More New Music From Many Favorite Artists You Should Check Out

A pair each of singles available for streaming and new albums from budding artists to look for during the autumn months

Happy September, my loyal blog fans!

I nearly forgot to end August by mentioning that I kindly stumbled across two recent singles from artists that I have previously covered:

On May 5, Tie (pronounced as Chee) released the single “Mexeu Comigo” (translated means, “Moved with Me”).  The video shows her in many various outdoor scenes, with two short clips in the final minute being slightly NSFW.

The other video shows good friend of this blog in Monica da Silva getting involved in some witchcraft and tarot readings on the bouncy single, “Phoenix” (perhaps she should check out the preview to Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life album which went viral in April, totally shot in black and white).

Both songs are available on YouTube.

Regarding the news about some new albums coming out in the near future…

  • Alexia Bomtempo released a single called “I Thought About You”.  Her new album will be released on September 22 called, Chasing Storms and Stars.
  • Lori Carsillo recently managed to step back in time to the 1920’s in filming a new music video.  What will come out of that, please stay tuned.

Speaking of which, one of my recent interview subjects is slated to come out with a new album and is still a major hit in most corners of the globe.

Halie Loren recently was kind enough to share with me a page where us as loyal fans can take part in her unique Kickstarter campaign.

And there is even a really cute video starting Halie herself kindly asking fans to lend some financial support by October 1.  Fans have until 11 a.m. Eastern time that particular Sunday to help fund what would be her tenth jazz album, putting Halie in some very select company with only the best of the best as far as producing at least double digit albums.

Here is the link:

My first check of her pledge total shows she is 34.35 percent towards her $64,000 goal.  Sure, some of us had to use some of our hard earned dollars to help out the American Red Cross and other vital organizations after the record rainfall from Hurricane Harvey that affected most of Houston as well as southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana.

Please do what you can, however small an amount to help her achieve another dream and make it all come true.

More cool album reviews of past Brazilian jazz stars will return the week of September 10.  Please enjoy your long Labor/Labour Day holiday weekend for those people residing in the United States and Canada.


Artist Worth Checking Out: Mallu Magalhaes


Image courtesy of (above), and (below)


Celebrating her 25th birthday today and fellow Virgo just like me, Mallu was born in Sao Paolo in 1992 and got her first taste of online fame in 2008 at the then popular social media site Myspace.

Two self-titled albums would follow to close out the 2000’s, along with her 2009 tour being captured on DVD.  For five straight years beginning in 2008, Mallu was nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards in Brazil.  With her husband Marcelo Camelo and Portuguese drummer Fred Ferreira (no relation to any former or present NCAA basketball player), they teamed up to form the band Banda Do Mar in 2013.

Mallu also became a mother to daughter Louisa three days after Christmas 2015.

My profile this week features her last two albums, the mostly English singing ballads on the 2013 Highly Sensitive and the new album that was just released in late July on Amazon and most online streaming platforms called Vem (translated means, clear).

Her sound on both albums is both bubbly and good natured.  Very laid back vibe, there are so many great songs that it was very difficult for me to pick out a handful at first glance.  “Casa Pronta” is a good song on Track 3, along with “Pelo Telefone” on Track 6.  On the prior album, 7 of the 12 tracks are sung in English.  From the opening number of “You Know You’ve Got” to the title track at Track 3 and the really fun song to close the album, “You Ain’t Gonna Lose Me”, there are plenty of songs to help you get through any weekday or weekend.

If I get some time during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend (otherwise known in most of the United States as the last true weekend of summer), I will try to post a short Q&A session with Mallu.

Feliz aniversário, Mallu e você pode ter um dia especial cheio de amor, felicidade e alegria.  Como costumo pensar em meu aniversário, espero que você esteja grato pelas pequenas coisas hoje.


Happy Birthday, Mallu and may you have a special day filled with love, happiness, and joy.  As I often think around my birthday, I hope you are thankful for the small things today.

