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Joyce Moreno (who long performed simply as Joyce) is a globally renowned singer, composer, arranger, and guitarist from Brazil. Declared "one of the greatest singers" by composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, her sound is at once sophisticated and welcoming, cutting across samba and bossa nova, to MPB, jazz, and Brazilian folk forms. In 1967, her song "Me Disseram," caused national controversy when she became the first Brazilian songwriter to compose in the first person feminine form. Her recording career has resulted in more than 35 albums and 400 original songs that have been recorded by some of the world's greatest singers and musicians. 1980's Feminina is widely considered a classic for its joyous celebration of the feminine experience, while future award winners Água e Luz and Tardes Cariocas underscored that approach. During the 1990s Music Inside and Línguas & Amores appeared from Verve while European DJs and producers exposed her older music to a new generation. She signed with Joe Davis's London-based Far Out Recordings in 1996 and they reissued Tardes Cariocas, setting off an international race to re-release her catalogue. She issued 1998's Hard Bossa, 2001's Gafeira Moderna, 2004's Just A Little Bit Crazy, and 2007's Samba Jazz & Outras Bossa (the latter in collaboration with husband, drummer Tutty Moreno) all won international acclaim. 2015's Raiz offered bossa and samba standards, while 2016's Cool took on American jazz standards. 2020's Fiz Uma Viagem celebrated the songs of Dori Caymmi. In 2021 she issued the collaborative single "Casa Que Era Minha" with Ivan Lins and Marcos Valle. Joyce was born Joyce Silveira Palhano de Jesus in Rio de Janeiro on 31 January 1948. Her birth parents had separated shortly after her birth and she was adopted by her mothers actual first husband and raised alongside his two older sons from a previous relationship. Raised in Zona Sul (Posto Seis, Copacabana), Joyce studied at Colégio São Paulo, a Catholic elementary school in Ipanema. At fourteen, she began playing guitar by watching her older brother Newton who, in addition to being a bank teller, and law school graduate, was an accomplished guitarist and friend of bossa-nova musicians like Roberto Menescal and Eumir Deodato. Her home was frequented by well-known musicians including Luiz Carlos Vinhas, Leny Andrade, the brothers Castro Neves, and many others. As an adolescent Joyce became familiar with and absorbed all the latest trends in bossa nova. At 16 in 1964, she made her first recording as a member of a vocal group, on the LP Conjunto Sambacana. In 1966 she passed a university entrance exam to study journalism, and began her first formal musical studies with Jodacil Damaceno (classical guitar and technique), then with Wilma Graça (theory and voice). The following year, while still in school, she entered her song "Me Disseram," in the II Festival Internacional da Canção in Rio. Its first line (translated) was "They already told me/that my man doesn't love me...." The song's lyrics -- written in the feminine first person --caused great controversy. That view was previously unheard or even considered in popular Brazilian music. The 19-year-old composer was criticized as "vulgar and immoral" by some journalists (all men), while others, including the great Nelson Motta and Fernando Lobo, defended her "feminist posture." At the time, Joyce had no idea what that was. She was simply writing to express herself in her own gender the way her idols Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf had; she refused to change a thing. Unwittingly, Joyce had opened a new door in Brazilian music and culture that many women followed her through. She signed with Philips and issued her self-titled debut Joyce in 1968. Produced by Armando Pittigliani, and arranged by Gaya and Dori Caymmi, its liner essay was penned by Vinicius de Moraes. It included five of her songs and six more by friends including Marcos Valle, Caetano Veloso, Toninho Horta, and Ronaldo Bastos. The album failed to chart simply because the set contained "Me Disseram," which was still wildly controversial among some critics who seemed only too happy to carry water for the repressive ruling military junta. Encontro Marcado followed in 1969, with arrangers Caymmi, Gaya, and Tamba Trio's Luiz Eça; while considered a legendary album now, it failed to chart upon release. Joyce graduated with a degree in journalism from PUC-Rio in 1970. That year, he was part of the Sagrada Familia group, led by Eça, and spent two months in Mexico, playing at the Hotel Camino Real. Upon returning from the tour, she married composer Nelson Angelo from Minas Gerais, who was also a member of the group. Between 1970 and 1971, she, Angelo, Novelli, Toninho Horta, and Naná Vasconcelos, formed and performed in the vocal and instrumental group A Tribo, even recording an EP tracks titled Posições for EMI/Odeon including "Caqui," "Adeus Maria Fulô," "Nada Será Como Antes," and "The Man from the Avenue" After formally signing with the label in 1972, she teamed up with her husband for the album Nelson Ângelo & Joyce. She had become a mother and given birth to two daughters Clara and Ana in 1971 and devoted the next several years to their care. Joyce and Angelo separated in late 1974, and the following year she returned to music after an invitation from Vinícius de Moraes to replace guitarist Toquinho in his touring band proved so successful, she was invited to remain in de Moraes' group after the original guitarist had returned. During the tour she met italian producer Sérgio