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Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | INDIE

Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2004
Band World Acoustic




"Elisete - 'Longing'"

At first listen, Elisete’s second release, Longing (Gaagua’), is a samba- and jazz-fused collection of easy listening songs. It seems like perfect background music for slow nights sipping drinks at a café, or an easy life on sunny beaches. Elisete, born in Brazil, has been living in Israel since 1991. She has picked up the Hebrew language and combined it with Portuguese, which blend gives her music its own unique sound. Her work is a reflection of her experiences in Brazil and Israel, and she takes pride in not only writing the songs but being involved in the production aspects of her music as well. On Longing, Elisete croons about love, overcoming depression and making oneself happy. Her vocals are strong and smooth, mixing well with piano and various string instruments. The album emits good vibes and lots of ever-present Brazilian rhythm. File this one under smooth groovin’ tunes.

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/global_rythm_13_3_07/global_rythm_13_3_07.mht - Global Rhythm / Shavana Wong

"Elisete - Gaagua"

Elisete's second CD Gaagua - Longing - is a smasher: Elisete Retter and her music are a feast to the ear and the eye, and harmonizing food for the soul. Amazing and colourful.
With Gaagua, Elisete, ambassador of Israeli and Brazilian culture, has moved into world music: thirteen composition that bring together a wide variety of styles, such as pop, brazilectro, samba, favela rap, afro-american rhythms, with reggae as the connecting element in almost all songs. One of the most striking examples is track 11, The Sun Will Always Shine, which is a creative combination of samba reggae and a - very - slow axé touch.
Gaagua, to be launched in 2006, displays Brazilian elements to a lesser extent than her first CD (Luar e Cafe) did. But the Brazilian background is present throughout, in a subtle way: rhythms, traces of forró accordeon, flute, Quarteto em Cy-like MBP, and Jobim-inspired piano parts can be heared. And of course the very funny and very typical 'radio announcements' of Elisete, as Intro and Epilogue to the CD. And a wonderful version of Chico Buarque's Samba e Amor.
Brazilian in details, the album strikes the ear as a very accessible pop-reggae world music album. Gaagua breathes Elisete's ambition to make people in Israel's local reality feeling a little bit happier by bringing them positive and warm music, in word and sound. Pleasant to listen to, at all times of the day, at all occasions. Music is an expression of the soul, and Elisete's soul is certainly is able to bring some good, harmonizing vibrations to her listeners.
Elisete is also one of the few artists who understand how to promote themselves in a website in a way that enables the visitor to get to know her music and live performance: plain html, beautifully coloured pictures, with easy navigation, and everything that a fan could wish for: images, mp3s, videoclips that can be downloaded and viewed. The right way to get to know an artist.

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/goiaba_gaagua_20_2_06/goiaba_gaagua_20_2_06.mht - Aquarelas / Olaf Brugman

"Say Ola to Israel's upbeat oleh"

Elisete's Hebrew-Portuguese music mix has Israelis opening their ears to her unique sound
When Elisete enters a little cafe on Tel Aviv's popular Sheinkin Street, she turns heads. Not only because she's tall and beautiful, but also because of the positive aura she emits. Elisete strives to keep people happy. And while she knows that sounds phony, she says it truly is her purpose.
"I'd love to see happiness here, this is my mission," she says over soda water at the coffee shop where she launched her career. "Israelis are too depressed."
Elisete is a Brazilian-Israeli musician. She has one album under her belt, Luar e Cafe, and is now working on a follow-up.
"Ola Ola," she croons in one song on her debut album, "I came from Brazil and brought joy with me. . . if you're a little sad you'll find a solution in my music."
Elisete might be one of the most celebrated unidentified singers in the country. She performs up to four times a week. Yet, most people will only recognize her as the one who sang covers of Brazilian favorites at private parties, weddings and bar-mitzvahs. While this work keeps the bread-and-butter on the table, Elisete also has a wealth of original material which she performs at small venues throughout the country. She and her band of five musicians are already touring with the new material, even though the album is only due out at the end of the year.
Her music can be heard on local radio stations, and her video clips are popular on Music Channel 24.
Elisete moved here 14 years ago, during the Gulf War. She met an Israeli in Brazil and followed him to Israel. They split up, but she stayed. "I came from Brazil with a little suitcase, a huge smile, optimism, rhythm, dark (skin) color, and a sunny view of life. The standard Brazilian's equipment," she notes.
She began as a dancer here - first in a Brazilian troupe, then teaching young Israelis how to samba.
"I don't feel 100% Brazilian anymore. I feel 50% Israeli and 50% Brazilian," says Elisete, who later met her sabra husband, a mechanical engineer, here. "If you ask me where my home is, here is my place. When people write about me from abroad, they write that I'm from Israel. And I love it. It's a good thing for me to be a double ambassador."
Recently, she served as just that - a representative for both Brazil and Israel - at the Maccabiah Games.
Her roots are mixed. One of her grandmothers was Indian. Her maternal family is Sephardi. Her paternal relatives hail from Africa. From her familial fusion, she produces a new style of music.
"I can't say what my music is. It's rhythm from the heart. When you do something that's true to yourself, people get it," she attempts to explain. "It's not Brazilian music per se, it's a mix."
After teaching herself Hebrew (during the Gulf War she was stuck in a bomb shelter and watched the TV show Zehu zeh for hours on end), Elisete taught herself music. "I'm more stubborn than a donkey," she says. "When one really wants something, one gets it."
On Luar e Cafe, she was responsible for lyrics while her guitarist undertook the musical arrangements. This time around, Elisete has taken control of production too.
"Do you believe I gave bass lines to Yossi Fine, the best bassist in all of Israel? I gave him the bass line of one of my songs."
Sometimes the 30-something mother of one will pen a song first in Portuguese then translate it to Hebrew. Other times, her muse will come to her in Hebrew first. For those who understand Portuguese or Hebrew, the texts are equally popular as the music.
A couple weeks ago, Elisete's second single, "Shalom Dikaon" (Goodbye Depression), was released. "Goodbye depression, the time has come to talk about happiness," she sings. This new album highlights her perspective of Israel. And again, she hopes to spread happiness to her adopted brethren.
She is now working hard on getting her name out there. Her debut album last year was well received both locally and abroad. Her tunes are half Brazilian, half something else. "I'm creating a new genre," she says. "My rhythms are from the heart. My music is something that has Brazilian roots and Middle Eastern aspects."
And while she has worked on a project with Helicon record company, and performs regularly with jazz guitarist Uri Bracha and electronic maestro Alon Ochana, Elisete chooses to stay an independent artist. "It's better to be independent even with all the work because you are the best PR for yourself."