Do Your Part, Donate Your Solar Eclipse Glasses to Schools in South America

Ginger Zee of ABC News sent out a Tweet on Monday afternoon asking people to go a Facebook page and follow a link to donate any gently used solar eclipse sunglasses to various schools throughout South America and Asia.

What an awesome idea. The more Americans do this, not only will we do the environmentally right thing–but also we could see more people around Brazil and neighboring countries do the ‘ooh’, ‘aah’, and ‘wow’ that the United States was fortunate to experience coast-to-coast for the first time since 1918.

Here is the link. Go tell your friends to do the same. The less trash, the better:


Ginger Zee, da ABC News, enviou um Tweet na tarde de segunda-feira, pedindo às pessoas que vejassem uma página no Facebook e seguissem um link para doar qualquer óculos de sol de eclipse solar de uso suave para várias escolas em toda a América do Sul e Ásia.

Que idéia maravilhosa. Quanto mais os americanos fizerem isso, não só vamos fazer o que é ambientalmente correto – mas também podemos ver mais pessoas ao redor do Brasil e países vizinhos, o ‘ooh’, ‘aah’ e ‘wow’ que os Estados Unidos tiveram a sorte de Experiência de costa a costa pela primeira vez desde 1918.

Aqui está o link. Diga aos seus amigos que façam o mesmo. Quanto menos lixo, melhor:

Artist Worth Checking Out: Agencia Zanna

In doing this blog on one of the newest artists to burst onto the MPB jazz scene, I was a bit perplexed when I tried doing my typical online search.

Instead, I first stumbled across the website, and it explains in this way what Zanna means:

“In Romanian lore zanna are creatures who guide and protect lost children. Zanna intentionally appear as figments of the child’s imagination, allowing the child to move on with confidence once guidance is no longer necessary.”

Sam Winchester, 11.08 Just My Imagination  First aired December 2, 2015 on CHCH TV, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Most of those beliefs fit neatly with my newbie artist review and the first one for 2017, if you can believe it.

Her self-titled album was released on April 20, 2017 and is on Spotify, and other online music players.  It is both a very nice and breezy listen.  Her voice gives off a very relaxed vibe, which I feel is perfect music if you are either feeling a bit blue or felt like if you survived a really rough day.

I recently gave Agencia Zanna the chance to answer some really interesting questions, so here she is:


Image courtesy of


1. Seu site falou muito sobre a marca de som. O que os músicos e os indivíduos profissionais podem fazer quando se tornam músicos ou expandindo seu ofício em alguns casos ganham com a leitura de seu livro “The Sound Life of Brands”?

Meu livro não tem tradução pro inglês ainda, ta bem ? Respondendo sua pergunta: musicos assim como em outras profissões, precisam se reinventar. O mundo tá mudando e com ele os hábitos de consumo também. Hoje, a produção de conteúdo musical não está sendo mais remunerada. A chance que o músico tem de ganhar dinheiro é tocando ao vivo e ainda assim, em certas metrópoles, pra terem alguma visibilidade precisam pagar pra tocar. Por essas e por outras, hoje, ser apenas músico, compositor ou cantor é muito pouco para se ter uma vida minimamente confortável.
Não há uma única resposta é solução pra essa equação. A resposta que eu encontrei, foi misturar meu conhecimento de música, com minha aptidão natural em comunicacao e marketing de
Experiência. Partindo disso, fui estudar branding, observei muito e tive a ideia de criar identidade sonora de marcas, Sound Branding, de
Melhorar, através da música, a experiência em
Espaços públicos e conectar artistas com as marcas através de projetos culturais. Tema esse amplamente exporto no meu livro: “A Vida Sonora das Marcas”.
Mas sinceramente, entendo que cada um precise encontrar seu próprio caminho, pois se vc não faz realmente o que gosta, se não segue seu desejo e
Crenças nada vai pra frente. Portanto é preciso se
Escutar e perceber, quais áreas além da música interessam e a partir disso compor um
produto, algo que seja útil, vendavel e alinhado as metas do milênio!


