Pianist/composer ELIANE ELIAS is known for her distinctive and immediately recognizable musical style, which blends her Brazilian roots with impressive jazz and classical skills.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Eliane Elias began to show musical talent at an early age. She started studying piano at age seven and at age 12 was transcribing solos from the great jazz masters. By the time she was 15 she was teaching piano and improvisation at Brazil’s prestigious school of music, CLAM. When she was 17 she began performing with Brazilian singer/songwriter Toquinho and the great poet Vinicius de Moraes, who was also co-writer/lyricist for Antonio Carlos Jobim. In 1981 Elias headed for New York and in 1982 she landed a spot in the acclaimed group Steps Ahead.
Her first album release, a collaboration with Randy Brecker titled Amanda, came in 1984. Her solo career began shortly thereafter and now spans more than 15 albums. Elias has documented dozens of her own compositions, her outstanding piano playing and arranging, and several beautiful vocal interpretations on recordings that have garnered praise from the critics and topped the Billboard and jazz radio charts.
Considered one of the great interpreters of the music of Jobim, Elias has been featured on many concert tributes to him and recorded two albums solely dedicated to the works of the composer. Attesting to her versatility as well as her dedication to her Brazilian roots is the 2002 collaboration with opera sensation Denyce Graves, The Lost Days. For this album Elias arranged two Brazilian classical pieces and wrote an original composition especially for Graves.
Her many honors include a 2001 Grammy nomination in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble category for her album Impulsive with the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. Elias has been featured in numerous nationally televised concert specials, including the Thelonious Monk Institute’s televised Second Annual Celebration of America’s Music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Piano Grand, a gala celebration for the 300th anniversary of the piano in Washington, D.C. Elias was last at the Bowl in 2004.