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Rosa Passos: The Bossa Whisperer

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If João Gilberto is the male bossa-nova whisperer, Rosa Passos is certainly the female equivalent. There is little biographical material about her online other than she was born in 1952 in the Brazilian state of Bahia and, at 13, she was inspired to drop the piano for the guitar and a singing career after hearing Gilberto and the music of Dorival Caymmi. Still active today, Passos has recorded with jazz artists such as Kenny Baron and Ron Carter, and she has performed in the U.S. multiple times.

Passos began recording in 1978, but many of her albums are pricey or out of print. To give you a feel for her beautiful, tissue-soft voice, here are a few of my favorite Rosa Passos albums up at YouTube. Put them on and relax:

Here's the astonishing Festa, from 1993...



Here's Pano pra Manga (1996), with Chico Buarque on the third track and Ivan Lins on the seventh...



Here's O Melhor de Rosa Passos (1997), a “best of" compilation...



And here's Eu e Meu Coração (2001)...



Bonus clips: Here's a mini doc on Passos recording with Henri Salvador...



Here's Passos earlier this year with Rafael Barata...



And here's Passos at the Berklee College of Music in 2017...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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