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/jerusalempost_article_pic.html - Jerusalem Post / VIVA SARAH PRESS

"Brazilian singer dreams in Hebrew"

Brazilian artist Elisete has made Israel her home and Israelis her mission. Her new album is meant to spread joy and good vibes to a great bossa nova beat

Singer, composer and songwriter Elisete Retter’s first days in Israel may have been somewhat inauspicious. She spent most of her time in the sealed rooms of Israel’s first Gulf War.

But that was actually one of the ways in which she learned Hebrew, by listening to news announcers and musicians like Gidi Gov and Arik Einstein, during the war and after. Though she only came here as an adult, she learned Hebrew well enough to release her first album "Luar e Cafe" (Moonlight & Coffee) in April 2004. Her next CD is due out soon, and her latest single - “Shalom Dikaon” ("Goodbye Depression") is already filling the airwaves.

Elisete, who goes by her first name only, counts her newest single among several that she has released since her last album. The video clip of her song “Gaagua” ("Longing"), which she says will likely be the name of her next album, was on the Israeli music channel "24's" playlist.

'Hola, Hola!'

You can’t miss Elisete. It’s not just the different look, colorful and bubbly, but she’s got that huge smile on every time she walks out her front door.

Video of Elisete performing

“Hola, hola,” she singsongs out, “I’ve come from Brazil and I’ve brought happiness with me.”

Elisete believes that that’s actually the goal of her music.

“I feel as if I am here on a mission - to bring happiness to the people of Israel,” she says. Although she says she was naive when she first started out, she is happy for the experiences she’s had.

“I believe in the power of a smile. I’ve succeeded in making my way with a lot of humor and positive thinking,” she says.

Her music is becoming increasingly popular in Israel. Although many people attribute any popularity of Brazilian music to Mati Caspi’s original mixes, (“a genius,” says Elisete) Her first album was sung mostly in Hebrew, and the Bossa Nova, Samba and Baiao beats worked well with her delightful accent.

She first worked with Uruguayan artist Martin Mantzur, until he had to leave Israel when his visa could not be renewed. She finally set up a band with Rostik Lehrman, keyboardist, Ron Laor, guitarist and Roni Ben Ezra, drums.

On “Luar e Café,” Elisete wrote the lyrics and the music entirely on her own (The album was put out by the local music label “Puch.”). This time she is now more involved in the arrangements and the various production stages.

“I’m in the process of finishing my second album,” says the Brazilian artist. “I want it to be dedicated to the late Ehud Manor, a wonderful human being that supported my work and liked it!”

She seems to be able to perform comfortably in either language, which may be the reason for her rising international stardom.

“It is really awesome to know my music is getting to people all around the world and that they are liking it even though the majority of my songs are in Hebrew!” she says.

Started in shower

Elisete, was born in Salvador, Bahia, 33 years ago, but grew up in Rio de Janeiro, “two of the most beautiful places in the world,” she says. She came to Israel during the Gulf War because of an Israeli boyfriend. The relationship didn’t last, but her love for Israel did.

Her musical career began, like many other artists, in the shower. She started working as a Brazilian dancer, and then eventually worked for the Tel Aviv municipality teaching Brazilian dance to young girls in schools and community centers. Elisete speaks fondly of that period in her life.

“I received a lot of warmth and love from those girls, and they gave me the push to move on to the next stage of my life,” she says.

She finally got up the courage to start writing her own songs and perform in a small café in Tel Aviv. She also began working with local artists like Idan Raichel (on his latest project), Si Hayman, Bezalel Aloni and others. She’s currently working with Alon Ohana on an electronic music project named "Alef 3," and she performs regularly with Uri Bracha in a Brazilian jazz show.

