Katia Moraes
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Katia Moraes

Newbury Park, California, United States | SELF

Newbury Park, California, United States | SELF
Band World Latin


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Katia Moraes @ Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States

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"New University UC Irvine/ Review"

Brazilian Carnival
Party On the Queen Mary
New University UC Irvine
March 2006

As the first drops of water flowed down my dry throat, Katia Moraes and Pure Samba took the stage. As my thirst was quenched, I felt the musically equivalent sensation.

Moraes, typically an electrifyingly engaging performer, proved to exceed audience expectations as she succeeded the other acts. An infectious energy emanated from Moraes’ lithe frame and gentle smile. Fitting with the extravagant theme of the night, her elaborate headdress gave the impression that she was growing different sized silver tubes out of her head.

The classic Brazilian songs, infused by Moraes’ distinctive sound, got the dance floor grooving a little more at 1 a.m. than it had at any point during the night.

In an apparent recognition that the party had only now really started, confetti was shot into the air, followed by a lowering of Brazil-themed green and yellow balloons onto the dance floor. As if the night needed more percussive punctuation, balloons were popped to the music.

A seasoned performer, Moraes’ samba songs soared to a point that the dancers, foot-tappers and even the subtle head-nodders surely enjoyed. Her act ended with a flourish of color as all the Oyá Brazil joined Moraes in their original costumes
- Zachary Gale

"Playboy Jazz Festival/LA Times"

A Planet's Worth of Sounds from Playboy
By Don Heckman
June 22, 2004

"Variety, in other words, was the theme of the day at the Hollywood Bowl. Variety embracing Brazilian music and funk, African rhythms and songs from the Great American Songbook, cutting edge contemporary jazz and simmering Latin rhythms. After a spirited opening by the Hamilton High School Academy of Music Jazz Ensemble "A", for example, Sunday’s program immediately dipped into Brazilian sounds with singer Katia Moraes & Sambaguru. Delivering a program that ranged exuberantly across Brazil’s multiplicity of rhythms, Moraes was a bindle of galvanized energy, her quick-paced singing empowered by Sambaguru’s driving rhythm section and the well-crafted arrangements of Bill Brendle. The only problem with the set, in fact, was its scheduling; music with so many engaging elements should have been programmed later in the day, after most of the seats were filled."

- June 2004

"Sergio Mielniczenko/ KPFK"

"You´re incredible...not everybody can perform with so much energy. You make part of the great singers and entertainers club. Congratulations!"
Sergio Mielniczenko from Global Village at KPFK (90.7 FM/Los Angeles)

- Sergio Mielniczenko/ KPFK 90.7FM

"Variety/Playboy Festival Review"

By Richard S. Ginell

"While the first day of the 2004 Playboy Jazz Festival stayed generally within the galaxy of music that can be called jazz, Sunday's edition sometimes careened off the chart in the inimitable Playboy way. The day started off on a good omen with the long-overdue Playboy debut of the energetic Los Angeles-based Brazilian singer Katia Moraes -- a born afternoon sunshine performer -- and Sambaguru, which stirred up an unpredictable stew of ingredients rooted in the samba."

- Variety

"LA Opinion/Playboy Jazz Festival Review"

By Willie Campins
June 22, 2004

"Luego de la apertura el domingo con el ensamble de jazz de la academia musical de la secundaria Hamilton, el maestro de ceremonias Kevin Eubanks diu turno a la brasilena radicada en Los Angeles Katia Moraes y su banda Sambaguru.

