Jandira SilvaJandira Silva's talent can be clearly heard in each of the eleven tracks on her album ‘Festa de um sonho bom!’

Jandira Silva was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the 8th October 1976.  However, when she was just 4 the family decided to move to the neighbouring state of Espírito Santo, which is where she spent her formative years. Childhood holds some of the best memories for Jandira, a time set aside for fun with toys, healthy outdoor activities and being in contact with nature, climbing trees, swimming in the river or under a waterfall.  The freedom of picking fruits directly from trees, walking through the open fields and drinking fresh natural milk from a cow was as natural as singing. Jandira sang everything she heard on the radio and television and also at church during Sunday service. With the same talent and enthusiasm she displayed in the school playground or on the porch of the house, she sang songs while her cousin played the guitar. She knew all the songs, even those in other languages: "even though I didn't understand English at the time, I was good at imitating and replicating the songs" she said. The radio was her friend at home and provided company for her at all hours.
At age 9 the family moved once again, this time to the coast, bringing a period of great change and financial difficulty for them all. "Life was not easy, but my parents made sure that school was a priority. I studied in the morning and when I returned home from school, I helped my parents.  When it came to doing my school homework, the radio was always on, but my parents would always switch it off as I would be singing along rather than focusing on my work." she recalled.  Jandira’s first performance came at aged sixteen with classmates. At that time, her passion for music was already recognized in the community. "When the church needed someone to sing, they would always ask me to perform" she added.

Leaving school at 17 Jandira’s first job was working in a school office while at home she continued to help with the chores. At night, though, she would go out searching for venues with live music and musicians who would give her a chance to perform with them, mostly in local bars; "I begged and pleaded with the bands to give me the opportunity to sing at least one song. So, when the venue was almost empty they would let me sing a song, but what they soon realized was that the audiences were really enjoying of my vocals and kept requesting for me to sing more and more songs..." she recalls. Around this time she met Marcão, leader of the group "Boca do Lixo", a musician in the nearby town of São Mateus. With Datan Coelho on flute they put together a repertoire of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) with songs from Elis Regina, Marisa Monte, Adriana Calcanhoto, Elba Ramalho, Marina Lima, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and João Bosco. This musical collaboration became highly successful in the local area and they were soon participating in music festivals in the cities of São Mateus, Pedro Canário and Alegre, winning a number of awards along the way. At the same time Jandira began to participate in other local projects, to singing with trio “eléctrico” bands and forró pé-de-serra.

After a while, though, Jandira began to feel restricted and wanted to broaden her horizons in order to develop musically as well as to grow as a person so, in 2000, she left Brazil and headed for Portugal. She actually worked as a cleaner in a hotel for the first two weeks in Portugal, however it wasn’t long before she got a contract singing on a cruise ship to Ibiza. From there she went from strength to strength, singing and charming her audiences and musicians too! While on the cruise she met pianist Francesco Meo and the singer José Bravo who gave her the opportunity to work with them both on her return to Lisbon. She started singing in the Dom Pedro Hotel, as well as clubs and bars such as Sarabanda, Porcão, Chafarix and Speakeasy, where she started her first solo band project, affectionately called "Picolé" with the pianist Mário Reis, bassist Nelson Oliveira and drummer Hélio Cruz.

Jandira researched other styles of Brazilian music that helped her to connect with artists such as Tom Jobim, Joyce, Rosa Passos, Dianne Reeves, Leny Andrade and many more. While building her repertoire she was able also meet and start work with other musicians, among them José Cabeleira with whom she began singing at the prestigious Casino do Estoril. This lasted from 2001 to 2006 and it is where she first developed a passion for Jazz. At the same time, in 2002 she became a resident singer at the Four Seasons Ritz Hotel, Lisbon, along with pianist Victor Zamora.

In 2004 the José Cabeleira band, became the resident band on the daily Portuguese television show, "Sic 10 Horas", presented by Fátima Lopes. Jandira soon joined the band and became a resident singer on this prestigious morning show for two years, her daily appearances, highlighting her ability to interpret different styles, singing in Portuguese, English and Spanish.  Also at this time Jandira began to perform with her own band at Onda Jazz, a prestigious live music venue in Lisbon.

However, Jandira still felt the need to expand her musical horizons and so, in 2006, she decided to move to London. Starting again and making new contacts was not easy, however it was only a matter of time before she started performing in established venues such as Guanabara, Quaglino's, the National Theatre and the 606 Club. Gradually, she established her presence on the London music scene. Building her contacts in both the Brazilian and local community of musicians she began working with the likes of Mandinga, Viramundo, Soul Fiesta Band and the 606’s resident Brazilian band “Samara”, once again increasing and enriching her repertoire. In December 2008, initially with Gili Lopes on bass, Marius Rodrigues on drums and the pianist Chico Chagas, she started an innovative project best described as an infusion of Brazilian music with a hint of Jazz. This soon lead in 2009 to invitations for the band to participate in various Festivals in and around London, including the Hampton Court Festival, the Windsor Jazz Festival and the Regent's Park Jazz Festival. In October 2009 Chico left to go back to Brazil and the pianist John Crawford and guitarist Guillermo Hill joined the band, creating the line up which is still current today.

As well as Clubs and Festivals the bands itinerary also includes performances on cruise ships to the Spanish coast, Morocco and the Middle East. Whenever she returns to Lisbon she performs at Speakeasy, now with Gabriel Godoi on guitar, Markus Britto on bass, Milton Guru on drums, pianist Victor Zamora and Michele Ribeiro.

And finally 2012 sees Jandira’s dreams come true with the launch of her first Album ‘Festa de um sonho bom!’, comprising 11 tracks including songs by Tom Jobim, Hugo Fattoruso and Bill Withers. Most notably the album also includes four tracks that she herself co-wrote, a fact that she is both excited about and just a little proud!  Her collaborators on the album included Netto Pio, Marcelo Andrade, Ernesto Leite, Gladston Gallicia, John Crawford and the album was produced, arranged and mastered by Cláudio César Ribeiro, a Brazilian musician living in Portugal.

The influences Jandira has accumulated over the years have enabled her to produce an eclectic album with a diverse blend of Brazilian styles and rhythms. As she says "The album ‘Festa de um Sonho Bom!’ is a labour of love and sincerity, it has everything to do with what I like and I hear in my daily as well as incorporating my many influences".

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