Her Portuguese, Hebrew and English songs are a surprising and almost impossible mix between Brazilian and Israeli culture and life.

“There’s something very similar between Brazilian music and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) music,” she says. “They both emphasize happiness and lightness, and don’t take themselves too seriously. They both accentuate the beat and people like to dance to it.”

Elisete says she has encountered some racism due to her skin color in Israel, “but I don’t let it bother me. I’m Brazilian and I was born with the greatest gift of all - joy for life. I get up in the morning with a smile and take everything that comes my way with a dose of humor.”

Israelis are well known for taking the opposite attitude, but Elisete is hoping her music will spread a little of that joy around.

Elisete recently participated as a dual ambassador in the Maccabiah Games, (“a wonderful experience”) and on October 20 will participate in the Adama Festival in Tiberias. On November 9, she will perform alongside pianist Milca Flaks of the Tel Aviv Philharmonic in the "Kesher Brazilai” program at Betzavta in Tel Aviv.

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/ynetnews_9_11_05/ynetnews_9_11_05.htm - Ynetnews.com

"Sultry grooves and silky tones: there's an ocean of emotion."

They're by numbers nowadays, the artists who jump on the fashionable Latino bandwagon. Unlike these, Elisete's the real thing. Born in Brazil and living in Israel, her singing holds that unique hot breeze which can't be reproduced unless the rhythm lives in your very blood. The lady has it all - check the autobiography that's "Hoshevet al ha-Pizmon" - and the lava of feelings pours out from the acoustic ringing of the opening "Capoeira". More so, Elisete has a great way with words, shaping the lyrics in a Portuguese patterns even if they're in Hebrew - there are songs in both languages on this, her second, album - and sending them along the melodic lines. The arrangements nicely complement her silky tones that make your heart beat faster and your feet stomp even in the slower cuts such as "Samba Do Sofrer"; in the title track the singer sounds uncannily like Sade she could have turned out into with a bigger budget, but in an accordion-splashed "Dancar Con Voce" Elisete comes off larger than life. The music buzzes with the life and oozes class throughout - jazzy strain of "Si Bemol" and the Middle Eastern groove of "Be-Emtza ha-Maagal" show an immense depth to the artist. The samba of "Be-Gilgul ha-Ba", if put in heavy radio rotation, could make a real hit. So the star is in the making right now - make it shine!

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/dme_music_site/let_it_rock_dme_music_site.mht - DME Let it Rock / Dmitry M. Epstein Co-written with Tim Vaulin

"Elisete - Luar e Cafe"

Elisete Retter's album Luar e Cafe (Moonlight & Coffee, 2004) wonderfully bridges two countries of sun, milk and honey: Brazil and Israel.
Elisete, Brazilian-born and raised singer and composer, has been living and working in Israel sinds 1991, and released her first independent album in 2004. Elisete composed all of its fifteen songs, all of them with Brazilian rhythms and sound, and most of them sung in Hebrew.
Elisete says that she tries "to conciliate between the Brazilian life style that is based on happiness, sun and music and between the local reality so difficult at most of the times". And Luar e Cafe very sucessfully does so.
Styles and rhythms and styles cover a broad range from samba, bossa nova, forró e baião to more pop and jazzy songs. And always in a pleasant fashion. Luar e Cafe is true and harmonizing "feel good music", for all moments of the day. Also, the choice of repertoire and the actual performance reveal that Elisete and her band are excellent live performers, and that people will have an excellent evening or festival when Elisete and her band are playing...
Elisete's site at CdBaby offers two minute sound clips of all songs, so there's ample opportunity to get to know Elisete's music. Some of my favourites on this album are Dançar com Você, Samba do Sofrer, Tipat Osher (A Little Happiness), and Lifaamim (Sometimes).
The latter two because of the use of the flute, that Brazilian music knows to use so well in pop music and Brazilian jazz. Tipat Osher also because of the strong and compelling rhythm, and also because Elisete uses her voice differently in this song.
Dançar com Você is a really beauty, and funny too. It reminded me of the poem A Tua Boca by Fausto Nilo, put to music by Raimundo Fagner and Zeca Baleiro.
Elisete is working on the launch of her next album, of which the new song Be Libi Keev and videoclip have already been released, which is a Hebrew-brazilian reggae!
I got to know Elisete's music through CD Baby, which shows that putting music on the web is an excellent promotion strategy for independent artists.

