Master Composers: Maria Rita Comes From Musically Rich Family

Being the daughter of firecracker Elis Regina is one thing.

But breaking out on her own to become a nine-time Latin Grammy award winning solo artist has been nothing short of remarkable.

For my Album Pick of the Week, it is back to Sao Paolo and the tropical effervescent tones that is Maria Rita.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Born September 9, 1977 as Maria Rita Carmango Mariano, she grew up surrounded by music royalty:

Her father Cesar Carmargo Mariano was a famed pianist and arranger, while having brothers Pedro Mariano and Joao Marcelo Boscoli, him being a music producer.

Maria has mostly stayed away from her late mother’s roots in her singing, mostly patterning herself after another famous jazz legend in Ella Fitzgerald.

By the early 1990’s, Maria found singing to be her true calling.  Since 2003, she has recorded six albums.  The album cover you see is from her second album in 2005 simply titled, Segundo.

The album is laid out with a very nice multifold package complete with liner notes (albeit a bit difficult to read colored in very light lavender).  There is both a CD and a DVD of her three venue concert tour included.

The CD starts out very slow and methodical with “Caminho Das Aguas” (translated meaning, “Path of the Waters”).  The pace picks up almost like Lisa Lauren morphing with Patricia Talem, her voice flowing ever so gracefully with each passing note.

Most of the rest of the album has a very calm and soothing pace to it, just right for those important Mother’s Day activities.  Even the piano work of “Feliz” on Track 10 could be just the right ‘pep in your step’ type of song–but clearly in a league of its’ own compared to my past entries with the spring break laden rhythms of Les Hommes’ The Mood is Modal and fellow friend of the blog in Sabrina Malheiros and her really cool song to usher in summer, “Brisa Mar.”

The CD wraps up with a bonus track recorded live in concert titled, “Contra Outra” (or simply, “From Other.”)  Lots of fiery lyrics and plenty of drum action, that could definitely make the members of indie alernative rockers Sleater-Kinney get a run for their money.

The DVD is very nice too (highlighted by a on-screen menu guide tailored to four different languages plus you get to see six different songs from this album behind the scenes).  For those that are very fluent in Portuguese, this will be quite a fun way to spend Mother’s Day afternoon.  However, be careful since there are no English subtitles–as far as I could tell in watching key portions of the film.

But don’t be at all sad:

I will have another cool DVD concert review planned for later in the month featuring another up and coming talent who has been been profiled here before in Marina Elali.

Next week (weather permitting), I will hope to chronicle the career of a late jazz legend who teamed up with the likes of Stan Kenton’s band before embarking on an over four-decade solo career.

For my favorite MPB’s like Fabiana Passoni and others too numerous to mention in such a small space, my all of you have a happy and wonderful Mother’s Day.  And yes, even my own mother is starting to enjoy some of the soothing sounds that is bossa nova and Brazilian sambas.  So far, she lists the classics from the Bossa Nova Sua Historia Sue Guente double compilation CD and some Sergio Mendes tunes from back in the day as some of her favorites.


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