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Maria Viana

Maria Viana was born 17 March 1958, Lisbon, Portugal. She is the daughter of famous actor and painter, José Viana; and his first wife Jujú Baptista, a Brazilian singer and actress. 1979 was the anmus mirabilis for the young lady, as Jazz critic and missionary, José Carlos Monteiro Costa (who is no longer with us, but still occupies a very important place in Maria’s affections), wrote in Diário de Not�-cias:

‘One summer night was in the Lisbon Sheraton at the opening of a painting exhibition of a friend of mine. Descending afterwards to the bar for a beer I heard someone singing, It Had To Be You, with a voice that gripped me from just the first few bars. The beautiful tone was one of the best I’d ever heard. There was moreover a great feeling for tempo , balance , emotion. I asked who it was and was told that she was a Portuguese called Maria who loved to sing. Happily I was able to talk to her and later provided with standard material from Ella, Billie, Sarah, and Anita O’Day. The only thing I could do after that was to introduce her to the producers of Cascais Jazz Festival, Luis Villas-Boas and Duarte Mendonça who took an immediate interest in her, arranging for rehearsals and jam sessions.’

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