Vocalist Fabiana Cozza, one of the rising stars in Brazil’s music scene and a strong presence in São Paulo, fits right in with Wachovia Jazz’s worldly approach. Passionate, optimistic, and versatile, Cozza’s singing and performance style epitomizes the type of open-minded, ever-expanding attitude that Spoleto’s jazz fans have developed over the years.

“Music has been in my life since I was a baby,” Cozza says. “When I was 19, my father told me about the free university of music in São Paulo, and he encouraged me to do a test to sing. I passed, started studying technical singing, and fell in love.”

Cozza first played professionally in 1996 when she was 21, singing in the vocal group Novella, led by the great Brazilian vocalist Jane Duboc. These days, she’s being invited to sing with acts from all over the world. “In Brazil, I’m known as an interpreter of samba and a young singer who translates the spirit of the Afro-Brazilian music. I’m proud of it, because it’s a rich universe.”

In recent years, she’s collaborated with musicians, composers, and arrangers from all corners of the globe. But her heart and soul remain in Brazil.

“I hope to sing better by listening and learning with other reference artists, especially with the ones who make a mix with different rhythms as I do,” she says.

Cozza’s new 15-song collection Quando o céu Clarear (“When the Heavens Clarify”) is a colorful blend of Brazilian, Cuban, Caribbean, and African styles. She focuses on a variety of samba and Afro-Brazilian music, including samba-de-roda, ijexá, and congo-de-ouro.

“It is a documentary of my music life,” she adds, “with people who make part of my artistic world.”

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