2. Que etapas você teve que superar para produzir este excelente álbum auto-intitulado (aprendendo a ajustar sua voz ou a aprender uma batida diferente de uma música bem conhecida)? Como era que ter produtores e arranjadores chave lhe deram esse som legal do Rio, embora vivam alguns oceanos em Los Angeles?

Esse disco é resultado de uma
Vida inteira de imersão pra chegar ao som,
As composições a interpretação e voz que eu queria imprimir. Fiz outros discos na minha vida, mas
Sempre compus e guardei esse conteúdo pra hora certa. Pensava que gostaria de fazê-lo com excelência, com os melhores musico e produtor do mundo, exatamente como eu queria, sem pitacos de produtores de gravadoras e etc. pra isso eu teria que ter uma infra estrutura acima da média. Precisaria além da minha obra de dinheiro pra fazer exatamente o que eu queria.
Dentre as etapas foi compor, perseguir cada vez mais o meu estilo e foi na Itália, morando no mato, que me dediquei muito fortemente a composição e recebi de presente musicas que hoje fazem parte desse álbum. Além disso queria trabalhar com um
Produtor alto nível, sensível, corajoso, que pensasse grande e principalmente não estivesse pautando na modinha. Aos poucos, o que tava impresso na minha obra foi ficando cada vez mais claro. Se tratava de música brasileira clássica, pura, mas do meu jeito. E não poderia ter encontrado proditor melhor, Moogie Canazio, já proditor de grandes nomes da música brasileira e internacionais. Ele entendeu de cara meu trabalho, nos entemks de cara, duas pessoas fortes e cheias de personalidade que somadas só podia resultar num trabalho com excelência!
Uma outra etapa importante foi a financeira. Em quanto amadurecia as ideias. Em quanto emocionalmente me preparava pra essa realizacao, fui pensar Söns pra marcas, pros espaços físicos e tem algumas músicas minhas conhecidas aí que existem pra identificar marcas como a Vivo, Metro Rio e outras … 10 anos de trabalho de sound branding consistente e inovador, me deram A infra que eu precisava pra poder ter a possibilidade de bancar meu sonho.
O resultado como pode ouvir e sabe é um disco produzido entre Rio de Janeiro e Los Angeles na Visom, Capitol e East West studio, por Moogie Canazio, brasileiro de Los Angeles, ganhador de 8 grammys e produtor de Caetano, Maria Betania entre outros grandes artistas da música internacional, disco que tem 6 arranjos com grande orquestra, cinco deles assinados por Eduardo Souto Neto e Rildo hora, Que tem a participação de grandes músicos históricos da música brasileira como Jorge Helder, Marcelo acosta, Jaime Além, Milton Guedes, Claudio Nucci , sem falar da participação de músicos americanos e latinos de renome como Team Pierce e Jamon Flores. Tá no mundo, nasceu um disco de musica brasileira na sua melhor performance possível.

3. Quais são seus objetivos com este álbum? Existem temas subjacentes em que os fãs devem se concentrar?

Em companhia desse disco, quero inaugurar uma nova fase na música brasileira, recoloca-lá na pauta dos brasileiros e amantes da música brasileira pelo mundo. Já tenho um projeto aprovado na lei de
Insentivo, estamos conversando com vários artistas e engrossando o caldo. O brasileiro merece ter acesso a boa música brasileira.
Pros fãs gostaria de dizer pra ouvirem o disco até o final. Num primeiro momento pode parecer um
Disco de bossa, mas não é. Já na terceira faixa tem Menina de Vento, uma toada que conta uma história.
Alem de ouvirem a música de trabalho Vento de Praia Nordeste, música de abertura do álbum, tem o classico, quase um standard Inverno, Tem a única música em língua estrangeira L’amore, uma
Bossa latina chic, e EU, tema meio POP, mexicano Divertido que fala sobre o feminino, tem Se, quase uma música clássica com um arranjo lindo de cordas do eduardo e participação especial de Cláudio Nucci e por fim diria Alice, um afoxé estilizado envolvente e movido. Sem falar em Bonecos reis, único samba do disco com arranjo bem particular do Rildo Hora.