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/goiaba_brazilian_music_elisete_luar_e_cafe_4_11_05/goiaba_brazilian_music_elisete_luar_e_cafe_4_11_05.mht - Goiaba Brazilian Music

"Elisete, the Brazilian Singing Bird from Israel"

Her name is Elisete, she is a singer and songwriter. She was born in Brazil and she lives in Israel since 1991. She moved there during the Gulf War and decided to stay. Her first album Luar e Café was released in 2004 and has received a lot of good reviews from the press in Israel and also abroad.
Some people say that Elisete is the real thing in the Latin scenario in Israel. She has got the rhythm in her blood and her music, she says, "comes from the heart".
The singer composed all fifteen songs of her first album, all of them with Brazilian rhythms and sound, and most of them sung in Hebrew.
Her next CD is due out soon, and her latest single - "Shalom Dikaon" ("Goodbye Depression") is already filling the airwaves of Israel.
"In my songs I try to conciliate the Brazilian life style that is based on happiness, sun and music and the local reality so difficult most of the times" she says.
Her music is very eclectic like herself: her songs bring bossa-nova, samba, forró, baião and other Brazilian rhythms.
"I'm in the process of finishing my second album," says the Brazilian artist. "I want it to be dedicated to the late Ehud Manor, a wonderful human being that supported my work and liked it!"
She seems to be able to perform comfortably in either language, which may be the reason for her rising international stardom.
"It is really awesome to know my music is getting to people all around the world and that they are liking it even though the majority of my songs are in Hebrew!" she says.
You can get to know more of Elisete at her website: www.elisete.com

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/brasilmag_1_1_06/brasilmag_1_1_06.mht - Brazzil Magazine

"Spin The Globe"

Simply put, where else are you going to get Portuguese-Hebrew reggae-pop? Only, I assert, from someone like Brazilian-born Elisete Retter. The emotion of the title track refers to Elisete's nostalgia for her homeland, even as she solidifies her roots in her adopted Israel (where she's lived for 15 years now). With a light, buoyant Brazilian vocal style and solid arrangements (that admittedly sometimes veer too far into bland pop territory), Longing is a pleasant if not groundbreaking cultural mashup.

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/spin_the_globe_world_music_september_2006/spin_the_globe_world_music_september_2006.mht - Elisete: Gaagua/Longing

"Israel, Brazilian Style"

Singer, composer Elisete writes lyrics for her songs from her awareness of the people and culture that surround her. She says that her song ‘Tipat Osher’ (a little joy) talks about her wish for a little happiness in Israel, the place she loves so much and about her hope for a better Middle East. She writes about the pain of war and her wish to give hope to continue on the difficult way towards peace.
Sadness has a way of echoing in her and stirring her connections in unusual ways. Her song
‘Lifaamim’ (sometimes) has a special story. “At the beginning, when I started writing songs,
all of my songs had a happy rhythm with a lot of groove. One day, (it was a Friday) I started
to sing the song ‘Lifaamim’ to myself. The song just popped into my ears and the lyrics are very sad. I speak about losing a friend, about the people gone with the piguim (terrorattacks) and the sadness of not being able to
see my friend anymore. Well, as I said, I wrote it on Friday, on Saturday (Shabbat) I received a phone call from
Brazil saying my best friend Marcio was gone. He drowned in the waters of a beach in Rio de Janeiro when he was in the company of a mutual Israeli friend. I came to understand why the song was so sad.”
She has a sense of humor about herself saying that she wrote ‘Si Bemol’ as a joke about
herself. At the beginning of her career she says almost all her songs were in this note,
she decided to give it a tribute!

Bat Amanoot caught up with Elisete in between recording and performance engagements and
she talked about her life and her love for music, her native country Brazil, and her
“adopted” country Israel.


BA: Where in Brazil are you from?
E: I was born in Salvador, Bahia, a state in the north-east of Brazil. When I was 3 months old my family moved to Rio. My father was an officer in the Marines and we moved a lot. When I was about 7 years old we moved back to Bahia and we stayed there for 4 years. All I can remember from that time is the color green (from the nearby forest) and blue (from the sea and the skies of Bahia). When I was about 11 or 12 we moved back to Rio and we lived in the downtown area. It was nice.
BA: Do you come from a big or small family? Are both of your parents from Brazil?
E: I have one brother, and two sisters. One sister lives in Brazil the other one is in Switzerland and I live here in Tel Aviv, Israel. From my father's family I have lots of relatives living in Bahia. From my mother I have fewer relatives. Both my parents were from Brazil. I have Sephardim from my mother's side and African ancestors from my father's side. I also have a few Indian roots in my family; everything is a big mix.
BA: How do your parents feel about your pursuing a performing career?
E: My parents passed away years ago. I am sure they would be proud of me in what I do. They both liked music (most Brazilians do!) My brother and sisters are very happy for my accomplishments and they follow my career and support me.
BA: Did you have any musical training or perform when you were a child?
E: No, but I was always very musical.
BA: Did you always want to be a singer?
E: I always liked to sing in the shower but I started my career as a dancer and it took me a while to discover my real calling - music. My first real singing experience took place in a café here in Tel Aviv when I met a guitarist called Martin Manzor from Uruguay. He, in my opinion, was like the 'Joao Gilberto' from Uruguay here in Israel. Unfortunately, he had to go back to his country when his tourist visa expired. I started performing with him in that small café in Sheinkin Street and more and more people were coming to see us performing. It was an amazing feeling!
I started singing known songs from Brazil and later started writing my own songs.