Bardotti who agreed to helm sessions for her next recording, 1976's Passarinho Urbano. Joyce recorded songs by Brazilian composers censored by the military dictatorship; among covers were also originals by Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, Edu Lobo, Maurício Tapajós and de Moraes. The following year Joyce traveled to New York to play a six month residency. There she committed herself to record the album Natureza in partnership with composer Maurício Maestro. It was produced and arranged by Claus Ogerman and featured American jazzmen including Michael Brecker, Buster Williams, and Joe Farrell, but was never released. It contained original songs by Joyce that would later become iconic in her career, such as "Feminina" and "Mysteries." Only two tracks from these sessions ever emerged on compilations. By 1979, Joyce's had met jazz drummer Tutty Moreno who was also working in New York. They fell in love and returned to Rio and have been together since. At the time her songs were being covered by top tier performers including Nascimento, Elis Regina, Maria Bethânia, Nana Caymmi, and Quarteto em Cy, to name scant few. The success of her compositions by better-known voices interested EMI-Odeon to the degree that they signed her to her own deal. In 1980, placed her song "Clareana" -- a lullaby dedicated to her daughters Clara and Ana -- in the year's annual Brazilian Popular Music Festival broadcast on TV Globo. She also released the album Feminina. Its title track and "Clareana" acted as guidepost singles for the rest of the now iconic album; its first person narration offered an intimate, multi-dimensional, elegantly rendered aural glimpse of the complexities of feminine experience. Unlike the incidents in nthe 1960s, Feminina was a charting radio and sales success; it marked Joyce's first major, supportive media exposure and became a international hit. The album also inspired countless Brazilian and Latin American women artists in its wake, and is now considered a classic. The 1980s were prolific for Joyce. She issued the charting Água e Luz, in 1981, that featured virtuoso accordionist Sivuca and netted the top ten single "Monsieur Binot." In 1983, the Tardes Cariocas on her newly formed Feminina label won the Chiquinha Gonzaga award for best independent release. 1985's top 10 Saudade do Futuro included Nascimento on the hit single "Tema Para Jobim." Joyce also contributed to tribute recordings, long a staple in Brazilian popular music. In 1986 she recorded songs for Wilson Batista: Samba Foi Sua Glória, Tom Jobim: Anos 60 in 1987, and "Negro Mais no Coração" in 1988, a tribute to Vinicius de Moraes, and issued her own Joyce Live to close out the decade. She received invitations to perform at festivals in Moscow, Japan, France, and Belgium. With her international career running full tilt, Joyce recorded two albums for Verve for U.S. release. 1990's Music Inside featured American jazzmen Kenny Werner and Marvin "Smitty" Smith in its studio cast, while 1991's Línguas & Amores was recorded in New York with an international cast that included Gil Goldstein, Bob Mintzer, Jon Hendricks, and Moreno. Co-produced Joyce and Tony Battaglia, it charted in Europe. During the '90s, the dance-oriented "new bossa" or "drum'n'bossa" movement was exploding in left field clubs across Europe. DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Nicola Conte and Gerardo Frisina were turing a new generation on to the vintage sounds of bossa, samba and MPB and combining them with beat science. Joyce's early tracks became pillars of their sets. In 1994 she issued Revendo Amigos, a collection of her hits sung by other performers. That same year she issued the intimate collection of sambas entitled Delírios De Orfeu arranged by Mario Adnet for Bomba and appeared at Carnegie Hall as part of its tribute to the recently departed Jobim. In 1996, Joyce released Ilha Brasil, her first of all original material in several years. She was invited to New York again to perform in the Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards --among its cast of performing luminaries were Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, and James Brown. That year, Far Out Recordings' Joe Davis came calling. After he licensed and reissued Tardes Cariocas which won over an entirely new generation of fans; he also signed the artist to a record deal. In 1997 Joyce published a memoir chronicling her personal, behind-the-scenes recollections and observations of the MPB scene Fotografei Você na Minha Rolleyflex (MultiMais Editorial). It was published to rave reviews. It was reviewed so positively and sold so well, the newspaper O'Dia hired her. She spent the next two years writing a weekly column. Moreno finished out the decade with two acclaimed albums, 1998's Astronauta: Cancões de Elis for Blue Jackel that placed the singer alongside American jazz musicians including Joe Lovano, Mulgrew Miller, Renee Rosnes, and her own band. A tribute to singer Elis Regina, Joyce recorded only songs closely associated with her or written for her including her own "Samba Pra Elis," co-composed with Paulo César Pinheiro. In 1999 she issued Hard Bossa, her debut recording for Far Out, initiating an international renaissance for the singer. During this period her songs began to appear regularly on film and television soundtracks, including the American films The Player and Legally Blonde. The 21st century saw Joyce immersed in a whirlwind of activity. In 2000 she issued Tudo Bonito on Sony, her first collaboration (of several successive ones) with pianist/composer Joao Donato. She followed a year later with the