4. Dê-nos um instantâneo do que é um dia ou semana típica para você no trabalho. O que você está aprendendo e ensinando diariamente / semanalmente?

Minha rotina é pela música o tempo todo. Quando vou me exercitar de manhã já tenho a minha play list. Isso eu aprendi, meu corpo precisa de exercícios. Gosto de comer pouco e bem, vou pro escritório
Onde temos estúdio. To procurando  o tempo todo entender os movimentos do mundo e me antecipar nas tendências. Elas estão ai, sempre se mostrando de forma clara, basta observar. Se a gente se
Mantém nesse fluxo a gente se
Respeita e respeita o outro também é vai pro caminho natural!
Fazer esse disco por exemplo foi também um reflexo desse exercício. Depois de toda essa crise o que mais os brasileiros e o mundo vai precisar
E se reconectar com coisas boas, que elevem, que nos deixem Mais felizes e estaremos prontos pra esse momento!

5. Com um horário cheio, veremos você possivelmente produzindo um segundo álbum ou escrevendo um segundo livro algum dia antes que esta década esteja fora?

Toda a minha agenda hora em torno da música. Comecei esse Movimento desde que nasci. Essa etapa da vida agora inclui a construção da carreira
da Zanna cantora, da mulher que deseja espalhar música pelo mundo e encantar as pessoas. Com certeza teremos um segundo, terceiro, quarto .. álbuns. Tenho mais de 300 músicas compostas e muita sede de colocá-las no mundo. Agora abri o meu baú e aos poucos vou mostrando todos os meus adereços!
Enfim, fazer música é um ato de resistência. Pra dizer ao mundo que apesar De todas as mazelas Dessa epoca complexa que a gente está vivendo, a música e espelho das nossas almas, nos alimentam, nos fazem humanos melhores! Vovó pra enfeitar, pra elevar os sentimentos pra emocionar as pessoas!

Muito obrigado por ser parte do meu blog. Você definitivamente tem uma boa voz de canto e eu não queria nada além de coisas boas em seu trabalho.


1. Your website talked a lot about sound branding. What can professional musicians and individuals when they attempt to become musicians or expanding their craft in some cases gain from reading your book, “The Sound Life of Brands”?

My book does not have English translation yet, okay? Answering your question: Musicians as well as other professions need to reinvent themselves. The world is changing and with it the habits of consumption as well. Today, the production of musical content is not being paid anymore. The chance that the musician has to make money is playing live and yet, in certain metropolises, to have some visibility they have to pay to play. For these and others, today, being just a musician, composer or singer is very little to have a minimally comfortable life.

No single answer is a solution to this equation. The answer I found was to blend my knowledge of music with my natural aptitude in communication and marketing.
Experience. From this, I studied branding, I observed a lot and had the idea of ​​creating brand sound identity, Sound Branding, from
to improve, through music, the experience in public spaces and connect artists with brands through cultural projects. Theme this amply exported in my book: “The Sound Life of the Marks”.

But honestly, I understand that everyone needs to find their own way, because if you do not really do what you like, if you do not follow their desire and beliefs–nothing goes forward.  Therefore, it is necessary to listen and to perceive, which areas (encompassing) beyond the music interest and from there to compose a
product:  something that is useful, sellable and aligned with the millennium goals!

2. What steps did you have to overcome to produce this excellent self-titled album (learning how to adjust your voice or learn a different beat of a well known song)? What was it like having key producers and arrangers give you that cool Rio sound, although they live a few oceans away in Los Angeles?

This disc is the result of a whole life of immersion to reach the sound, the compositions, the interpretation and voice I wanted to print.  I made other records in my life, but I always composed and kept this content on time. I thought that I would like to do it with excellence, with the best musician and producer in the world, exactly as I wanted it, without any pitches from record producers and so on. For this I would have to have an infrastructure above average. It would take more than my work of money to do exactly what I wanted.

