Nightmare in White

in White

    The newest Nobel Prize in Literature, Portuguese writer José
    Saramago has just released another book in the U.S. Once again the inimitable Saramago has
    created a compelling tale. This time a dark one, dealing with a luminous blindness.


    The pianist-composer-singer, who melds a genuine love of Brazilian music with American
    jazz, performs at 8:00 PM. Saturday, November 21 in Marsee Auditorium

    LOS ANGELES — In a two-decade career that has produced a dozen critically
    acclaimed albums and a Grammy nomination, Brazilian-born Eliane Elias has never strayed
    far from one of her earliest and most profound influences, composer Antonio Carlos Jobim,
    who made bossa nova popular world wide.

    Praised for her pianistic skills, Elias, on her latest CD, Eliane Elias Sings Jobim,
    proves her vocal prowess as well. For her only Los Angeles area appearance of the 1998-99
    season, at 8:00 PM., Saturday, November 22 in Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College,
    Elias is joined by Dave Valentin (flute and percussion), Marc Johnson (bass), Satoshi
    Takeishi (drums), and Dave Stryker (guitar).

    Elias, born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1960, grew up steeped in the music of Jobim, who
    was on the verge of international fame at the time of Elias’s birth. Jobim defined bossa
    nova as a new musical expression, a samba-rooted rhythmic hybrid that invited a higher
    level of compositional sophistication and cool jazz-inspired interpretations. His early
    classics like "One Note Samba" and "Desafinado" made bossa nova a
    global sensation virtually overnight.

    Nurtured in a broad range of musical influences by her classical pianist mother, Elias
    perfected her classical technique while exploring the jazz piano tradition through a
    family record collection that included an abundant selection of works by Erroll Garner,
    Wynton Kelly, Red Garland and other fifties era improvisers. Six years as a student at a
    prestigious São Paulo conservatory led to informal gigs with local groups for Elias.

    Prophetically, her first professional engagement at the age of 17 was as pianist in the
    bossa nova group of singer/lyricist Vinicius de Moraes, the Brazilian poet who was one of
    Jobim’s most important early collaborators. Elias didn’t meet Jobim until she had lived in
    New York City, where she moved in the early 1980s for almost a decade, but she had always
    incorporated his compositions into her concert and recorded repertoire. She earned the
    distinction of being chosen as a replacement for the ailing master as pianist in
    saxophonist Joe Henderson’s 1995 Jobim tribute, Double Rainbow.

    Elias first honored Jobim with her 1990 album, Eliane Elias Plays Jobim, which has been
    one of her most popular. Eliane Elias Sings Jobim, released in summer 1998, completes her
    homage to the composer’s genius. Owen McNally writing in The Hartford Courant of the
    latter said, "Elias’s voice has an ethereal, sensuous quality reminiscent of Astrud
    Gilberto, the Brazilian singer (who made the famous recording of "Girl from
    Ipanema" with Stan Getz)… Elias is a rare breed who can sing beautifully while
    simultaneously accompanying herself skillfully on the piano."

    Of Elias’s appearance on Hollywood Bowl’s `A Night in Brazil’ last summer, Don Heckman
    of The Los Angeles Times observed, "Her sensitive singing … of (Jobim’s)
    "Falando de Amor" was the subtle musical high point of the concert’s opening

    Her other albums on the Blue Note label include Solos and Duets with Herbie Hancock
    (1996), which was nominated for a Grammy, and The Three Americas (1997), which extends the
    rhythmic range to include Argentinian, Cuban and Puerto Rican influences.

    Tickets for Eliane Elias, priced at $21 and $18, are on sale now at the El Camino
    College Center for the Arts Ticket Office at 310-329-5345 or 1-800-832-ARTS. El Camino
    College is located in the South Bay section of Los Angeles at the corner of Crenshaw and
    Redondo Beach Boulevards, halfway between the 405 (San Diego) and 110 (Harbor) freeways.

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