glorious Gafieira Moderna on Far Out and Biscoito Fino in Brazil. Joyce and Moreno finally married in 2001 after decades of common law union; they spent their honeymoon touring. In 2003 she released the acclaimed Bossa Duets album with Sony, followed by the global hit Just a Little Bit Crazy, backed by Banda Maluca (led by pianist Bugge Wesseltoft). It was released by Far Out everywhere but Brazil, where it was issued by Biscoito Fino. The widely celebrated outing was followed by a live DVD documenting its supporting tour. In 2004, Joyce was presented with an Lifetime Achievement International Press Award; a U.S prize given to Brazilians who project the positive images of the country abroad. She released the collaborative Rio-Bahia with Dori Caymmi for Far Out in 2005. She and Tutty shared billing for the first time on the excellent Magica in 2006 and followed it with Samba-Jazz & Outras Bossas in 2007. The following year she issued the live CD/DVD combo package, Ao Vivo. In May of 2008, Joyce curated the 50 Years of Bossa Nova at London's Barbican Centre, where she not only performed, but also presented earlier generations of bossa novists including Roberto Menescal, Wanda Sá, Carlos Lyra, Marcos Valle, João Donato, Dori Caymmi - and neo bossa novists Celso Fonseca, daughter Clara Moreno and guitarist/songwriter Vinicius Cantuária. In July, their show honoring bossa-nova at Blue Note Tokyo initiated a special on Fuji TV in Japan. In 2009 Joyce issued no less than four recordings. Far Out released the archival Visions of Dawn, a long lost album recorded with Naná Vasconcelos (percussion) and Mauricio Maestro (bass, electric bass, producer) in Paris in 1976. It was followed by another archival outing in Celebrating Jobim with the WDR Big Band, which was recorded in 2007 and released exclusively in Japan. Aquarius featured new material from the duo of Joyce and Donato, and released exclusively by Japan's Toy Factory. Finally, Slow Music, a Grammy-nominated collection of ballads and love songs. That year Joyce also insisted on billing herself as Joyce Moreno going forward. In January 2010, Moreno's updated memoir -- now entitled Aquelas Coisas Todas Musica Encontros Ideias -- was republished in January. She toured almost incessantly during the year before working as music director (and performer) on the national television series No Compasso da História. Its 15 hour-long documentary films by director Leila Hipólito and and screenwriter Fátima Valença retold the nation's history via its popular music. Moreno also initiated the sessions that became the globally acclaimed solo guitar and voice outing Rio de Janeiro (Far Out) in 2011. Though primarily a collection of songs about the city written by some of Brazil's greatest composers, and includes the originals "Meu Rio," the first song she composed at 14, and "Puro Ouro,' a samba, dedicated to Bamba Cariocas. That December Moreno participated in the recording of the concert "Mario Adnet - Vinicius e os Maestros,", a symphonic reading of the work of Vinicius de Moraes with his musical peers including Claudio Santoro, Pixinguinha, Moacir Santos, and Baden Powell. She followed it with 2013's Tudo on Far Out, a collection of bossas, sambas, and jazz ballads performed by her trio with Tutty Moreno on drums and percussion, and Hélio Alves on piano. In 2015 she issued Cool. Performing with her trio and bassist Rodolfo Stroeter, she offered readings of a dozen Tin Pan Alley and jazz standards done in her inimitable style, and sung primarily in Portuguese. To celebrate her 50th anniversary as a recording artist, she released Raiz (translated Roots) in January of 2015, a collection of iconic bossa and samba standards with her trio. It also featured her mentor, guitarist and composer Roberto Menescal accompanying on her readings of his classic songs "O Barquinho" and "Nós E O Mar." In 2016 she teamed with old friend American jazz pianist and composer Kenny Werner on Poesia for the Pirouet label. He appeared on both of Moreno's Verve albums and toured Japan with her in 1991. He remains her first call pianist whenever she is in New York. They delivered 13 intimate duos comprised of American and Brazilian ballads. That year she also issued Palavra E Som, a collection of 13 originals and co-writes juxtaposing bossas, sambas and jazz ballads performed solo. Dori Caymmi joined her in a duet on the track "Dia Lindo." Issued on Japan's Rambling Records label (it appeared from Biscoito Fino the following year with a four part promotional video on You Tube). In 2018 she released Argumento: Canções de Sidney Miller Ao Vivo No IMS in collaboration with singer/guitarist Alfredo Del-Penho on the Karup label. The album celebrated the work of composer, producer, and museum curator Sidney Miller (1945 – 1980) in concert. The duo revisited 12 songs from the composer's first album, including the classics "O Circo," "Isso Aí," "A Estrada eo Violeiro." In 2018, Moreno also released 50 for Biscoito Fino, a 13-song set of new material completely performed by her quartet and other jazz musicians. The tune "Ave Maria, co-written with the band Equale, offered not only conventional instruments, but added electronics and a choir. Moreno cut Fiz Uma Viagem (Songs of Dorival Caymmi) for Rambling Records in 2017. Though that year, it went out of print quickly in Japan. Biscoito Fino reissued it in 2020 to widespread acclaim across Brazil, South america and Europe. In May 2021, Moreno collaborated with old friends Ivan Lins and Marcos Valle to record and release the single "Casa Que Era Minha."
© Thom Jurek /TiVo
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