Among the stages was to compose, to pursue my style more and more and it was in Italy, living in the bush, that I dedicated myself very strongly to the composition and I received from present music that today are part of this album. In addition, I wanted to work with a producer (who is held in) high level, sensitive, courageous, who thought big and mainly was not ruling the modinha. Gradually, what was printed in my work became more and more clear. It was classic Brazilian music, pure, but (done) my way. And I could not have found a better product, Moogie Canazio, already a producer of great names in Brazilian and international music. He understood from my work, in the face of the face, two strong people full of personality that together could only result in a job with excellence!

Another important step was financial–how soon did the ideas mature. As I was emotionally preparing myself for this realization, I was thinking Söns for brands, for physical spaces and there are some songs of my own that exist to identify brands such as Vivo, Metro Rio and others … 10 years of consistent sound branding work and Innovative, gave me the infra(structure) that I needed to be able to afford my dream.

The result you can hear and know is a disc produced between Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles at Visom, Capitol and East West studio, by Moogie Canazio, Los Angeles Brazilian, winner of 8 Grammys and producer of Caetano, Maria Bethania among other great artists of the international music (scene), (this) disc that has 6 arrangements with great orchestra, five of them signed by Eduardo Souto Neto and Rildo hora–which has the participation of great historical musicians of Brazilian music like Jorge Helder, Marcelo acosta, Jaime Beyond, Milton Guedes, Claudio Nucci (not to mention the participation of renowned American and Latin musicians such as Team Pierce and Jamon Flores). In the world, a Brazilian music album was born in its best possible performance.

3. What are your goals with this album? Are there any underlying themes fans should focus on?

In the company of this record, I want to inaugurate a new phase in Brazilian music, put it back in the list of Brazilians and lovers of Brazilian music around the world. I already have a project approved in the Insomniacally, we are talking to several artists and thickening the stock. The Brazilian (community) deserves access to good Brazilian music.

Pro(fessional) fans would like to say to listen to the record until the end. At first it may seem like a Bossa disk, but it is not.  Already in the third track has “Girl of Wind”, a toada that tells a story.
Besides listening to the work song “Northeast Beach Wind”, (the) album opening music, has the classic, almost a standard Winter (theme), has the only foreign language song L’amore, a
Bossa latina chic, and US/half pop theme, Mexican fun that talks about the female, has Se, almost a classical song with a beautiful arrangement of Eduardo’s strings and special participation of Claudius Nucci and finally Alice, a stylized surrounding (of) Afoxé And moved–not to mention Doll kings, the only samba of the album with a very particular arrangement of Rildo Hora.

4. Please give us a snapshot of what a typical day or week is like for you at work. What things are you learning and teaching on a daily/weekly basis?

My routine is for music all the time. When I go to work out in the morning I already have my play list. This I learned, my body needs exercises. I like to eat little and well, I go to the office where we have a studio. I’m trying all the time to understand the movements of the world and to anticipate the trends. They are there, always showing clearly, just watch. If we keep in this flow, people
respect and respect the other is also goes pro (the) natural way!

Making this record for example, was also a reflection of this exercise. After all, this crisis what more Brazilians and the world will need and reconnect with good, uplifting things that will make us happier and ready for this moment!

5. With a packed schedule, will we see you possibly producing either a second album or penning a second book sometime before this decade is out?

My whole agenda is around the music. I started this Movement since I was born. This stage of life now includes career building
The Zanna singer, the woman who wants to spread music around the world and delight people. Surely we’ll have a second, a third, a fourth … albums. I have more than 300 songs composed and very thirsty to put them in the world. Now I opened my chest and slowly I show all my props!

Anyway(s), making music is an act of resistance. To tell the world that despite all the ills of this complex time that we are living, the music and mirror of our souls, feed us, make us better humans! Grandma to spruce up, to raise feelings, to thrill people!

Thank you so much for being a part of my blog. You definitely have a nice singing voice and I wish nothing but great things in your work.





