Celia Malheiros's music is unique. A prolific composer, songwriter, multi- instrumentalist and impressive singer, Celia is self-taught, eclectic, rooted in the myriad of folkloric sounds of her native Brazil and equally immersed in the universality of the music from her adopted country – American jazz.
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, since early childhood Celia was immersed in the world of Candomblé (an Afro-Brazilian religion), the schools of samba, bossa nova, choro, baião, frevo and indigenous music, as well as Tropicalia and political revolutionary movements. By the age of 18, Celia was completely supporting herself through music – she composed, she played at festivals, theatrical productions, nightclubs, radio and TV shows, she scored films, taught music and led bands performing her music.
After moving to the States, she began to perform and compete in San Francisco’s popular street carnaval, and garnered many music awards. For thirteen years, she was the musical director, arranger, and performer of the Brazilian All Star Big Band at San Francisco’s annual Carnaval Ball, featuring such performers as Elza Soares, Emilinha Borba and Walter Wanderley. With her own band she has performed throughout the U.S. at venues which include the Monterey and San Francisco Jazz Festivals where she opened for Santana, Tony Bennett, the Modern Jazz Quartet and the late Ray Charles.
For the past seven years, Celia has toured Europe, the U.S., South America and Asia as a solo artist and also with the band, tRIO. She has received commissions by the Wheaton College Choir and Akat Dance Company. Celia gives lectures, clinics and master classes worldwide. She has been a composer in residence at the OMI International Music Program in New York and twice an artist in residence at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
For many years, Celia has been dedicated to bringing the world awareness of the plight of both the indigenous people of the Amazon and the Amazon forest, by doing multi-media shows, compositions and participating in Amazon expeditions. Her latest CD is Amazoom. It is also a one-woman show. Both were inspired by the sacred legends of the indigenous people of the Amazon and both will debut in 2013.
Her recordings are: Sempre Crescendo, featuring Hermeto Pascoal and Cenario Brasileiro featuring João Bosco. Both records, recorded in Brazil, were composed and produced by Celia on her label Sempre Crescendo Music. For each record, Celia brought in over 50 musicians.
The debut CD of tRIO, a collaboration of three composers/musicians, is titled After the Carnaval. The record features Thomas Clausen; piano, Carlos Malta; woodwinds and Celia; voice, guitar and percussion. The CD was produced by Celia for the Danish label Stunt, Sun Dance Music.