BA: What brought you to Israel in 1991?
E: I met an Israeli in Brazil and came here with him. The romance did not last but my love for the country made me stay.
BA: What was the first song you wrote and how did you decide to write songs?
E: Well, one day I talked with a musician I knew and told him I wanted to record some cover material and maybe try to write something original and not just covers. He just laughed and said: ‘You are not going to succeed to write original material.’ That was what gave me the initial push. I tried for a whole day to write something and all of a sudden it happened - I wrote my first song: ‘Thinking about the Chorus’ (Choshevet al ha pizmon), that was later included in my first CD ‘Luar e café’.
BA: What messages do your lyrics convey?
E: Optimism, happiness, love, etc., all kinds of things I remember from my life in Brazil and that I wish I could bring here.
BA: How did you decide to create your first album Luar e Café (Moonlight and Coffee 2004)?
E: Well, I thought that Israeli music needed a little optimistic message from more musicians and artists in general. It may sound phony but I really mean it when I say I want to give the Israelis a little bit of joy in the difficult days we are having here.
I started recording with my musicians and ‘Luar e café’ is the result of my dream!
BA: Were any of the songs released as a single prior to the album?
E: Yes. Capoeira, was released as a single prior to the release of the album. I also made a clip for it and it was broadcast in the Israeli music channel.
BA: The idea of combining songs with Portuguese and Hebrew lyrics on an album is a bit unusual. How did you decide to do this?
E: It was a natural consequence because I am 50% Brazilian and 50% Israeli. Those are my two languages and nationalities.
BA: Who are your 5 musicians on this album?
E: The guitar player is Ron Laor, and he is great. He is responsible for most of the arrangements of this CD.
Rostik Lerman, plays the keyboard and the flute, and he did a few arrangements himself. He is originally from Russia. Roni Ben Ezra, plays the drums, he is the Israeli who maybe best knows Brazilian rhythms in all of Israel!
Juarez dos Santos is Brazilian. He is definitely the best percussionist here. He also made two arrangements for the album. Martin Manzor, the guitarist who went back to Uruguay, has made two arrangements before his departure. Zeev Koren, the bass player plays also in the philharmonic of Tel Aviv.Alon Ohana produced a few songs like: ‘Thinking about the chorus’, Ba gilgul ha Ba (In the next lifetime) and Capoeira with Ron Laor.
BA: How did you pick them?
E: Life picked them for me. I believe in destiny and I think that when people meet it is never a coincidence.
BA: Describe your performing with Jazz guitarist Uri Bracha in the Brazilian jazz show?
E: With Uri I usually sing known songs from the Brazilian classics with his jazz arrangements. I sing a little bit of his material and some of my own.
BA: How did you start working with him?
E: He asked some musician friend about a singer; the guy gave him my number and we started working together.

BA: Describe performing with Alon Ochana in the electronic music project “Alef 3.”
How did you get together?
E: Alon is a good friend. We worked together also in my first album where he produced a few songs. I gave him the idea to do electronic arrangements to some Brazilian classic songs. He liked it and we started working together, Alon, Asher Azuelus the guitarist and I.
BA: Describe your collaboration with Idan Raichel in his Project?
E: I met Idan at a party in the house of the Brazilian Ambassador. He had just released his first album and was not yet as famous as now. He liked my dancing I guess (there was music in the air and I danced my samba) we talked; and two days after that he invited me to his studio to record a song. I came there, heard the melody he wanted me to sing, and started to write Portuguese lyrics to it. The song was not released yet.
BA: You also worked with Si Heiman?
E: I worked with Si doing her back vocals in her shows. My latest work is with Helicon record company. A project that I guess will be out soon. I sing a pop song with a new male singer. He will sing in Hebrew and I will sing in Portuguese. It is a hot song.
BA: Who has been a great influence on you?
E: Ehud Manor, the greatest Israeli composer, who died this year. He used to encourage new artists and new original material here in Israel. He worked in a radio station called 88 fm and he told me he liked my music. Ehud wrote songs for every possible singer here in Israel. My new album is dedicated to him. Another artist I really like is Ehud Banai, his songs are very inspiring. Bebel Gilberto, the Brazilian goddess who lives in the States, is also an inspiration to my music.
BA: What is the most important thing for your music to accomplish?
E: To get to people all over and to give them joy!
BA: How are you hoping to cross geographical and cultural borders with your music?
E: I think when you do something from the heart it shows and people get it.
The language is not necessarily important. Look, in Brazil almost no one really speaks English that well, but everyone knows the songs and melodies from songs from the English speaking countries. If something is true to itself it will show at some point. I don't believe in frontiers.
BA: Whose songs do you like to sing when you are not performing your own?
E: Summer samba (Marcos Valle), Agua de beber, (Tom Jobim), The sweetest taboo (Sade), danca da solidao (Mariza Monte)
BA: How would you describe your personal style of performing?
E: I am very much myself on and off of stage. What is my style? It will be Elisete's style. Maybe I am creating a new genre here in Israel. It reminds me of a song of Djavan (Sina). He wrote this song to Caetano Veloso and he says there, 'caetanear', that originally is a word he (Djavan) created to explain the style of life of Caetano Veloso.
BA: What have been any obstacles you’ve encountered in your career? How have you overcome them?
E: Well, obstacles, I sure have found them! But I always overcome my obstacles with a smile, and a lot of humor. It always works!
BA: What is your greatest passion as an artist?
E: My great passion as a musician is to compose new songs, and to see them coming to life.
BA: What other languages do you speak besides Portuguese and Hebrew?
E: Spanish, Italian, a little French and a little bit of Russian
BA: Is your husband a musician?
E: No he is not. He is a mechanical engineer.

