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  • HB
  • Sep. 3, 2008
  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic Presents an Exploration of Brazil’s Finest Musical Export Through the Decades With Special Guests Maria Rita, Elaine Elias, Anna Maria Jopek, Ivan Lins, Marisol Montalvo, Kenny Rankin


    Corporate sponsor: Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts; Media sponsor: 88.1 KJAZZ

    Emerging in the late 1950s as a strategy by Brazil’s youth to attract members of the opposite sex, Bossa Nova has since entranced the world with its sultry disposition. Mixing the sounds of samba with cool jazz and syncopated guitar rhythms, Bossa Nova comes to life at the Hollywood Bowl with musical director Oscar Castro-Neves and special guests Maria Rita, Elaine Elias, Anna Maria Jopek, Ivan Lins, Vince Mendoza, Marisol Montalvo, and Kenny Rankin.

    One of the world's most complete musicians of his generation Oscar Castro-Neves emerged in the early 1960s as one of the founding figures of the musical movement that became known worldwide as Bossa Nova, or “new trend.” Renowned as a composer and arranger for his sophisticated harmonic concepts and the exquisite texture and color of his orchestrations, he is equally well known for his distinctive guitar style and as an accomplished record producer who has worked with dozens of major artists in a wide range of jazz, popular, Brazilian and classical idioms.

    Bossa Nova at 50 features the beautiful vocal interpretations of singer/songwriter Elaine Elias; Czech jazz singer Anna Maria Jopek; one of the leading voices of Brazil’s MBP movement Ivan Lins; daughter of Bossa Nova darling Elis Regina and composer/arranger Cesar Camargo Mariano, Maria Rita; legendary songwriter, guitarist and world-class singer Kenny Rankin; and internationally acclaimed soprano Marisol Montalvo.

    Vince Mendoza, known for his scores and arrangements for big band, extended compositions for chamber and symphonic settings, conducts a 40-piece orchestra.

    OSCAR CASTRO-NEVES was born May 15, 1940, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of triplets in a highly musical family. At the age of sixteen, Castro-Neves’ first recorded song, "Chora Tua Tristeza," became a national hit in Brazil and generated over fifty covers recorded by various artists. Following his U.S. debut, Oscar and his quartet toured with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, the Stan Getz Quartet, the Lalo Schifrin Trio and the Laurindo de Almeida Quartet. In 1962, a year before "The Girl From Ipanema" became a Top 10 hit, he helped lead the Bossa Nova invasion of the U.S., playing a central role as a performer and accompanist for other noted Brazilian musicians at the historic presentation of Brazil's new music at Carnegie Hall. In 1971, he joined Sergio Mendes' Brazil '66 group as the featured guitarist, music director and vocal coach, recording over fifteen albums. Among the many highlights of his tenure in the U.S. have been collaborations with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Elis Regina, Flora Purim, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Henderson, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Stan Getz, Eliane Elias, João Gilberto, Lee Ritenour, Airto Moreira, Edu Lobo, Toots Thielemans, Paul Winter, Diane Schuur, Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, Ottmar Liebert, Lisa Ono and countless other Brazilian, jazz and pop music stars. As an arranger and orchestrator, he has worked on many motion pictures, including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, L.A. Story, Sister Act II, House Sitter, He Said, She Said, Getting Even with Dad and Larger than Life. He composed and performed the music for the Julia Louis-Dreyfus TV series Watching Ellie and produced the television special Reflections through a Brazilian Eye for KCET, which was nominated for an Emmy Award. Oscar is a featured artist on the PBS series, Legends of Jazz, which will air nationwide in 2006. As a solo artist, Oscar has recorded many albums, including Big Band Bossa Nova, Tropical Heart, Maracujá, Brazilian Scandals, More Than Yesterday and Oscar. As a music director, Oscar directed for seven years a night of Brazilian music at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, which boasted a regular attendance of over 14,000 people. The globally broadcast television special Tribute to Jobim, with Herbie Hancock, Shirley Horn, Gal Costa, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and other jazz and Brazilian music stars, was produced under Oscar's musical direction. He composed and conducted the musical revue Brazilian Scandals in Paris, France and has overseen music productions for theatre in Los Angeles. Oscar has served as a governor of the Los Angeles chapter of NARAS, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which presents the Grammy Awards. Although a permanent resident of the U.S. for over three decades, he remains well known and widely respected in his native land. Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso honored Oscar by appointing him an officer of the Order of Rio Branco in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the dissemination of Brazilian culture and music around the world. And he continues to be invited to participate in major made-in-Brazil music productions, including the recent DVD releases Coisa Mais Linda, a documentary on the history of Bossa Nova, and Bossa Nova Concert, an all-star performance feature Oscar and such Brazilian music icons as Marcos Valle, João Donato and Carlos Lyra. He is currently working on a new DVD project featuring contemporary singers performing Bossa Nova classics. As a solo artist, Oscar has recorded many albums, including Big Band Bossa Nova, Tropical Heart, Maracujá, Brazilian Scandals, More Than Yesterday, and Oscar. Today associated with Mack Avenue Records, Oscar has recorded Playful Heart and, his current release, All One, for the label. "I drink from many founts," Oscar says metaphorically, explaining his insatiable desire to explore the widest possible realm of music influences. On All One, as he has demonstrated throughout his career, the logic of his artistic wanderlust becomes abundantly clear once again. The album documents the inherent music genius that has made Oscar Castro-Neves one of the world's most complete musicians of his generation