El grupo multietnico, que hizo su debut en el festival, conjuga las musicas del tecladista Bill Brendle y las letras de Moraes con otros temas de autores brasilenos. Con una voz luminosa y unna belleza muy carioca, Katia es el centro de atencion de un conjunto muy ajustado y digno de seguir en su evolucion." - LA Opinion

"Latin Project/CD Review"

Latin Project/CD Review
The Hoya.com
November 2003
The generous use of guests is really what propels most of The Latin Project. Aside from the sensuous vocals of Freddie Crespo, the album boasts the Brazilian Katia Moraes on four tracks. Moraes effortlessly adds her vocals as another rhythmic line woven together with a pumping bass beat, powerhouse horns and complex percussion. Her funky and casual delivery feels fresh and at home in the midst of all the electronic madness surrounding her.
- thehoya.com

"LA Times / Brazilian Summer Festival Review"

"Brazilian Summer Festival 2006 had plenty of familiar sights and sounds from (...) to the rhythmically diverse singing of Katia Moraes & pure Samba.
But Moraes' eclectic presentation was the first indication that something more unusual was on the way. Garbed in a surprisingly rural-looking outfit, accessorized with a hat, glasses, white socks and tennis shoes, she darted across a wide spectrum of styles, from familiar samba and bossa nova to less often heard forró, frevo and pagode. Propelling every number with her nonstop dynamism, she roved the wide Ford stage, calling out the audience, encouraging people to dance, setting the stage for what felt more like a party than a concert."

World Music Review
Taking Brazilian Music far Beyond just Samba
By Don Heckman
June 06, 2006

"(...) That thought kept persisting during the performance Wednesday by Ted Falcon and the Los Angeles Choro Ensemble at the Vic in Santa Monica. One of the first presentations in the venue's dedication to unusual programming in the new "Fission Wednesdays" series, the Choro Ensemble's performance was enhanced by guest singer Katia Moraes, ukulele player Marvin Falcon and flutist Rebecca Kleinmann. (...)
The guest performers added more spice to the proceedings. Marvin Falcon (Ted's jazz musician father) called for a musical shift of gears with a Hot Club of France-inspired jazz take on "Lady Be Good." Kleinmann's warm toned, lyrical flute offered a colorful contrast to the fast-paced clarinet work of Andy Connell. And Moraes' singing, as always, was a virtual definition of the passion that is an implicit part of Brazilian music".

Sounds of Brazil, via Southland
By Don Heckmam
Los Angeles Times
June 2006
- Don Heckman

""Live" (Kufala Records) Review"

"(...) But not so fast, because there's still katia moraes and Sambaguru to deal with. Their double live has a few things in common with the Cantuaria album--great sound, tight rhythms,etc.--but it's got more of a flat-out party feel. And that ain't a bad thing, since this band has the chops to lay down sambas, bossa novas, songs flavored with salsa, reggae and funk, forro (a rootsy style from the north of Brazil) and more. They cool down the pace here and there, though for the most part the heat stays on. It's pure bliss from the beginning of disc one to the end of disc two, all brought home with the fiery \"Mae Africa\" capping things off (...)" - World Music Central/Jan 2004


"NAVEGAR AO SOL" (Sambaguru featuring Katia Moraes/ Moondo Records)
"LIVE" (Katia Moraes & Sambaguru/Kufala Records)
"GINGA" (Katia Moraes & Sambaguru/SugarCane Records)
"TEN FEET AND THE SUN" (Katia Moraes & Brasil Nuts/SugarCane Records)
Super Xuxa (Movie Sound Track)
"O ESPIRITO DA COISA"(O Espírito da Coisa/Top Tape)

As Guest Vocalist:
PYRAMID IN YOUR BACKYARD ( Praful /Rendezvous Music + Therapy Records)
ROCK GOLOB (Slovenia)
LATIN PROJECT (Electric Monkey Records)
BONGO DE VAN GOGH ( Tolu- Latin Jazz / Mango Records)
PANGEA ( Kalani )
MURUMBA ( Kalani )
DANCE AROUND THE WORLD (Rhythm Safari Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


“... She comes on stage like an explosion, her body in constant motion, her voice excited and dynamic.” Los Angeles Times 

The unique Brazilian singer/songwriter/lyricist/painter Kátia Moraes began her career in Rio de Janeiro in the 80's with her energetic band "O Espirito da Coisa" . Since then she has performed and/or recorded with top Brazilian acts like Sergio Mendes, Airto Moreira, Oscar Castro-Neves, Rita Lee, Elba Ramalho, Sandy and Junior, Banda Cheiro de Amor, and also with George Duke, Latin Grammy nominee Alex Acuña and Justo Almario's Tolú, Grammy nominee "Latin Project", and German saxophonist Praful.