Master Composers: Sabrina Malheiros Brings On Dancing Grooves With “Clareia”


Image courtesy of my own Personal Collection

First will be the posting in Sabrina’s native Portuguese, followed by the American English translation that you and I can understand:

Um bom amigo deste blog, Sabrina Malheiros está de volta e ela trouxe mais do que apenas seus sapatos de dança favoritos para esta festa.
Em vez de ouvir suas músicas muito calmas e descontraídas de álbuns anteriores, incluindo o meu hino favorito do jazz brasileiro no verão, intitulado “Brisa Mar” (do qual você pode ler mais na minha última entrevista com ela em um dos meus últimos blogs, Apenas fyi)–Este álbum é uma surpresa refrescante.

Lançado para Spotify, Apple Music e outros players de mídia em streaming online em 28 de julho, este CD é simplesmente uma ótima música para uma sexta-feira ou qualquer dia, você sente um pouco exuberante ou quer desfrutar de alguma música divertida e divertida. Para alguns ouvintes de longa data, este álbum pode ressonar algumas memórias quando a mania da discoteca e do boogie tomou parte da década de 1980 no Rio. Para mim como fã leal, esta é definitivamente uma mudança de ritmo refrescante.

Além da faixa-título de Clareia (que simplesmente significa “claro” em português), quatro das cinco primeiras faixas são na sua maioria up-tempo. Não estava no ritmo vertiginoso dos recentes lançamentos de artistas indie pop rock, como Phoenix com “Ti Amo” ou Arcade Fire com seu lançamento de “American Now”, que emocionou milhares de fãs em Lollapalooza em Chicago, mas o álbum mostra Sabrina No seu melhor.

Minhas canções favoritas neste álbum de uma hora incluem Track 1, “Celebrar” (“Para celebrar”) e Track 4 (“Sun Harbour”). Eu até ouvi uma pequena sugestão do “Bim Bom” da Bebel Gilberto na Pista 6, “Sol, Ceu E Mar” (ou simplesmente “Sol, Céu e Mar”).
Música de fundo perfeita para o verão. Definitivamente obtém minha classificação mais alta, cinco estrelas!

Falando em novas músicas, tive recentemente a oportunidade de ouvir dois novos artistas que procuram fazer um nome para eles na batida da MPB. Diga olá ao guitarrista Zanna e cantor e compositor Mallu Magalhaes – uma maravilha de Myspace que recentemente saiu com seu quarto álbum, simplesmente intitulado, Vem (ou simplesmente “Comes”). Vou tentar destacá-los em algum momento nos próximos dias, e se sua programação permitir um pouco de tempo de bate-papo on-line – vou tentar entrevistá-los individualmente.

Aproveite o seu fim de semana e agradeço o seu apoio com o meu blog. Isso significa o mundo para mim.


A good friend of this blog, Sabrina Malheiros is back and she brought more than just her favorite dancing shoes to this party.
Instead of hearing her very calm and laid-back songs from past albums, including my favorite anthem of Brazilian jazz in summer titled, “Brisa Mar” (of which you can read more in my past interview with her in one of my past blogs, just fyi)–this album is quite a refreshing surprise..

Released to Spotify, Apple Music, and other online streaming media players on July 28, this CD is simply great music for a Friday or any day you feel like getting a bit exuberant or just want to enjoy some fun and playful music. For some longtime listeners, this album may respark some memories when the disco and boogie craze took up much of the 1980’s in Rio.  For me as a loyal fan, this is definitely a refreshing change of pace.

Besides the title track of Clareia (which simply means “clear” in Portuguese), four of the first five tracks are mostly up-tempo. Not at the dizzying pace heard on the recent releases by indie pop rock artists such as Phoenix with “Ti Amo” or Arcade Fire with their danceable release of “American Now” which thrilled thousands of fans at Lollapalooza in Chicago, but the album showcases Sabrina at her best.

My favorite songs on this one hour album include Track 1, “Celebrar” (“To celebrate”) and Track 4, (“Sun Harbor”). I even heard a small hint of Bebel Gilberto’s “Bim Bom” on Track 6, “Sol, Ceu E Mar” (or simply, “Sun, Sky, and Sea”).
Perfect background music for summer.  Definitely gets my highest rating, five stars!

