Primary Instrument: Vocal
“Her approach to music is absolutely adult and mature. Jacinta is an assertive singer, solid, with excellent expression and musical sense” --All Jazz, Portugal
Critically acclaimed for her “warm, velvety and powerful voice” (Com・rcio do Porto, Portugal), Jacinta won “Best New Artist” honors in 2001 by Cinco Minutos de Jazz (Antena 1 since 1966) and was referred to as “The Portuguese Jazz Singer” by Jose Duarte
“Self-confident and knowledgeable” (Jornal de Noticias, Portugal), Jacinta’s singing has both the fleshiness, that bluesy quality, and also an incredible depth to the swing. Her amazing intonation and vocal command set her apart from the average jazz singer. From classic Bossa Nova and acrobatic Djavan tunes, or from her own Portuguese originals to swinging Monk tunes and soulful jazz ballads, Jacinta reveals a capacity to present a mixture of repertoire that is given structure by her well trained vocal instrument.
Coming from an unlikely background for a jazz singer--delving into classical training in composition and piano, and even heading up a progressive rock group--Jacinta’s boundless musical energies finally found full expression in the field of jazz.
A jazz vocal performance on a popular Portuguese television show propelled her to national fame and jump started her vocal career, eliciting numerous concert appearances.
Jacinta traveled to perfect her craft at the Manhattan School of Music where she was granted a full scholarship toward her Masters degree. Her study of improvisation continued with Chris Rosenberg of the Ornette Coleman Band and Peter Eldridge of the New York Voices.
Still in New York, Jacinta participated in workshops with renowned names of contemporary jazz, such as Maria Schneider, Ed Neumeister, Mark Murphy, Dave Holland and Annie Ross.
Later, during her four year residency in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, Jacinta performed regularly with several musical bands, with whom she appeared at top jazz venues such as Kimball's East and Yoshi's.
In 2001, invited by trumpeter/producer Laurent Filipe, Jacinta sings in a live concert series paying tribute to Bessie Smith. Jacinta was considered by the Portuguese critic as “One of the top vocalists of our day” (Blitz, Portugal), as having “a remarkable presence on stage, confident and graceful” (Correio da Manh・, Portugal), and as owner of a “strong and sovereign voice” (Sete, Portugal).
She is “an inspired and skilled jazz improviser” (Correio da Manh・, Portugal), with an incredible deep sense of groove and swing that is unlike any other singer. The success of this project culminated with its discographic edition on the prestigious Blue Note/EMI Portugal, in February 2003. This album, Tribute to Bessie Smith, reached the Portuguese national top sales and was warded a Gold Record for sales over 25.000 copies, something never before achieved in Portuguese jazz history.
After this big hit in the Portuguese musical scene, Jacinta looked for new ways and new approaches by dedicating herself to several satellite projects such as Jacinta Sings Monk and Jacinta Sings Brazil. In her study of Thelonious Monk music, the singer picks challenging ways preferring a more instrumental approach and highlighting not only the swing but also the angular melodies and the less obvious harmonies.
The project Jacinta Sings Monk was premiered in jazz Quintet format and later enlarged for jazz Quartet with classical orchestra. Amongst the several orchestras with whom the singer worked, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra stands out. In this project, just as noticeable are the directors Gra・a Moura, Vasco Pierce de Azevedo, Rui Massena and the arranger Paulo Perfeito.
The project Jacinta Sings Brazil emerges from the singer's need to explore sonorities and swings which are distinct from the American jazz. Here, the singer revisits and deepens an already experimented style with her American bands. The repertoire of this project is marked mostly by Jobim and Djavan tunes, presented with jazz Quintet.
With this specific program, Jacinta appeared seven nights at the Winter Garden of the S・o Luiz Theatre, selling out every performance. The singer's rhythmic sense stands out once again showing total indulgence and an intrinsic musical knowledge providing the listener with a sense of lightness and great naturalism.