    ELIANE ELIAS is known for her distinctive and immediately recognizable musical style which blends her Brazilian roots, her sensuous, alluring voice with her impressive instrumental jazz, classical and compositional skills. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Eliane Elias started studying piano at age seven and was transcribing solos from the great jazz masters at twelve. At fifteen she was teaching piano and improvisation at one of Brazil’s most prestigious schools of music. In 1981 she headed for New York and in 1982 landed a spot in the acclaimed group Steps Ahead. Her solo career, initiated by her first album, Amanda (1984), spans over eighteen albums to date. In 1988, she was voted Best New Talent by the jazz critic’s poll of JAZZIZ magazine. She was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Jazz Solo Performance category for her 1995 release, Solos and Duets . This recording was hailed by Musician Magazine as “a landmark in piano duo history,” as it featured duets with Jazz great Herbie Hancock. Considered one of the great interpreters of Jobim’s music, Ms. Elias has been featured on many concert tributes to Jobim and recorded two albums solely dedicated to the works of the composer. In 2002 Ms. Elias signed to RCA Music Group/Bluebird label and released Kissed by Nature. Her second recording for the label, DREAMER, released in 2004, is a fresh mix of tunes from the American Songbook, Brazilian Bossa Novas and two new originals, all sung in English and Portuguese, supported by a full orchestra.

    ANNA MARIA JOPEK is a classically trained pianist and graduated from Chopin's Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. After briefly studying in Manhattan School of Music's Jazz Department Anna decided not to play Mozart concertos and trade her beloved Ravel for Keith Jarrett. With 14 albums to date, Anna Maria Jopek performed and recorded with artists like Joe Lovano during the Jazz Jamboree International Festival 40th Anniversary Gala and Bobby McFerrin in July of this year at the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days festival. In 2003, Jopek was invited by the First Family to perform a broadcasted recital featuring pop icon, former King Crimson frontman, Gordon Haskell. She is the recipient of many Polish prestigious awards and Michel Legrand's Personal Award in Witebsk in 1994 and appeared at Carnegie Hall in 2004. Her latest project features a team of musical greats from around the world, Oscar Castro-Neves, Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen, Tunisian oud player and vocalist Dhafer Youssef, soprano saxophonist Branford Marsalis, vocalist Richard Bona, percussionist Mino Cinelu, Manu Katche and Christian Mc Bride. “Please do not file my music under jazz,” says Anna Maria Jopek, “I embrace a lot of influences. Jazz is by far the most important in its freedom, its harmony and its sense of time.”

    A Self-taught musician, IVAN LINS reached his first success toward the end of the ’60s, writing hits like “Madalena” (launched by Elis Regina), “O Amor é o Meu País” (used for a long time as the boarding music by the national Brazilian airline company, Varig), and “Dinorah” (presented by George Benson in the best-selling recording Give Me the Night). Lins is also known for the soundtracks he composed for many Brazilian films and soap operas. He founded his own group, the Piramidal Quartet, with Aldir Blanc on drums, Cesárius Alvim on bass, and Luis Cachaça on flute. They played instrumental themes and occasionally performed at the Jovem Theater of Rio. Here, Ivan was noticed by the vocalist Nara Leão, who realized that his destiny was tied to composition. At the beginning of the ’70s came the success of “O Amor é o Meu País” (The Love is My Country) and the beginning of his association with lyricist Ronaldo Monteiro de Souza. Many artists the world over have interpreted songs by Lins: Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Sarah Vaughan, Chucho Valdés, Betty Carter, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Burrell, Toots Thielemans, Manhattan Transfer, and George Benson, to name only some of them. In 2000 a tribute album was released, A Love Affair-The Music of Ivan Lins (Telarc). It won the 2001 Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal for the song “She Walks this Earth” (Soberana Rosa) interpreted by Sting.

