Artist Profiles: Renato Braz

Renato Braz

From his birth in 1967, Renato Braz had music in his Sao Paulo home: the romantic boleros and ballads of Roberto Carlos that his mother loved, and the dance music of his father’s native Northeastern Brazil, particularly the baiao developed by singer and accordionist Luiz Gonzaga.

He began to sing at the remarkably young age of five, learning Ronnie Von’s Cavaleiro de Aruanda; and, by his teen years, knew that he wanted to be a singer. Still too shy to be in front of a band, he took up the drums, and began singing while playing them in the bars and clubs of Sao Paulo.

The city’s nightlife served as his conservatory: he met musicians who taught him new ideas, experimented with new material, and gained confidence to make music his profession. Among those he met was Mario Gil, a guitarist and composer who introduced him to some of Brazil’s greatest composers and helped Braz make his first recording in 1996, including two songs by Dori Caymmi.

Braz later attended one of Caymmi’s performances and gave the composer a copy of this CD. Impressed with the depth of the interpretations, Caymmi agreed to arrange the songs for Braz’s second recording, made in 1998 and named for another Caymmi composition, Hist?ria Antiga. Their growing friendship led to guest performances by Caymmi on Braz’s third CD, Outro Quilombo, recorded in 2002.

Later that year, Braz won the second vocal edition of the Pr?mio Visa de MPB in which over 1,000 singers entered and, as part of his prize, made his fourth recording, Quixote. Born to sing, and resolved to sing only from his heart, Renato Braz has emerged as one of the most beautiful and compelling male voices in Brazil.

Discography:

Renato Braz (1996)
História Antiga (1998)
Outro Quilombo (2002)
Quixote (2002)
Por Toda a Vida, As Canções de Jean e Paulo Garfunkel (2006)
Papo de Passarim, with Zé Renato (2010)
Casa de Morar (2012)
Silêncio, with Nailor Proveta and Edson Alves (2014)
Villa-Lobos Superstar (2014)
Saudade, with Paul Winter, Dori Caymmi, Ivan Lins and The Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble (Living Music, 2015)
Canela, with Maogani (2015)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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