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Take Five With...

Take Five With Andrea Dutra

By Published: May 6, 2013
I fell in love with soul music, listened to it for years, and sang it for years; researched Brazilian soul music, and wrote my own music. I also had some jazz standards gigs, recorded some albums, never released. Parallel to that, I used to have friends in samba groups, and went out a lot with them in rodas de samba and sang in blocos. In 2001 I joined Arranco De Varsóvia, a samba vocal quartet, where I've been singing for 12 years now.

My solo gig, Andréa Dutra Quarteto has been going on for 12 years now; we play a lot together and after so many shows and gigs and freedom to experiment, we've ended up with a very personal mix of jazz and samba, a very Brazilian kind of jazz.

Your teaching approach:

I don't teach nowadays, but I like coaching.

Your dream band:

Ideal formation: piano, guitars, horn section, bass, percussion, drums.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Went to sing in Paris in a duo, and had arranged to receive the payment before the show. In the morning, the producers stopped by and left the money with my pianist. He called my hotel room. "They paid double," he said. They thought it was that amount for each of us, and not for both!

Once we had a duo gig, piano and voice. It was our fourth show in that venue. When we arrived for sound check, we found out the piano was gone. And they "forgot" to tell us!

Favorite venue:

For an intimate mood, I choose the place I'm resident at, Triboz, a wonderful international jazz club in Lapa, Rio, where the audience loves music and the owner, Australian musician Mike Ryan and his wife Jessica, are great hosts and make everyone feel like they're in a friend's house.

For a big space, Teatro Ibirapuera, in Sao Paulo has an awesome structure and a very professional and gentle staff. Perfect sound and acoustics, and backstage is comfy and artists get nice treats.

For a medium space, Teatro Municipal de Niteroi is a nineteen century jewel, perfectly restored and preserved, with great acoustics and piano. The staff is very sweet.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

I love my recording of Tom Jobim's "Retrato em Branco e Preto," a very difficult and delicate melody that has to be fully respected and sung, requiring technique and dynamics—skills I cherish so much. I recorded it live in studio and managed to respect the sinuous melody while keeping the emotion very high. Driven by the song, with feet on the ground. It's on my Quarteto Moderno album, from 2003.

In my most recent album, Jamba, just released, I very much like my singing on "Obstinada," a very vigorous samba, with clever words to say and real heat to achieve.

Recording "Moody's Mood" was a dream come true, a song to sing forever, always learning. I felt like an adult woman when I listened to it, having had the courage to record it, for better or worse.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
's Offramp.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I don't expect to be modern, to innovate, to change. I have my aesthetic choices, the ones that fit, that suit my idea of the music I want to make. I do this for love; it's fuel to me. In search of beauty, of atmosphere, of nice words and wonderful melodies and great rhythm and sowing it all together. Finding the right team of musicians is the key to make great music, it's a group sport. I can't do it alone.

Did you know...

the first time I heard "There Will Never Be Another You," was in Paris' New Morning jazz club, with Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
1929 - 1988
singing it. Love at first hearing, I learned it immediately. It took me ages to find out what it was; I was only a beginner then, in a pre-web era. I still sing it, 25 years later, and still love it.

CDs you are listening to now:

Nina Wirtti, Joana de Tal, Fina Flor;

Fred Martins, Guanabara (Self Produced);

Sergio Santos, Frico (Biscoito Fino);

Tom Jobim, Matita Pere (Universal/Mercury);

Hamilton de Holanda, Brasilianos (Self Produced).

Desert Island picks:

Bill Evans Trio, Time Remembered (Milestone);

Tom Jobim, Passarim (Polygram/Universal);

Ella Fitzgerald, The Cole Porter Songbook (Verve);

Sergio Santos, Africo (Biscoito Fino);

Banda Black Rio, Maria Fumaca (Atlantic).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?


What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

The taste and time for music

What is in the near future?

The launching of my new album, Jamba, in May, starting off in Rio.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

Shallowness, empty presence, lack of focus.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

"Nasci pra Sonhar e Cantar," by Dona Ivone Lara.

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?

Voice warming-up Exercises

By Day:

I do some writing (reviews, translation, revision, text production) on a freelance basis.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:


Photo Credit Courtesy of Andrea Dutra
Andrea Dutra
Andrea Dutra


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Download jazz mp3 “Mea Culpa” by Andrea Dutra