Pianist and vocalist Eliane Elias is known around the world for combining her love of jazz with the music of her native Brazil. She recently visited our studio with her husband, bassist Marc Johnson, to talk about her engagement this weekend at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and reminisce about her journey in music.
Classically trained on piano, Elias was a child prodigy. By age 15, she was teaching at one of São Paulo’s top music schools; by 17 she was touring with the legendary Brazilian musicians Toquinho and Vinicius De Moraes.
Her album Made In Brazil celebrated 50 years of Bossa Nova, and won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. Her latest release, Dance of Time, marks the 100th anniversary of the first samba ever recorded, and features some of the artists who played important roles in her development.
This Friday and Saturday in the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Eliane presents a two-part performance, ‘Eliane Elias: From Bill Evans to Brazil.’ One half of the concert will be her tribute to Evans, a formative hero; it will feature Johnson and drummer Joe LaBarbera, who were members of the last Bill Evans Trio. The other half, drawing from Made in Brazil, will feature Johnson and two Brazilian musicians: drummer Rafael Barata and guitarist Rubens de La Corte.