VIRGÍNIA RODRIGUES’ 1998 debut recording, Sol Negro, prompted The New York Times to declare her “...the new voice of Brazilian music.” Her second album for Hannibal Records, Nós (“Us”), is a tribute to the carnaval music of her native state of Bahia, in Northern Brazil. Produced by Celso Fonseca and with artistic direction by Caetano Veloso, Nós brings Virgínia’s chamber-samba style to the music of some of the most legendary carnaval groups, including Olodum and Afrekêtê.
Rodrigues became known in the Brazilian musical world in 1997 through Veloso, who heard her voice in a production of the Olodum Theater in her hometown of Salvador de Bahia. The result of that meeting was her debut album Sol Negro, which was well-received and successful, especially in the United States. Rodrigues’ voice has been compared to such diverse artists as Jessye Norman, Cesaria Evora, and Clementina de Jesus.
Rodrigues – a 35-year-old ex-manicurist and domestic from the slums of Salvador – now performs in concert halls in Europe and the United States. She has done three brief tours of the U.S., during which she was the subject of a profile by CBS Sunday Morning and performed on KCRW and on PBS’ Sessions at West 54th, which at the time was hosted by longtime Rodrigues fan David Byrne. She makes her Hollywood Bowl debut at this concert.