Vitoria Maldonado resounds with a “Brazilian-vibe” of the export kind, the influence of Bossa Nova and a jazz background developed during the years she spent in Boston completing her bachelor degree at Berklee College of Music.
Vitoria is a pianist, singer, songwriter and arranger. Her music lends transparency to the romanticism of those who make their art with passion.
Born in the city of São Paulo, with flair and a refined taste, Vitoria accompanied the growth of Bossa Nova, in which prominent figures such as Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Vinícius and Toquinho, Milton Nascimento and Elis Regina, among so many others, offered us one of Brazilian popular music’s most creative moments. During the same period she studied under Amilson Godoy and later on with Gogô. They both awakened her feeling for harmonizing the songs she had been writing since she was six.
This experience in her early years awakened her interest in jazz, which ended up leading Vitoria to a close proximity with American music, such as that of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarret, Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays.
She entered the Music College in São Paulo, FAAM (Alcântara Machado Arts College) where she had lessons with Regina Martins. She studied composition with Oswaldo Lacerda and piano with Marina Brandão.
Her first recording was in the Eldorado studios for the program Um piano ao cair da tarde (A Piano at Day’s End.)
All these experiences led her to continuing her studies in the United States.
At the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, she studied harmony, composition and conducting, graduating in 1986. Upon returning to Brazil, to the city of Rio de Janeiro, she formed a duo with Marisa Monte, playing piano and back vocals at Double Dose, a small bar with an ideal atmosphere for playing good music.
In São Paulo she formed a trio with Geraldo Vieira and Duda Neves, the latter considered by Down Beat magazine to be among the top ten best drummers in the world.
The quintet for presentations at the Blue Note, a meeting point for good jazz in Sampa, happened in 1990 and almost immediately afterwards Vitoria was invited to participate in Sá & Guarabyra’s Ponte Aérea band, where she experienced the thrill of playing before a big crowd on Arpoador Beach, in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1994, Vitoria also did work for the advertising market and won a gold medal with an instrumental soundtrack for a Samello commercial in the VII Prêmio Produção Brasil (7th Brazil Production Awards). During this year she also cut her first CD, “Vitoria”, an independent production, for which she received a nomination for the Sharp Awards.
In this acoustic work, O que está acontecendo comigo (What’s Happening to Me), Vitoria gathers some of the best professionals in Brazilian music, such as Duda Neves (drums), Sylvinho Mazzuca (acoustic bass guitar), Marcelo Pizzarro (electric guitar and guitar), Ruriá Duprat (strings arrangements), Nailor Proveta (saxophone and clarinet), Luis Guilherme Rabello (percussion) Teco Cardoso (soprano saxophone) and a special participation by Roberto Menescal. All of them irreproachable names in our artistic scenario.