By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last night (February 15th) at the 58th Grammy Awards, the Brazilian pianist and singer Eliane Elias won a Grammy for the best in the Latin jazz category with the album “Made in Brazil”. Released on March 31st 2015, the album is the 24th for the artist, but the first recorded in Brazil, as she had moved to the United States in 1981.
“I am so happy to share with you, my dear friends, that Made in Brazil just won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. Thank you so so much for your endless support. I love you all.” Elias said on her social media accounts. The artist was reportedly in Brazil during the ceremony, and was represented at the Grammy awards show by her daughter, Amanda Brecker.
Other contenders in the category were, “Impromptu” by The Rodriguez Brothers (U.S.), “Suite Caminos” by Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Cuba), “Intercambio” by Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet (U.S.) and “Identities Are Changeable” by Miguel Zenón (Puerto Rico).
Born in São Paulo, Eliane Elias started studying piano at age seven and at age twelve was transcribing solos from the great jazz masters. Her performing career began in Brazil at age seventeen, working with Brazilian singer/songwriter Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes, and in 1981, she moved to New York.
In an interview with Keyboard Magazine last year to support the new album, Elias explained “I studied a great many jazz pianists who all influenced me at different times and for different reasons, from Art Tatum to Wynton Kelly to Bud Powell, and beyond. When I was seven years old, my mother sent me to study piano. She played classical piano but she loved jazz. I progressed very quickly. By the time I was ten, I was so in love with jazz I was making my parents crazy!”
Her first album release was a collaboration in 1984, and soon after her solo career began, spanning over twenty albums to date. She is known for her piano playing and arranging, and vocal interpretations. Eliane’s most current album, Made in Brazil was also nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in the “Best Engineered Album” category.