    VINCE MENDOZA has been at the forefront of the Jazz scene as a composer and recording artist for the last 20 years. His latest CD, Epiphany features his compositions for the London Symphony Orchestra. Mendoza's arranging has appeared on many critically acclaimed projects that include dozens of albums and projects with song writing legends such as Joni Mitchell, Björk, and Elvis Costello. He has 2 Grammy awards and 13 nominations and is the orchestral voice behind the score to Lars van Trier's film Dancer in the Dark. Mendoza has also written commissioned compositions and arrangements for the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Debussy Trio, the L.A. Guitar Quartet, the Koln Radio Big Band, the Berlin Philharmonic and the BBC. His music has been featured at the Berlin Jazz Festival. He has performed major works at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals. Mendoza actively conducts concerts of his music in Europe, Japan, Scandinavia and the UK and is the Music Director and chief conductor of the Netherlands Metropolis Orchestra.

    Le Monde calls MARISOL MONTALVO “a true revelation” exclaiming that “The American soprano possesses real stage and vocal presence, and executes the exhausting role with incredible intensity” following performances at the Opéra National de Paris. Montalvo has received equal praise for performances within a wide range of operatic repertoire and a strong collaborative relationship with Christoph Eschenbach and the Philadelphia Orchestra, having previously joined the orchestra for Pintscher's Herodiade Fragmente at Carnegie Hall and both the Pintscher work and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on its European tour in 2006. Her performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the orchestra will be released on CD. She joined Sir Neville Marriner and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Mozart concert arias at the Hollywood Bowl, the Orchestre de Paris for Dalbavie’s Double Jeu, Orchestre Colonne for Chaynes’ Pour un monde noir, Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk Orchester for Halffter’s Brecht Lieder at the Desau Music Festival and Strasbourg’s Festival Musica for Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder and Benjamin’s A Mind of Winter.

    In a remarkable recording career that spans three and a half decades, KENNY RANKIN has established an impressive set of creative credentials, as an insightful songwriter, a distinctive guitarist and, above all, a world-class singer possessing an uncanny ability to cut straight to a song's emotional heart. Rankin's songwriting talents have been widely recognized by his peers. Other Rankin compositions have been covered by a diverse assortment of artists. Growing up in the multicultural hotbed of New York's Washington Heights neighborhood, he absorbed a broad array of musical influences, from Afro-Cuban to Top 40, Jazz and Brazilian. As a teenager, the budding artist signed with Decca Records and released a handful of singles. A few years later, he signed with Columbia Records, and found himself playing guitar on Bob Dylan's landmark 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. Not long after, he performed on The Tonight Show, whose host Johnny Carson became such a fan that he contributed liner notes to Rankin's 1967 debut LP Mind Dusters, which introduced his much-covered pop standard "Peaceful." That album's mix of original tunes and outside material would continue to yield rewarding results on such subsequent releases as Family, Like a Seed and Inside. Rankin's 1975 album Silver Morning featured a popular reworking of The Beatles' "Blackbird" that so impressed Paul McCartney that he asked Rankin to represent himself and John Lennon when they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. 1976's much-acclaimed The Kenny Rankin Album was recorded live in the studio, and teamed the singer with a 60-piece orchestra arranged and conducted by the legendary Don Costa to create what many now consider the first contemporary torch album. He ended a long break from recording in 1995 with a pair of albums: Professional Dreamer, a collection of standards, and the Brazilian-flavored Here In My Heart, both for the Private Music label.

    The daughter of two icons of Brazilian music, Elis Regina and Cesar Camargo Mariano, MARIA RITA started her professional career when she was 24 years old. Now in her 30’s, she does not think it was too late. “To find yourself in this world is a hard task,” says the Rita, who graduated in Social Communication and Latin American Studies in the U.S. Her first CD, Maria Rita (2003), sold over one million copies around the world. In 2004, Rita was awarded the Latin Grammy in the Revelation of the Year category, Best Popular Brazilian Music Album and Best Song in Portuguese-“A festa.” Her sophomore set, Segundo took the singer for a long tour in Brazil as well as international shows including Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Irving Plaza (NY) and the San Francisco Jazz Festival, among others. In 2007, Maria Rita launched her third CD Samba Meu, produced by Leandro Sapucahy.



    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    Jazz at the Bowl Series


    OSCAR CASTRO-NEVES, musical director

    ELIANE ELIAS, special guest

    ANNA MARIA JOPEK, special guest

    IVAN LINS, special guest

    MARISOL MONTALVO, special guest

    KENNY RANKIN, special guest

    MARIA RITA, special guest

    VINCE MENDOZA, conductor

    Corporate sponsor: Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts

    Media sponsor: 88.1 KJAZZ

    Tickets ($1- $95) are on sale now at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034