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Luciana Souza On JazzSet

At the Kennedy Center's aptly named Family Theater in Washington, D.C., a six-months-pregnant Luciana Souza walked onstage and turned in profile to show off her belly. You'll hear the cheer. This would be her final performance before taking time off to have her baby.

Souza opens the evening by playing a song associated with guitarist and singer Joao Gilberto, saying, "This is a song called 'Adeus America.' It speaks of someone who's been in the States for way too long, and misses Brazil in a certain way that we Brazilians miss Brazil."

The bossa nova style comes naturally to Souza. It's quiet, reflective music that requires close communication between the musicians onstage and the audience.

"The world is so loud and noisy now that it can be a challenge to get people to sit and listen to something quiet," Souza says. "But I have faith they will."

Everyone listens closely as Souza and her trio weave a tapestry of sounds and stories. One of the highlights of the evening is a song that serves as a touchstone for many Brazilians, "Waters of March." The images are so visual, Souza says, that it's as if lyricist and composer Antonio Carlos Jobim had traveled the country, taking photographs along the way.

And there's an original: "You and the Girl" is by Souza and her husband Larry Klein, also a fine musician and the producer of her CD, The New Bossa Nova. Opening the concert, Souza joked that she might deliver her baby right there and then. Three months later, the Souzas became the parents of baby Noah Souza Klein.

Since this concert, Luciana has released Tide -- songs in Portuguese, originals, E.E. Cummings poetry, and a piece Paul Simon gave to her.

Originally recorded May 2, 2008.


Recording and remix by Duke Markos with Big Mo Recording and Yujin Cha.

Copyright 2010 WBGO

Mark Schramm