Rita Ribeiro performs a wide range of styles, including reggae, samba, funk, as well as regional forms from her native state. Rita was born June 13, 1966 in São Benedito de Rio Preto, a city in the interior of Maranhão. At the age of five she moved with her family to the port city of São Luis do Maranhão, a city known for its rich local folklore.
The tenth of eleven children, she grew up in an environment filled with parties, festivals and music. She devoted herself to music at an early age and quickly became one of the leading figures on the local MPB (popular Brazilian music) scene.
Rita now lives in São Paulo. She works regularly with other leading artists such as Zeca Baleiro and Chico César as part of what is being called the neo-tropicalismo movement.
Tropicalismo was the name given to the revolutionary pop music movement of the late sixties and seventies that made legends of Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso and Tom Ze, among others.
Her self-titled first album was a huge underground success and established Rita as a voice to look out for in the future. Pérolas Aos Povos, her second album, earned tremendous critical acclaim in Brazil. Rita’s interpretation of the folkloric music played in the streets of São Luis and small interior towns is an important part of her work. São Luis is often called the capital of Brazilian reggae, and the style is so ubiquitous it is practically considered a local tradition. Other songs, the less regional ones, are the result of Rita’s interest in music from other origins. Urban music from São Paulo, the Caribbean, West Africa and Afro-Brazilian traditional styles are all part of her musical mix.
Rita does not restrain her talent with one or two genres. Her repertoire has space for a traditional samba, ballads, reggae, Afro-Brazilian religious music and more.