BA: What are the similarities between Brazilian music and Mizrahi (Middle Eastern)
E: Just the wish to do happy music, with the purpose to make people dance and to have a good time. But the lyrics of Brazilian songs are different from those of the Mizrahi music. I would say the Brazilian lyrics have more depth.
BA: Describe how you learned Hebrew. What were the circumstances?
E: I learned Hebrew in the ‘sealed room’ in the Gulf war. There I watched most of the times TV shows like ‘Ze hu Ze’ and the news. I had the survival need to learn Hebrew as there was a war out there and I needed to know what to do when the sirens were wailing.
BA: What do you believe in?
E: I believe in optimism, love and happiness. They are my religion.
BA: Do you have hobbies?
E: I like to paint, go to the movies, to dance.
BA: Tell us about ‘Shalom Dikaon’ (‘Goodbye Depression’) and ‘Gaagua’ (‘Longing’).
E: The name of the album is ‘Gaagua’ (‘Longing’). What is different this time is that I started to participate more in the production process. I also did a few arrangements myself with the musicians I work with. In the first CD 'Luar e café' I was only responsible for the lyrics and the melodies, the arrangements were made by different musicians. 'Shalom Dikaon' is a song expressing my deep wish to 'import' happiness to this country.
BA: What is your performance schedule like combined with composing and performing?
Where will you be touring for the rest of this year and next year?
E: Composing, performing, doing a lot of PR, doing all the production of the disc,
not easy at all, but very fulfilling. I hope next year to be touring outside Israel. I already started to get offers from people in England, Brazil and also the States.
I am checking all the possibilities and I will be glad if it will happen soon!
For the moment I am touring here in Israel, and also collaborating with other Israeli artists in their material.
BA: What else would you like to say?
E: I was happy to learn on the 16 of July that a Spanish radio station dedicated a special program to my music. That was great news to me. They said something interesting that later was repeated by other listeners abroad who do not speak Hebrew: ‘Elisete is singing in Hebrew but it sounds as if she is singing in Portuguese.’ That was a great compliment for me as I think it means that I succeed in conveying my music beyond the barriers of language.
Elisete’s song ‘Choshevet al Hapizmon’ (thinking about the chorus) is her story about living
in Tel Aviv, and where she came from (Brazil). It was the first song she wrote; she got stuck
with the first strophe of the song and she could not find the chorus, the refrain of the song. Finally,
she "found it" and she wrote it!
The world premiere of a folk dance, choreographed to Elisete’s song ‘Choshevet al Hapizmon’ was taught and danced at Ramah Rikkudiah folk dance camp in Ojai, California in January 2006.
Elisete’s website:

Elisete's second album ‘Gaagua’ is dedicated to the late Ehud Manor, one of Israel's greatest songwriters, who has supported Elisete along the way.
Songs do not leave,
They help you get by,
They love and remember.
They do not forget
that you've got to come back
on cold days.
They do not change.
They always mean
everything they say
and that is why we,
the songs and I,
are friends for life.
Lyrics: Ehud Manor
The above quote is from the Israeli Ministry Foreign Affairs – Music site at: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Facts+About+Israel/Culture/CULTURE-+Music.htm

To read more about Ehud Manor:

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/batamanoot_1_3_06/batamanoot_1_3_06_main.mht - Bat Amanoot

"Brazil in Middle East"

Elisete Retter, or simply, Elisete, is a singer-songwriter who was born in Brazil and has lived in Israel since 1991. According to a recent Jerusalem Post article on her, Elisete's roots are mixed: one of her grandmothers was Indian, her maternal family is Sephardi and her paternal relatives hail from Africa. So it's not surprising that her first CD, Luar e Café, reflects this diversity.

The lyrics are in Hebrew and Portuguese. The styles include Bossa-Nova, samba, forro, baiao and other Brazilian rhythms. The unifying factors are Elisette's wonderful, rich voice and the optimism that permeates all her songs.

She and her band of five musicians are currently working on a new CD, due out at the end of the year. Last month, Elisete's second single, "Shalom Dikaon" ("Goodbye Depression") was released. The new album is said to highlight her hopeful perspective of Israel.

More on Elisete can be found at http://www.elisete.com/.

Link to article:
http://www.elisete.com/articles/jewish_independent_online/jewish_independent_online_30_9_05.mht - Jewish Independent - Canada

"Doing the Samba for Israel"

“I can’t change the world, but I can set an example,” Brazilian-Israeli singer and songwriter Elisete Retter tells ISRAEL21c, occasionally interrupting her mellifluous flow of speech to greet the many passersby who know her by name and wave to her warmly.

“Hey, pretty lady,” she responds to one. “Amazing man!” she calls out to another.

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“I love people,” she says, clearly meaning it.

She also loves Israel, the country she adopted in 1991, when she wed an Israeli and made aliyah. Though the marriage did not work out, Elisete’s union with the country was clinched.

