Home » Jazz Musicians » Flora Purim

Flora Purim

For those who know Flora, an introduction is unnecessary. Her music has interwoven the life fabric of anyone with a passing interest in Latin and American jazz music for over 25 years.

Her once-in-a-generation six-octave voice has earned her two Grammy nominations for Best Female Jazz Performance and Downbeat magazines Best Female Singer accolade on four occasions. Her musical partners have included Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie and Airto Moreira, with whom she has collaborated on over 30 albums since moving with him from her native Rio to New York in 1967.

Her musical genius was inbred thanks to a Russian émigré father who played violin and a mother who was a talented pianist in her own right. Before leaving Brazil to escape the repressive military regime of the time, she had mastered piano and guitar and liberated an exhilarating vocal talent.

In New York, she and Airto became central to the period of musical expression and creativity, which produced the first commercially successful Electric Jazz groups of the 70s.

Blue Note artist Duke Pearson was the first American musician to invite Flora to sing alongside him on stage and on record. She then toured with Gil Evans about whom she says, this guy has changed my life. He gave us a lot of support to do the craziest stuff. This was the beginning for me. Her reputation as an outstanding performer gained her work with Chick Corea and Stan Getz as part of the New Jazz movement that also contained the nurturing influence of sax man Cannonball Adderley.

Shortly after, Flora started in earnest to re-educate discriminating musical minds, after linking up with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Joe Farrell to form "Return To Forever" in late 1971.

Two classic albums resulted - "Return to Forever" and "Light as a Feather" - nodal points in the development of fusion jazz. When Chick decided to drive further still down the electric road, Flora and Airto chose their own path. Airto by this time had already begun to create his own legend by playing with Miles Davis in 1970, before helping to found the jazz wellspring that was "Weather Report".

Her first solo album in the US, Butterfly Dreams was released in 1973, which put her right away to the Top Five Jazz Singers on the Downbeat Magazine Fame Jazz Poll.

Flora went on to contribute to some of the greatest recording of the seventies - Carlos Santana, Hermeto Pascoal, Gil Evans, Chick Corea and Mickey Hart all benefiting from her vocal and arranging skills. In the mid-Eighties, Flora and Airto resumed their musical partnership to record two albums for Concord - "Humble People" and "The Magicians" for which she received Grammy nominations. In 1992 she went one better by singing on two Grammy winning albums - "Planet Drum" with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart (Best World Music Album) and the Dizzy Gillespie "United Nations Orchestra" (Best Jazz Album).

Read more

Tags

Monday Michiru
voice / vocals
Amber Chiang
voice / vocals
Shiri Zorn
voice / vocals

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

If You Will

Strut Records
2022

buy

Butterfly Dreams

Milestone
2007

buy

Speak No Evil

Virgin Records
2003

buy

Perpetual Emotion

Narada Jazz
2001

buy

Flora É M.P.M.

Narada Jazz
2001

buy

Similar

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.