara --- eclectic, surprising. different excellent projects.

1. Célia Mara: Brazilian Bastardsound

“Brash, confident and assured“
(Songlines, UK)
Célia Mara‘s Brazilian Bastard Sound is an exciting, high quality dance-mix with thoughtful lyrics, based on Brazilian grooves and globalized music! On stage, you‘ll get an awesome band, transmitting this urban Brazilian feeling, groovy underground … with an explosive frontlady and a lot of rebellion! Célia Mara – she’s a great singer with an amazing voice - impresses with her charismatic presence. The music is coming out of a Central European melting pot - Brazil made in Vienna. Joining artists from the world…
New album to be released in 2012.

File under: Nu-Brazil, latin &
global grooves
Minimal formation: 4 on stage
Festival Formation: 10 on stage
On Tour: March – November


2. femous - surfing on soundtracks

Célia Mara (Brazil), The Snow Owl (Columbia) Courtney Jones (Trinidad-Tobago ) Sweet Susie (Austria)
“Surfing on soundtracks” is a specially designed Music Program, exploring the world of Movie, TV and Commercial Soundtracks, presenting creative compositions by the artists. Brazilian award winning singer-songwriter Célia Mara developed together with femous director Silvia Jura a surprising show, where the borders between “hits of the century”, creative Brazilian Bastardsound and Sound Art on E-bass are dissolved… The project is driven by an “all star band”, featuring Célia Mara, The Snow Owl – actually one of the world best bass-Players, Courtney Jones – internationally touring Calypso percussion master and DJ Sweet Susie, the lady on the desks…
“femous- surfing on soundtracks” is a project by femous: 360° women in music to promote the wide range of female creativity and present female artists and producers on an international scale.

File under: Film music, Soundtracks, Nu-Brazil, Latin, Sound Art, DJ
Formation: 4 on stage + 1
On Tour: March – November


3. The Orquestra Voadora featuring Célia Mara

The Orquestra Voadora is the emerging Brazilian brass Band! Born in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, during the carnival, the exploding energy and the transcultural approach of the project are bringing the 15 artists already on top of the Brazilian Live-Scene, performing continously on great locations in Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo.
Always looking to merge the best possible energies, Célia Mara enters into the project… bringing her creativity, her strong vocal performance and her female energy to the all men band! The flight takes you up to the highest energetic levels.
New album to be released in 2012

File under: Brazil / Carnaval Marches, Brazilian Groove, Old Sambas ecc…
Formation: 16 on stage
Travelling: 20
On Tour in Europe: March/April and on demand


Elza Soares meeting Célia Mara
a project featured by femous

Elza Soares is the Grand-Lady of Brazilian Samba, one of the great voices of Brazil, she wrote Brazilian music history… and is always open to new challenges. Her latest projects include cooperation’s with Seu Jorge or Jai Rodrigues.
Célia Mara revolutioned the way of Brazilian Music through her completely intercultural, central-European influenced approach and impresses with her amazing live performances. Certainly, she is one of the most outstanding Brazilian artists in Europe.
The cooperation between these two ladies is pure dynamite! Both have great, impressing voices, are scandalous and amazing performers! No more limits to Brazilian female power!

“Elza Soares meeting Célia Mara” is a project by femous: 360° women in music to promote the wide range of female creativity and present female artists and producers on an international scale.

File under: Nu-Samba, Best of Brazil, female artists…
Formation: 10 – 12 on stage
Travelling: 15
On Tour in Europe: summer festivals


Célia Mara is a powerful bandleader and engaging front woman, giving her soul to the audience through dancing, grooving, entertaining, and having a wild ride on her acoustic guitar. She never fails to impress with her amazing vocal improvisations, which she quickly switches over to beat boxing and sometimes even ascend to trumpet solos. With help from the band, the “Bastardista/SANTA REBELDIA” set-list provides, in the words of Gregory Klemm of Element,
”a beautifully uplifting atmosphere.” Additionally, it involves the listeners completely in the Célia Mara world of sounds, in-between a smoothly groovin’ ambience of good mood and hot and spicy phases of global ecstasy.

Célia Mara performed during the last years with the bastardista live-project throughout Europe, presenting her eclectic shows on all kind of different festivals and locations - from huge Afro- or Reggae festivals to exclusive Jazz festivals, from real underground clubs to the most prestigious national concert halls.
Mara presented her songs on “fightin‘ for a better world”-mega open airs in Berlin, on top of “Trio Eletrico‘s” during carnival in Brazil and even in the famous Vienna Opera House, at legendary Jazzfest Wien...