This is in spite of the fact that her arrival coincided with the first Gulf War. Scud missiles were falling mainly in the greater Tel Aviv area, where she was living. It was a rude awakening for the new immigrant from Brazil – a descendant of hidden Spanish Jews (conversos) on her mother’s side and Africans on her father’s side.

“Where I came from, we were used to carnivals and bossa nova,” she says. “Not rockets raining down on us.”

Still, the self-defined eternal optimist, who always considered herself a Zionist, took the opportunity to learn Hebrew by watching hours of TV, from round-the-clock news bulletins to comedy shows.

“[Retired anchorman] Haim Yavin and [performers] Arik Einstein, Shlomo Artzi and Gidi Gov were all with me in the sealed room,” she giggles, relating that years later, she met Yavin in person and told him this. “I only wish,” he said.

She also came to know Einstein, who passed away last November, during her stint as a children’s samba instructor. Her initial career was as a dancer with a Brazilian troupe in Israel. Teaching samba came about in an unusual way.

Field full of children

“One night I had a dream of a beautiful green field filled full of children,” Elisete – today happily married with two daughters — recounts. “When I woke up, I understood that I had to do something with kids.”

Days later, Elisete marched into Tel Aviv City Hall and asked to be directed to the cultural affairs department.

Elisete performs in several languages.Elisete performs in several languages.
“I was told to go see the woman in charge of programs, and I did. I walked into her office and told her that my dream was to open a samba school for children. She opened her eyes wide and said, ‘You’ve come to the right place. You have no idea how long I’ve been looking for something like that.’”

And so Elisete embarked on what would turn into a six-year career teaching Brazilian dance to children in different schools. This would lead to what she calls her “true calling” — music.

Her students always wanted to know the meaning of the lyrics of the music they were dancing to.

“So I sat down and translated one of the songs into Hebrew,” she says. “And when I was done, I tried another one, and then another one. I said to myself, ‘Wow, if I managed to translate these songs successfully, maybe I can write one of my own.’”

This is how Elisete’s first original Hebrew song – Choshevet al HaPizmon (Thinking about the Chorus) — was born. Since then, she has written lyrics and music to more than 100 songs, all registered with the Israeli copyright union, Akum.


Aside from her native Portuguese, Elisete also speaks and sings in English, Spanish, Italian and Russian.

“People are always shocked when they hear me speak Russian,” she laughs, referring to her dark complexion. “But I was drawn to learning it and I did.” She is in the midst of a Brazilian-Russian project, writing the music to the poems of Pushkin and other Russian poets she admires.

“I don’t look like a typical Israel.“I don’t look like a typical Israel.
Her latest “baby” combines her passion for Israel and music as a foreign correspondent/performer for “Salotto Feel the 90” – a multimedia program broadcast every Friday in Italy on the radio, TV and the Roby Laville YouTube channel.

“This is my way of doing hasbara [public diplomacy] for Israel,” Elisete says.

“I used to get so upset when I traveled to Italy and other places in the world and watched all the heavily biased, pro-Palestinian news, with no coverage of the Israeli side. But I also saw the effect I had on others, through my music and lectures I’ve given. The fact that I don’t look like a typical Israeli helps me reach people who are initially hostile towards Israel, and then soften when I show them another point of view.”

She dreams of working for the Foreign Ministry or a private organization to spread the word about what she calls “the real Israel.”

“I define myself as a person without religion,” she says. “But I believe deeply in spirituality. I thank God every single morning that he brought me to Israel, because it is the place for me.” - Ruthie Blum


Inspired by the Sun

The sun - Elisete recruits the sun in her path to happiness. Elisete wants to make us all smile and there's nothing like the sun to help in this mission. ‘Inspired by the sun’ - the new album, with the theme song with the same name - is an enlightened journey to the realization that happiness is here - in front of us and within us.

Elisete feels that there is room for a frequency of hope and positivity. That happiness is not a luxury but a basic state to be aspired to and that all of us can be filled with positive energy. We can all get to this place and Elisete's songs are one of the fun ways to get there - anyone who joins Elisete's path will discover that life is bright, joyful and fun even in the midst of our local daily life and everyone is invited to the party!

The album ‘Inspired by the sun’ is a rhythmic, happy and essentially electronic album. In fact, it is the mirror image of the previous album 'Quiet' which was acoustic, pensive and reflective.


Quiet – this is what Elisete seeks in her fifth acoustic album, just quiet. To understand why that's the album's name here's what Elisete thinks about music, soul and quiet: "For me happiness reveals itself in quiet. Inner quiet, outer, quiet in a dream. I live here in Israel, in the turmoil of the middle-east. Around me the days roll polluted with noise, anger and violence and I seek quiet moments with a soothing Brazilian wind and a pure sound. My new album is my clear island of quiet – a distilled sound of guitar and my voice – an album I longed to create, waiting for the right time. I hope that this album created from the heart will get to all those tuned to a frequency of tranquillity and peace and will be an instrument for achieving inner as well as outer peace." The album Quiet is a unique encounter between Elisete's soul that yearns for quiet with her soothing voice that wants to pronounce the hope for peace and tranquility and the magical sound of Ron Laor's guitar. 


