2020-21 CAST Virtual Visiting Artist
Brazilian-born vocalist and Grammy winner "organically crosses genre borders"
In this present moment of global pandemic, racial injustice, and the economic devastation of the cultural sector, CAST introduces a new category of appointment for 2020-21, Virtual Visiting Artists. The three distinguished artists—Don Byron, Anat Cohen, and Luciana Souza—bring breadth, scope, and energy to MIT during a period when most learning is online and remote. This new program will draw upon wide-ranging facets of their artistry and cultural heritage and bring expertise in specific musical cultures that are currently underrepresented in MIT’s curriculum.
As a CAST 2020-21 Virtual Visiting Artist, Brazilian-born Luciana Souza returns to MIT to lead a year-long exploration of the music of Antônio Carlos Jobim, and delve into the rich history of cross-cultural exchange that has fueled Brazilian music across genres for generations. Souza will also lead class lectures, masterclasses, small group sessions, and individual lessons to enliven and enrich both the online learning and cultural lives of MIT students during this challenging time of COVID-19.
Previously, Souza and another of South America’s greatest jazz artists, Guillermo Klein, joined the MIT Wind Ensemble, MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, and MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble to create innovative new compositions and arrangements. The April 28, 2017 performance represents the culmination of a semester-long collaboration between Souza, Klein, and three MIT student ensembles. The evening’s highlight was the world premiere of Works on Hope, a newly commissioned work by Klein for Souza and the MIT Wind Ensemble under the direction of Fred Harris. Also performing with Souza and Klein was the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble and the MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which focused their entire spring semester repertoire on music composed or performed by Souza.
The Musical Worlds of Antônio Carlos Jobim
Luciana Souza leads a six-part seminar exploring the music of Antônio Carlos Jobim, delving into the rich history of cross-cultural exchange that has fueled Brazilian music across genres for generations.
Sessions will be streamed live on Zoom here
Session 1: Brazil and the making of Antonio Carlos Jobim
Friday, September 25, 2020 / 1-2pm
Session 2: Early influences and early work
Friday, October 16, 2020 / 1-2pm
Session 3: The birth of Bossa Nova
Friday, November 6, 2020 / 1-2pm
Session 4: North America
Friday, February 26, 2021 / 1-2pm
Session 5: The 70s and 80s
Friday, March 19, 2021 / 1-2pm
Session 6: Jobim’s Legacy
Friday, April 23, 2021 / 1-2pm
Sign up here to receive notice of any changes or additional materials. All of the sessions do build on each other, so attending all six is recommended, but drop-ins are also welcome.
Jazz and Gender: Moving Toward an Equitable Future
March 4, 2021 / 5:00-6:30pm
A conversation with Terri Lyne Carrington, Anat Cohen, Sean Jones, and Luciana Souza
Moderated by Sarah Elizabeth Charles
How do biases in jazz affect women and nonbinary musician’s participation? How do we move toward an equitable future to ensure that the art form reaches its full potential? How do we address the disparity and improve conditions to create a nurturing environment in which musicians on all parts of the gender spectrum can be supported in their education and careers?
Genevieve Dempsey, Lecturer in World Music in Music and Theater Arts
Laura Grill Jaye, Director of the MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Frederick Harris, Director of the MIT Wind Ensemble and the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble and a Lecturer in Music in Music and Theater Arts
MIT Wind Ensemble
MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble
Leslie Tilley, Associate Professor, MIT Music and Theater Arts
Evan Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music in Music and Theater Arts and the Faculty Director of the MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology
Brazilian-born vocalist and Grammy winner Luciana Souza is a major figure in the worlds of vocal jazz and Latin music. She has recorded with Klein, Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon and James Taylor, among others. Argentinian composer-pianist Guillermo Klein is celebrated across the globe for his compositions and recordings with his ensemble Los Guachos. His work has been highly praised in The New York Times, DownBeat and Jazziz. He serves on the faculty of the Sibelius Academy and the Jazz Schule Basel.
Grammy Award winner Luciana Souza is one of Jazz’s leading singers and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Souza’s work transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles. Entertainment Weekly writes, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries.” Souza has been releasing acclaimed recordings since 2002—including her six Grammy-nominated records, Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III, and The Book of Chet. Her latest offering, Speaking in Tongues, is a brilliant collaboration with Lionel Loueke, Gregoire Maret, Massimo Biolcati and Kendrick Scott. Souza has been a prominent soloist in important works by composers Osvaldo Golijov, Derek Bermel and Patrick Zimmeri, performing with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra.
She began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial. She spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music, where she received a Bachelor’s in Jazz Composition. Souza earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at Manhattan School of Music. She has twice been named Best Female Jazz Singer by the Jazz Journalists Association, in 2005 and 2013.
New York Times: Review: Luciana Souza’s Instrument, Her Voice
San Diego Union Tribune: Luciana Souza sings, if not speaks, in tongues
Boston Globe: MIT ensembles tackle innovative works on CD, onstage
Down Beat: Best Albums of 2015
Down Beat: Review: Bigger and Better