Brazilian jazz vocalist and pianist Tania Maria’s career has spanned over three decades, starting when she was just 13 and she fronted a band of professional musicians organized by her father, who was a metal worker and gifted amateur musician. He had encouraged her to study piano so that she could accompany him on his weekend jam sessions, but her musical talent grew beyond those small performances.
Maria’s four sisters also had musical talents, but they eventually grew from their impoverished roots to become professionals, a path that Maria was on herself as well. She attended law school for two years, then married and had a family. The pull of music was too strong, however, and in 1971 she released her first album in Brazil, Olha Quem Chega.
In the late ’70s she moved to Paris and expanded her career, touring internationally. A date in Australia brought her to the attention of guitarist Charlie Byrd, who hooked her up with Carl Jefferson, head of Concord Records. The label provided her with her first international commercial success with her 1984 album Come With Me, and continued to record her music and issue it to an international audience.
Based in New York since the ’80s, Maria still sings the pop and blues-influenced music that brought her fame, releasing several albums in the ’90s. Her first album of the new millennium, Viva Brazil, was also released by Concord Records.