In March 2006, Blue Note/EMI Portugal releases Day Dream, Jacinta's new studio album. This is a new musical phase, where the singer rediscovers Duke Ellington and enlarges her musical spectrum when including tunes of very distinct styles. The greatest challenge came from Greg Osby, saxophonist, arranger and producer of the project, by proposing the inclusion of composers as diversified as Djavan, Cole Porter, Tom Jobim, Duke Ellington, Zeca Afonso, Martin and Monk.
This record could be considered a landmark by the way instrumentalists play and expand creatively, in constant dialog between themselves and with the singer who, in turn, interacts with the band, approaching the melodies with the fluidity of a wind instrument. This approach results in fresh music, marked with a strong mainstream jazz swing but of contemporary flow. Osby suggested the inclusion of adaptations of some of the songs to Portuguese language, in an effort to bring this music style closer to the Portuguese public. In the Day Dream tour, a series of 20 huge box-office success concerts throughout Portugal, Jacinta was enthusiastically welcomed by an euphoric and appreciative audience.
In 2007, Jacinta dedicated herself to new projects, including a homage show to Zeca Afonso (Portuguese traditional singer-songwriter) in Trio format, which resulted in her third album Convexo [the music of Zeca Afonso]. In this new work, Jacinta takes this strongly flavored Portuguese traditional music and transforms it with a cool jazz approach. The new harmonies and the strong rhythmical concept develop these compositions and give them freshness and modernity.
Again, with Convexo, Jacinta sells over 18.000 copies and carries out an amazing 20 venues Tour, around the country, between March and May 2008.
”Convexo reveals an unorthodox repertoire of the author (Zeca Afonso), far from the cliches where Jacinta develops and explores, recreates and expands the music of the author... “
Almanaque in Vis・o
In January 2009 Jacinta premieres a new Project at S・o Luiz Theatre, Lisbon. Songs of Freedom, hits from the 60s, 70s and the 80s, is presented on a jazz club style at the Winter Garden, and is a box office sold out success, selling out 9 nights. Once again Jacinta surprises her audience by working and transforming Pop hits in jazz, in a format of voice, piano and baritone and tenor saxes.
“Jacinta Surprised at S・o Luiz” Antonio Rubio, Correio da Manh
…”Jacinta filled that informal room with people, but not only. The human frame is joined by a loving presence and a powerful voice I did not know. Despite her extensive and pompous curriculum, the singer is of a surprising simplicity. She treats the audience as her own circle of friends. She sings, talks, laughs, recalls, confesses, communicates at each gesture “... Dulce Alves, agre-e-doce.blogspot.com
In July 09 Jacinta makes an 11 day artistic Residency, inaugurating a new Bank space - BES Art & Finance. Here she was the protagonist in various activities like a vocal jazz workshop; a musical coaching session; jam sessions in duet with special musical guests; open rehearsals, and two concerts. With Pedro Costa on piano and Paulo Gravato on Sax, Jacinta presents a freshly renovated Songs of Freedom show to an interested audience of 500 and 700 people respectively.
In Oct, 26th 2009, Jacinta releases on the prestigious label Blue Note, her fourth album--“Songs of Freedom”, with famous themes of the 60s, 70s and 80s by artists like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Bob Marley, The Beatles, Beach Boys, U2, among others. Jacinta reveals all her potential as an interpreter and the full extent of her voice, sometimes portentous, sometimes sublimely delicate and her competence in the parameter of Swing. Here again, daring routes were chosen, in trio format with piano and sax. With this minimalist format it was possible to emphasize the musical riches contained in these songs, developing and exploiting their strong melodic and harmonic structures. Once more Jacinta demonstrates a broad and deep musical knowledge by getting involved and by daring to transform these well renowned pop tunes in jazz. With this new album Jacinta unveils a new aspect of this genre, covering a wider group of people and bringing this style of music, which is so often connoted with the elite and with hard to listen music, to new audiences.
“Jacinta has a voice and style all her own on 'Songs of Freedom'. She puts her unique spin on a diverse selection of classic pop and jazz standards.” - Bruce Lundvall, President of The Blue Note Label Group - Portugal
Bruce Lundvall, President of The Blue Note Label Group
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