Simply Elisete

The album combines electronic and acoustic music and is the product of an inner journey Elisete set about to redefine her musical self. Elisete sees herself as an Israeli, Brazilian and citizen of the world, but mostly as a human being and therefore her songs are written in the variety of languages ​​she speaks and in her characteristic blend of the exploration of love, sadness, and an optimistic view with the airy and amusing melodies emphasizing the emotional depth. Elisete thanks all the people who accompanied her on the way - Ron Laor, Avi Levin, Noa Tzur, Raz Burg that helped translate her thoughts into the sounds of the new album and Oriana Esposto that proofread the Italian texts.

My colors

The album was recorded half in Israel and half in Brazil with half of his songs in Hebrew and half in Portuguese, reflecting Elisete as she feels herself - half Israeli and half Brazilian. The album is acoustic and contemporary, lyrical, melancholy sometimes and very romantic. 



The album reflects the Elisete: an almost impossible blend of simple words that touch directly your soul together with Brazilian rhythms that just make you dance. Her music takes another step in the consolidation of her unique identity as a citizen of the musical world and she creates a blend of Brazilian music, world music and Israeli music. In 'Longing' Elisete goes a step beyond singing and writing lyrics and melodies, and she is an active partner in all stages of production including involvement in writing the arrangements. 'Longing' got the third place in the list of the best albums of 2006 from 'Qube' site. The album 'Longing' was dedicated to the late Ehud Manor.

'Luar e Cafe' - Moonlight and Coffee

The album is a summary of a year of intensive work of Elisete trying to sketch in sounds her life in Brazil and Israel and it received many favorable reviews. 'Luar e Cafe' - the theme song from the album was included of Bossa Nova released in Taiwan and China. The song 'Capoeira' got many Remix versionsand one of them entered a compilation in France.

Elisete – Remixes

The album includes songs from her first two acoustic albums. The Electronic music field is no stranger to Elisete. Touches can be found in earlier albums. After releasing the album 'Longing' and after inclusion of two of her original songs in the successful Israeli movie 'The bubble' it was only natural that Elisete would pay attention to the Electronic music. Production of the album was made by Elisete together with leading producers from the electronic music field that liked her music and wanted to participate in the project.




Elisete, the Brazilian-Israeli singer-songwriter creates a unique sound that is a fusion of her two homelands. 

Elisete’s music is an invitation into a world of universal love, acceptance and lots of FUN!

She is an independent artist believing in the combination of music, optimism and hard work. She speaks 7 languages: Portuguese, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, English, French and Russian. She sings in many of these languages bringing her closer to her audience. 

Elisete believes in peace and coexistence and thinks that the mixture between her Brazilian soul and her life in her second homeland Israel gives her the perspective to create a unique World music mixture that is both totally Brazilian, totally Middle eastern and at the same time 100% Elisete. 

Elisete is a very diverse musician and has many shows: ‘One night in Rio’ - enchanted and ranging from the Rio Bossa-Nova to the Bahia Carnaval rhythms with both Brazilian classics and Elisete’s originals, ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ - magical Brazilian Jazz with both Elisete’s originals and Brazilian classics and ‘Quiet’ - a guitar and voice show minimalistic in band size but huge in heart and soul and like the album itself is a comforting lullaby for the soul. 

Elisete feels a double ambassador - both of Israeli culture and Brazilian culture. She is musically involved in many projects in Israel and in the world promoting peace and showing the positive side of Israel and Brazil.

Elisete released her debut album 'Luar e Cafe' in 2004, ’Longing’ in 2006, 'Elisete - Remixes’ in 2007, 'My colors' in 2011, 'Simply Elisete' in 2014, ‘Quiet’ in 2016 and ‘Inspired by the Sun’ in 2019. 

Elisete is a very involved artist and in 2020 released 2 songs that relate to Earth’s situation: ‘My Amazonas Hope’ is a song to raise awareness to the importance of preserving the Amazonas rain forests. ‘It is time (Ze Hazman)’ is a song to promote optimism in the stressful times of world pandemic.

In addition to being a musician Elisete also produces a video blog called ‘Elisete in the morning’ that can be seen in her YouTube channel and she is a radio DJ broadcasting music shows in various radio stations around the world.

Other projects

In addition to performances with her songs Elisete participates in a variety of projects.

She has two songs in the film 'The bubble' by Eytan Fuchs and Gal Ochovski (this project was done in collaboration with musician and producer Ran Shani).

Elisete collaborates with DJ’s from abroad. The song 'Black is Beautiful' she wrote with South African producer Mzilikazi wa Africa is played around the world including Brazil. 'Black is Beautiful' was played at different 'Camarotes' in the Carnaval of Bahia.

10 tracks of electronic music have been released by the Belgian label 'Selecta Beats'. 

Elisete collaborated in the song ‘Million Stars’ of Epiphony and Ofer Nissim and she performed with many Israeli artists in different fields. 

Elisete collaborates in various projects with music producers of electronic and acoustic music in Israel and abroad. 

produces a video blog called ‘Elisete in the morning’ that can be seen in her YouTube channel and she is a radio DJ broadcasting music shows in various radio stations around the world.