Born: 1977 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Catarina Dos Santos is a fusion of the arts. An arranger, composer, lyricist, guitarist and percussionist, she also has a degree in a visual art, Painting. To understand Catarina's style, mix a little bit of jazz and pop with some Brazilian music. Then sprinkle some Puerto Rican music influence on top of a blend of Portuguese, Cape Verdean and Angolan rhythms. The finishing touch on these sounds is her smooth yet powerful voice, and in the Spring of 2009, she released her debut record, entitled No Balanço do Mar showcasing all of her abilities.
Born in 1977 in Barreiro, Portugal, Catarina was exposed early on to a diversity of culture, people and music. This area nurtured strong intercultural relationships between the Portuguese, Angolan and Cape Verde cultures. She learned exactly how to express a unique and new sound that incorporates the expression a Portuguese-Afro-Brazilian world of rhythm and melody, but with a contemporary twist on the sound. After dabbling in guitar and ballet lessons, she earned a MA degree in Painting from the University of Fine Arts in Lisbon. But starting in 1997, she began to perform with her first band Edworld a fusion of jazz and pop, all original music. This would be just the beginning of her performing career, one that spans multiple continents, venues and genres.
Catarina attended from 1999 to 2003 the Jazz School Luis Villas Boas in Lisbon, as well as the Conservatory of Music. She was selected to represent the school at the So LuÌs Jazz Festival (Lisbon) in 2003, and invited to be part of the faculty, teaching Vocal Ensemble, Improvisation and private voice lessons. She continued to perform with her jazz quintet and others, including the Hot Club Big Band and the Portuguese traditional music group At-Tambur, while touring throughout Portugal. She also performed Angolan music, and was featured at RDP Africa, a radio station based in Lisbon that plays music from all over Africa.
For the past six years, Catarina has called New York City her home. She continued her musical education by attending The City College of New York, graduating Suma Cum Laude and earning multiple awards and scholarships from the school for her musical ability. She studied orchestration at the prestigious Julliard School in New York City, and performed with the Julliard Choral Union in distinguished venues such as Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center.
From 2004 to 2007, Catarina was the lead vocalist of an internationally-renown band called Nation Beat - playing a blend of North Eastern Brazilian rhythms such as Maracatu, Coco, Baio, with the New Orleans Second Line, and funk. This band was the start of Catarina's close relationship of work and friendship with artists from Recife, Brazil. In 2006 the band records their first cd, Maracatuniversal on which she was the lead singer and percussionist. In 2007 she performed at the prestigious North Eastern Brazilian festival, Porto Musical. The band traveled throughout the U.S., playing in famed venues such as Blue Note, Joe's Pub, Sweet Rhythm, Satalla, Makor and SOB's.
Since then, Catarina has performed and collaborated with Emmy-Award winning artists and has quickly made a name for herself as one of the most sought after artists in the Latin music scene. She has studied and performed with musical masters from Brazil such as Dona Duda Cirandeira, Mestre Nan (Samba Galeria do Ritmo), Dona Aurinha do CÙco, Mestre Salustiano, Cila do CÙco, Jorge Martins and Corpos Percussivos, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca. Other wonderful musicians that have been part of Catarina's musical career are Montego Joe, Desmar Guevara, Oriente Lopez, Los Pleneros de la 21, among others.
Catarina has recently been a part of the Pregones Theatre Music Ensemble, based in the Bronx, where she was a soloist for the World Premier of the 2008 Multicultural Music Encounters, featuring The Ponce Massacre by the composer Desmar Guevara. With Pregones Theatre, she was also part of the production Game Over, and most recently she was a soloist on the World Premier of Cantata a Pales, music by Desmar Guevara and Taller Sica.
Her two main projects are Catarina dos Santos band, where she plays her original music, and Tambor de Tres, based on a partnership between musicians from Portugal, Angola and Sao Tome e Principe. Most recently she was invited to perform at the CINEPORT Festival in Joo Pessoa, Brazil.
Her love of music has also led her to dedicate much of her time to sharing her talent and knowledge through education. Catarina teaches vocal instruction, percussion, composition, Afro-Brazilian dance as a Teaching Artist for Young Audiences (NY). She also teaches at the Third Street Music School Settlement, the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Bergen Academy of Music (NJ), NY Public Schools, Syracuse University (NY) and University of Florida. Catarina focuses on enlightening students through music and the performing arts, especially those in lower-income neighborhoods.