After moving to Los Angeles in 1990, she started lending her voice to films and television for dubbing and "Voice-overs". She has performed with Pure Samba, 22-piece Orchestra Feijoada Completa, Samba Society, Bloco Nove, Falso Baiano, The Rio Thing, Midnight Drums, Sol & Mar, Viver Brasil Dance Company, Folk Ballet of Brasil, Badauê, Man and Machine, and many more.

In 1996, she released her first CD "Ten Feet and the Sun" in the U.S. with Brasil Nuts band. In 1999 she released "Ginga" with Sambaguru, and in 2003 "Live" by Kufala Records. Her 4th CD with Sambaguru is called "Navegar ao Sol" by Moondo Records. In 2009 Sambaguru released "Tribo" that was on the Preliminary Nominating Ballot for the Grammy 2009.


In 1998, Kátia started putting out a monthly newsletter, Brazilian Heart, to challenge her as a writer and "communicator". Brazilian Heart explores issues of culture, art and music following her personal whims and passions. She also wrote for Soul Brasil magazine and Brazil Today newspaper. 


In January 2013 Kátia released her EP produced by sound engineer/producer Lynne Earls (K.D.Lang, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim).

She is currently singing with Brazilian Hearts, Pure Samba, Samba Society, Bloco Nove, and Viver Brasil Dance Company.

The Pure Samba project won the L.A. Treasure Award, granted in part, by the California Traditional Music Society, a facility of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Dept. and The California Traditional Music Society.


“Brazilian Heart, a Celebration” was created in 2012 to celebrate a Brazilian artist. The 2014 show was in homage to singer Maria Bethânia and took place at CAP Studio.

“Brazilian Literary Lounge” event was created in October 2014,  and is also the title of Kátia’s 2015 new mixed media project.





2013 - World Music Artist of the Year 2013 by The Beverly Hills Outlook.

2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008- Nominated for "Cantora de Destaque" & “Cantora de Atuação Local” by International Brazilian Press Award. 

2007 - Kátia Moraes and Bill Brendle won “3rd place in the World Music category at the International Songwriting Competition” with their composition "Tribo Gandhista." 

2006 - With Pure Samba won the “L.A. Treasure Award, granted in part, by the California Traditional Music Society, a facility of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and The California Traditional Music Society.”

2005 - Nominated in the Best Latin Artist category by the New Times Newspaper Music Awards.

2003-2004 - Won the Showcase Awards Vocal Music by Arts Council Los Angeles Valley College

2002-2003 - Sambaguru featuring Kátia Moraes was selected to be on The California Arts Council Touring Roster.

2001 and 2002 - Nominated - Sambaguru in the best World Music category for the New Times Newspaper Music Awards.”

1998 - Katia Moraes and Bill Brendle had their “song ‘Não Vá’ chosen as a finalist in the World Music category of the John Lennon's Songwriting Contest.”


Kátia Moraes had her voice featured on the musical score of the 2011 full length movie "Everyday", "The Last Word", "Arrested Development", and the Cult Japanese animation "Cowboy Bebop". Kátia Moraes & Sambaguru is featured on the musical score for the film "Woman on Top", a Fox Searchlight Picture released in September 2000. 



Kátia Moraes has performed at the Sydney Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl, House of Blues, Ford Amphitheater, Getty Center, California Plaza, Playboy Jazz Summer Fest, Verizon Music Festival, Cerritos Center, Schoenberg Hall, UCLA, Jazz Bakery, Queen Mary, Hollywood Palladium, JVC Jazz Fest, Luna Park, Sweet Pea Festival in Montana, The World Famous Baked Potato, Santa Monica Festival, The French Quarter Festival in New Orleans, Riverside Jazz Festival, African Market Place, Grass Valley World Music Festival, IAJE - Jazz Educators Convention, among other events and venues in Brazil,  the U.S. and abroad.


Band Members