Celia Mara

The local world music scene is hard to imagine without the Brazilian singer/songwriter Celia Mara. For the past years, she has consistently been an influential figure and has impressed the Austrian music world with her work, great dedication and international flair. In addition, the singer and guitarist is known to be very outspoken, to vehemently address her thoughts and opinions and to relentlessly denounce momentous issues in her music. The lateral thinker Celia Mara sees herself as an artist at home in different worlds, which have no boundaries, be they national, social or musical. Perhaps the only real punk musician in world music.

Born in the Brazilian City Pedra Azul in 1963, it is above all the music that fascinated her at an early age and has ever since been a part of her life. She states that it is mainly the Samba rhythms, the folkloric music of her home region of Minas Gerais, the well-known and popular telenovela songs and the growing Tropicalia movement that sustainably formed her musical style and thinking. At the age of 14, the singer and guitarist took the stage for the first time.  When she was 18, she drew transregional attention to herself as the first singer of her home region, when she performed at a major national festival in Belo Horizonte. After that it went relatively quickly. Numerous concerts followed in major jazz clubs and appearances at major festivals, which increased her visibility within the shortest possible time.

In the early nineties Célia Mara was finally invited to play at a small jazz festival in Switzerland. The decision to perform there was at the same time the beginning of a new chapter of her career. The singer and guitarist discovered European jazz and was instantly excited. She began playing with European colleagues in various bands, such as Leitieres Leite, which crucially influenced her own style. Through numerous performances in Germany, Austria and Italy Célia Mara finally managed to make a name for herself even far away from her home. She decided to stay in Europe and first selected Salzburg as her new residence. A little later she moved to Vienna.

It is above all her musical approach that knows how to inspire. The expressive and charismatic singer understands how to develop her own style by combining the different musical traditions of Europe and South America into a unified sound. The multifaceted artist has no fear of contact and leads opposites such as Brazilian beats, African grooves bossa nova, reggae, and tango with European game forms of jazz, rock, funk, hip hop and Balkan folklore into a wonderfully seamless whole. The native Brazilian herself calls her mix of styles “Bastard-Sound”, which can be heard for the first time on her solo debut album “Hot Couture Do Samba”, released in 1997.

In 2000 she received the honor of being elected by the readers of the music magazine Concerto as the best World Music Artist. This was certainly not her last award.  A year later she released her second album “Necessário”. This is a collection of popular Brazilian anti-war songs. The big success came with  her album “Bastard Ista” in 2005, which launched Celia Mara in the top 10 of the European world music charts. Furthermore, she received Brazilian Export Award of Culture for her work and commitment. Her most recent album “Santa Rebeldia” was released in 2008. After a short creative break, the singer finally returned in 2010 with the impressive program “Meus Amores”, a collaborative project with the Brazilian legend, guitarist and singer Nelson Angelo. Célia Mara is currently increasingly on the road again. Fans of exceptional world music should be sure to not miss out on the next opportunity to see this extraordinary artist on stage.