For spontaneous live sessions, Bastard Sound joined as great artists as Joe Zawinul, Olodum, Think of One, Magou & Dakar Transit with Célia Mara.

Some festivals :
Jazzfest Wien/A, Africa Festival/Würzburg/D, Jazz á Carthage/Tunis, Zeltival/Karlsruhe/D, Sabor de Samba/Offenburg/D, National palace of Culture/ Sofia/BG, Mujeres en el Mediterraneo/Granada/ES, Interzone Festival/Novi Sad/SER, CSD/ Berlin, Ethnoland/Moscow/RU, Sunsplash & Jazz@ Wiesen/A, Festival del Mediterraneo / Genova/It, Ethnotronica/Moscow/RU, Spançirfest/Cr ecc…

• Hot Couture Do Samba, 1998
• Necessario, 2000
• Bastardista, 2005
• Santa Rebeldia, 2008

Célia Mara is a guitarist and singer-songwriter from Brazil who combines funk, samba, rock, electric-tango, and Nu-bossa into sophisticated, vibrant and socially aware pieces. Her passionate singing has led Healer Selecta, of the United Kingdom’s reason2b, to label her as “the best Brazilian international underground artist.” Mara defines herself as “bastardista”: a mixed, female-made hybrid that violates race, gender and class structures but her sound is that of “nu Brazilian flavor”, presenting a Latinized version of multicultural world music.

Mara was born in Pedra Azul, a small town in Minas Gerais, and has grown up in a climate of political oppression and censorship during the military dictatorship. At the age of 16, she started translating her experiences into songs for voice and guitar. The sound of Tropicalia highly influenced Mara’s musical development and she called upon such artists as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Mercedes Sosa to be her sonic role models.

After touring Brazil for the subsequent few years, Mara was invited to perform in a small festival in Switzerland. Her experience touring abroad led her to move to Europe in order to pursue a career as a performer of Brazilian music. In Austria, she discovered the local jazz and ethno scenes, which both helped her music molt again, this time into a Samba-Jazz-Funk fusion.

In 1997, she released her debut-album, “Hot Couture do Samba”, which exposed her to various new opportunities at music festivals and on the radio. With her band PotênciaX, a group of Austrian jazz-instrumentalists, she presented her independent style of Samba meets funk and jazz: original Brazilian grooves mixed with sophisticated instrumental interpretations from within the European musical context. In 2000, Celia Mara was selected as the “Best World Music Artist” in the Austrian Concerto Poll.
In 2001, she released “Necessário”, a melancholic collection of Brazilian MPB anti-war songs, dedicated to social purposes, supporting an educational project in Rio de Janeiro.

She produced her album “Bastardista” between 2004 and 2005, with the help of her keyboarder Geri Schuller and mixer Pogo Michael Kreiner. The record brought her an export award from the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and to the Top 10 of the European World Music Charts, it was ranked various times among the “best of the year, best of the week” selections in different countries. The album is a fascinating mix that provides a trip through samba, tango, afoxé, bossa nova, forro, and reggae.

At the root of the music lies a marriage between traditional Brazilian rhythms and European underground instrumental grooves. The lyrics, sung in Portuguese, English, German, Spanish and French, are urban poems that sing the voice of migrations and provide communication without any borders. All the tracks on “Bastardista” are songs dedicated to the crucial questions of being, that is, love, religion, and politics. Their diverse influences come together to establish a cultural individuality within the global community.

Célia Mara has currently published her new album entitled “Santa Rebeldia.” Produced between 2007 and 2008, Mara has been working on it between Vienna, Barcelona and Salvador / Bahia. Santa Rebeldia is bastardista’s logical evolution, bastard sound out of the Brazilian Diaspora, an intercontinental journey, ironical, sensual, rebellious and fresh. Célia Mara disrespectfully surfs between musical styles and rhythms, plays effortlessly with the infinite reservoir of Latino-music, joins easily Retro-Brazil, Tango and traditional Afro-Brazilian grooves, mixes Nova MPB and Samba with Funk, Reggae, Balkan-folk, Glamour Rock and HipHop. Finally, she shakes all together into a Viennese electronic concept.
“Brash, confident and assured" headlines the ***review in UK’s Songlines. “…this is the sound of Nu-Brazil by way of Vienna…”

Text courtesy: Modiba Publishing / USA & globalista: no border media

Célia Mara

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