Alessandra Leão
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Alessandra Leão

Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
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Music

Press


"David Bayrne"

"If this material is any indication, '08 is going to be a great year for music.” - http://www.davidbyrne.com/radio/archives/ 2008.php#january_08


"UIRAPURU AWARD"

The album Brinquedo de Tambor is on the 2006 Top Ten Best Records list of the Urirapuru Award, created by a Brazilian music magazine called O Dilúvio. - O DILUVIO


"Bruno Nogueira"

Alessandra Leão's voice is the best among the regional category from Pernambuco State music. - from the newspaper Folha de Pernambuco


"José Teles"

“Both a traditional and innovator album.” - from newspaper Jornal do Commércio


"Renato L"

Alessandra Leão has a beautiful voice, smooth and powerful, at the same time. With a handmade care, she explored the sounds of African, Brazilian-African and Latin-African heritage.” - form the newspaper Diário de Pernambuco


"Juarez Fonseca"

“ … Alessandra adopted the ancestral sound of traditional singers; her voice is big and almost ragged, rustic. She sings over an instrumental foundation like you’ve never heard before, a polyphonic conception…” - Jornal ABC - Porto Alegre, BR.


"Ricardo Anísio"

“Singer, instrumentalist, composer, and researcher of folk music. All of this is summed up in one name: Alessandra Leão.” - Jornal União - João Pessoa, PB


"Arthur de Faria"

“Alê is a force of nature… Everything that many young samba singers try to emulate, she is.” - www.woofertime.com


"Eu Ovo"

“Alessandra Leao … is able to modernize very traditional music without taking away the regional tone.” - www.euovo.com.br


"Ricardo Anísio"

“This is music for dancing and listening, for thinking about tradition and evolution. All made with love for the seeds, resulting in fruit without blemishes.” - Jornal O Norte


Discography

"Dois Cordões" - unsigner, 2009
"Brinquedo de Tambor" – unsigned, 2006 (www.myspace.com/alessandraleao)
"Folia de Santo", unsigner, 2008
"Peso Leve (Geraldo Maia)", unsigner, 2008
"Projeto Quadrante, A Pedra do Reino" - Som Livre, 2007
"Samba Sala" (Monica Feijo) - unsigned, 2005
"Segura o Cordão" (Tine) – unsigned, 2004
"Comadre Florzinha" (Comadre Florzinha) - CPC Umes Recods, 1999
"Tocar na Banda" (Comadre Fulozinha) - YB, 2004
"Loa do Boi Meia Noite” (Chao e Chinelo) - unsigned, 1999
“Reiginaldo Rossi” - Mangroove Records, 1999
“Baião de Viramundo” - Candeeiro Records, 2000
“Por Pouco” (Mundo Livre) - Abril Music, 2000
“Bate o Manca” (Silverio Pessoa) – unsigned, 2001
“Antologia do Pastoril Profano” - unsigned, 2007.

Photos

Bio

Alessandra Leão is a percussionist, songwriter and singer from Pernambuco, Brazil. In 1997 she started her career in the band called Comadre Fulozinha and worked with musicians as Antônio Carlos Nóbrega, Siba, Silvério Pessoa, Zé Neguinho do Coco, Kimi Djabaté (Guinea-Bissau), Florencia Bernales (Argentina), and others.

In 2006, Alessandra started a solo career with the praised CD Brinquedo de Tambor, produced and arranged in partnership with the ‘viola’ player, songwriter and arrangement producer Caçapa. The CD “Brinquedo de Tambor” was considered one of the top 10 CD in 2006 by the Uirapuru Award, promoted by the magazine “O Dilúvio” (Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil). In January 2008 the American musician David Byrne recommended two of its songs in his play list. In 2007, it was selected by Programa Rumos Itaú Cultural, in what they call “Cartilha Mapeamento” (mapping book).

The project of the second solo CD, “Dois Cordões” (which means two strings), was one of the winners of Petrobras Cultural Program and sponsored by Petrobras through the Federal Law of Cultural Aiding. Produced and arranged by Caçapa and released in 2009, “Dois Cordões” has among its co-workers: Jorge Du Peixe (Nação Zumbi-Brazil), Kiko Dinucci, Florencia Bernales (Argentina) e Victoria Sur (Colombia).

In 2004, Alessandra Leão conceived and coordinate a collective project called Folia de Santo, that has as fundamental purpose to write songs based in traditions linked to the “popular Catholicism”. The CD named after the project was released in December 2008, while shooting the DVD.

Three years ago came to light to some privileged ones the debut album of Alessandra Leão (Pernambuco, Brazil), Brinquedo de Tambor. The first CD from the former musician of the Comadre Fulozinha yields its roughness, revealing also a surprising songwriter with a rare and refreshing way in handling traditional music from the coast and Zona da Mata region of Northeast Brazil. The more immediate reference would be the friend Siba and his Fuloresta do Samba, that hide, them too, behind ancestral sonorities a radical presentness.

In “Dois Cordões”, the idea of the arrangements and the sonorities (the work of the producer/arrangement producer/player Caçapa) is inseparable from the final result: a combination 100% new of the timbres/tones of the three electric guitars (6, 7 and 12 strings), in almost never harmonic beddings, but complex polyphonic ways. Vibrant and sonorous webs that owe tribute to the European savant counterpoint studies and fugue as well as to attentive listening of the African music masters, equally polyphonic and non-harmonic.

This careful web of instrumental voices is connected to earth – not by chance – by a mystical (mythical) a set of three ilus: drums used in Xangôs (named by which Brazilian Afro religion is known in Pernambuco). And this is the CD frame. A little bit more, just to spice it up: a little tambourine, some caxixis, talking drums, güiro, ganzá, and eventually some chorus.

All that wouldn’t be more than a curious experiment if, over this tissue, Alessandra’s voice didn’t float like avis rara. A voice sometimes sweet and youthful, but, other times, filled with an ancestral joy that echoes the simple people from Brazil Northern and Northeastern regions – people that sings because they can’t sing.

But what does this voice say? About what writes this unique songwriter that opens her wings in this earthy soil and hovers over the world? About universal feelings, about dramas that anyone can live? She speaks about (be) partner, about duality, about arrivals and departures. She speaks about Ogoun and Iemanja. About love and violence, fire and sea, tradition and contemporaneousness. Africa and America, electric and acoustic.