Leny Andrade, often known as the primary girl of Brazilian jazz, dies at 80

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Leny Andrade performs at Birdland in New York in 2008. Andrade died on July 24, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Photographs conceal caption

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Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Photographs

- Leny Andrade, often known as the primary girl of Brazilian jazz, dies at 80

Leny Andrade performs at Birdland in New York in 2008. Andrade died on July 24, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Photographs

Leny Andrade, often known as the primary girl of Brazilian jazz, has died in Rio de Janeiro. Andrade was a percussive, samba-driven improviser, an interpreter as worldly-wise as Édith Piaf and a consummate nightclub artist. With a thick, husky voice seasoned by cigarette smoke and late hours, Andrade sang torridly of affection; she might additionally swing as onerous as any American jazz singer. Her profession spanned 65 years, throughout which she made followers of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie and plenty of extra illustrious contemporaries.

Andrade died of Lewy physique dementia on July 24. The information was shared with NPR by Eliana Peranzzetta, who, along with her husband, the arranger and pianist Gilson Peranzzetta, had cared for Andrade for a number of years. She was 80.

“As a singer Leny was an distinctive musician,” says the revered Brazilian pianist, arranger and composer César Camargo Mariano, with whom Andrade collaborated on two albums. Paquito D’Rivera, the Grammy-winning reed participant, saluted her on his 1990 composition “For Leny.” She impressed Vitor Martins, considered one of Brazil’s foremost lyricists, to write down the music “Cantor da Noite (Nightclub Singer)” together with his famend companion, the composer Ivan Lins. With Andrade in thoughts, Martins described a voice like a laser beam, “getting nearer, nearer … coming into my contented coronary heart as if I have been going to be completely satisfied endlessly.”

Born in Rio on January 25, 1943, Leny de Andrade Lima studied classical piano for a decade at her mom’s behest. She was adequate to win a scholarship to the Brazilian Conservatory of Music. However in 1958, a brand new sound, bossa nova, enchanted {the teenager}; she instructed her aghast mom that she was quitting classical music to enter pop.

Her ambitions have been sealed when she heard the wordless, instrumentalized jazz vocalizing often known as scat. The singer was Dolores Duran, a younger Brazilian star and an early songwriting companion of Antônio Carlos Jobim. Guided by her half-brother Dudu, a sax and flute participant, the still-underage Leny started singing in golf equipment. One in every of them, Beco das Garrafas (Bottles Bar), positioned in Copacabana, was well-known as a cradle of the bossa nova.

Andrade’s first album, made in 1961, discovered her singing gradual, romantic samba of a bygone period. However on her second LP, A Arte Maior de Leny Andrade, made with the trio of a prime bossa drummer, Milton Banana, she discovered her voice. “Leny was by no means a bossa nova singer,” notes composer Carlos Lyra, one of many music’s creators; she sang bossa not with its trademark featherweight lilt however with the forceful swing of her American idols — Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae.

In 1965, Andrade and a preferred baritone crooner, Pery Ribeiro, fashioned Gemini V, a bossa group. It took them to Mexico, the place Andrade wound up residing for nearly seven years. She fell in love with the heated sensuality of boleros, which grew to become a staple of her repertoire. And when Fitzgerald and Vaughan got here to Mexico, she acquired to know them each.

After years of mid-level success in Latin America, she made her long-dreamed-of U.S. debut at New York’s Blue Be aware in 1983. However solely in 1992, when she performed her first of a number of engagements on the Ballroom, a Manhattan cabaret, did her stateside profession take off. Fueled by raves in The New York Instances and elsewhere that heralded her as a hidden gem of Brazilian jazz, Andrade packed the membership. One backstage picture exhibits her with Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett and Peter Allen.

Her songs have been nearly all in Portuguese, however her generally salacious humor, voiced in gradual, deliberate English, made her audiences roar and her musicians blush. Introducing her 31-year-old keyboard participant João Carlos Coutinho, Andrade moaned: “This black hair … the arms … the legs … this mouth!” She set free an orgasmic squeal.

In love with New York, she stored an condominium there for years as she toured the nation; Andrade even sang on the Hollywood Bowl. She launched CDs at an awesome charge; the perfect of them embody tributes to 2 samba legends, Cartola and Nelson Cavaquinho, and an homage to Ivan Lins & Vitor Martins.

The voice heard on these albums is actually smoky; her cigarette behavior, begun on the age of 21, had seemingly made her voice even richer. Lins tells the story of a duet they recorded in 2002. “She arrived within the studio and took out her cigarettes. Any individual mentioned, you’ll be able to’t smoke within the studio.” Andrade tried to sing, and out got here a strangled croak. “She went outdoors and smoked two cigarettes. She returned — and she or he sang like a chook. If she did not smoke she could not sing.”

Finally she stop, however in Might 2016, as she was strolling onstage for the concluding present of a run at Birdland in New York, Andrade tripped and fell. She sang in excruciating ache. Different falls adopted. Almost two years later, on the Sheraton da Bahia within the Brazilian metropolis of Salvador, she performed considered one of her final engagements. Performing seated, she gave an extended, amusing account of her mishaps, explaining, “Eu quebrei a minha bunda.” (“I broke my ass.”)

In 2018, her buddies Gilson and Eliana Peranzzetta organized to maneuver Andrade from her condominium in Rio to an artists’ retirement village.

In 2023, Gilson produced and performed on a ultimate Andrade recording, Jobim and Dolores Duran’s “Por Causa de Você.” The singer lived out her days in her tiny cottage with a full-time aide. True to the plea she voiced on the finish of her exhibits — “Be completely satisfied, please … be completely satisfied” — Andrade instructed Sérgio Luz of O Globo: “I’m at peace right here. I nonetheless sing, however the story should sooner or later finish, sure?”


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