Born in Bahia State, Brazil, on April 13, 1952, she began playing guitar at age 13 but later focused on singing. The combination of her sweet vocals and rhythmic, percussive guitar is a winning combination. “Well, I think that the love and respect I have for the music when I sing and play guitar can be felt by the audience, maybe that is why it becomes pleasant to the ear, because what I do, I always do for love!”
Passos is an old Jazz at Lincoln Center friend. “My relationship with jazz at Lincoln Center has always been good, since I’ve performed there in 2008; it was wonderful, because I could get in touch with Wynton Marsalis and Ron Carter. Jazz at Lincoln Center is like a jazz temple for me. All the best artists around the globe have already been there. The audience and staff are unique! The memories I have are pretty good, because it was amazing!” she smiles.
Passos will be joined by NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron, a nine-time Grammy Award nominee and one of the most important jazz pianists alive. It will be their first ever performance together, also featuring a swingin’ rhythm section. “For me it is a honor, a historic moment in my career, because he is a living jazz legend who I respect a lot!” says Passos of Barron. “Singing with Kenny Barron is going to be wonderful, because it is an experience I’m living, allowing me to learn more and more, and I’m sure it is going to be an amazing meeting. I’m living with a great expectation that it is going to be marvellous, with Kenny Barron, and my participation with bassist Paulo Paulelli. I’m very thrilled and happy to be able to be there again performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center, especially celebrating 100 years of jazz. I’m feeling completely honoured with this invitation,” says Passos.
Barron’s bio reads, “Honored by The national Endowment for the Arts as a 2010 Jazz Master, Kenny Barron has unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms. The Los Angeles Times named him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world,” and Jazz Weekly calls him “the most lyrical piano player of our time.” Barron consistently wins jazz critics and reader’s polls in such publications as DownBeat, JazzTimes, and Jazziz magazines.
“After five years with Dizzy Gillespie, who hired him in 1962, Barron played with Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, and Buddy Rich. The early 1970s found Barron working with Yusef Lateef, whom Barron credits as a key influence in his art for improvisation. The accomplishment and influence Barron has had on jazz is immeasurable. He continues to be one of the hardest working pianists in jazz today.”
This evening is for Brazilian jazz lovers and lovers of the Jobim Songbook as well as classic jazz fans. Passos says to expect to be uplifted. “It is a different show, because I’m performing in duo with Paulo Paulelli. Voice, guitar, and acoustic bass is very beautiful, and I believe the audience is going to like it because it is very Brazilian with the Brazilian jazz soul in it. Paulo Paulelli is a great musician with amazing skills. I believe that the audience is going to enjoy!”
This article appears in the Playbill program guide for the concert. Visit playbillarts.com
Scott H. Thompson is an international published writer, and jazz publicist.
For more information and the full schedule, visit jazz.org or call CenterCharge at 212-721-6500 for tickets.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office is located on Broadway at 60th Street, Ground Floor. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 12pm-6pm. For groups of 15 or more: 212-258-9875 or jazz.org/groups