Speaking of new music, I recently got the opportunity to hear two new artists looking to make a name for themselves on the MPB beat. Say hello to budding folk/rock guitarist Zanna and singer-songwriter Mallu Magalhaes–a Myspace wonder who recently came out with her fourth album simply titled, Vem (or simply, “Comes”). I will try to highlight them sometime in the coming days, and if their schedule allows a bit of online chat time–I will try to interview them individually.

Please enjoy your weekend, and thank you for your support with my blog. It means the world to me.

Q & A With Halie Loren Going Through ‘Stages’

Her 2011 intimate studio session was handled with passion and true grace

For the better part of this last decade, this proud Oregon at heart/Alaska by birth singer/songwriter has carved quite a cool niche in the smooth jazz genre.  I was lucky enough to profile Halie Loren a few years back with her outstanding After Dark release, and her studio session is a definite gem of a listen:


Image courtesy of

In May, I emailed Halie a cool questionnaire similar to what I sent to many other Brazilian MPB artists ranging from Fabiana Passoni to Monica da Silva and also other individuals such as Lori Carsillo, Sherie Julianne, and Sabrina Malheiros.

Nearly two months later, in the middle of July–Halie kindly replied back to my questionnaire.  I started off this “Q&A” by attempting briefly to jog her mind back to when she was a young girl growing up in a remote Alaska town:

1. Who were your favorite musical inspirations growing up?  Does any one memory (whether it was performing in a play, concert, or just playing with your family as the audience) from your time as a child still stick with you today?

My biggest musical inspirations from my early years were Nat King Cole, Patsy Cline, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah McLachlan, Joni Mitchell, Peggy Lee, Annie Lennox, and Diana Krall, among so many other artists.  I was a voracious music listener from very early in my life.  I began performing in public at age ten, and I remember very vividly my first time performing jazz at that age.  I was attending a camp for music and art called the Sitka Fine Arts Camp (in my hometown of Sitka, Alaska), and I was one of the featured performers for the end-of-camp showcase performance in front of hundreds of my peers.  I was so nervous that I forgot to start singing at the right time!  Luckily the jazz trio musicians were total pros, so they covered well for me and my stage fright.  The experience was terrifying and exhilarating, and gave me confidence that I could make mistakes while performing and it would not mean the end of the world. It is a very good lesson to learn as a young musician!

2. Do you have any memories about living in Sitka, Alaska?  What is that town like–try painting a small picture for us.

I grew up in a small town called Sitka on an island in Southeastern Alaska.  It is a dramatic landscape of giant mountains and endless rainforest wilderness surrounded by an ocean dotted with thousands of other islands.  I grew up surrounded by humpback whales and bald eagles and bears and deer, among many other varieties of wildlife.  I spent countless days on boats, fishing, and swimming in the ocean.  That entire area of Alaska has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.  It does rain there almost every single day, which some people might not enjoy so much…it certainly makes the landscape incredibly green and lush, though! The area was originally settled by the Tlingits, an Alaskan Native tribe, and those cultural roots are still very much alive and present in the town’s culture today.  It was also the capital of the Russian-owned land in America before Alaska was purchased by the U.S.A., and there are quite a few sites in the town from that era of the town’s history, including a beautiful Russian orthodox church in the very center of downtown.

Through some brief online image research, I hope this pic brings along a sense of calm and peace in a rather hectic and tulmtuous world we still live in today and in Halie’s case brings a good portion of her childhood back into focus:



Image courtesy of

Back to the rest of the online interview:

3. I found the Stages album to be both interesting and invigorating.  The first point is due to the variety of songs that were played, cover hits from U2 and other popular musicians.  What was it like hearing the crowd reaction after singing, “Cry Me A River” and especially, “The Girl From Ipanema”? 

I have to be honest, but those two versions might have had a different reaction had it just been you and the band recording in some studio.  But having the audience there made it feel like there was a true connection, and that was really nice to hear (for fans reading, think part Diana Krall and part Fabiana Passoni with a small dash of Marcela Mangabeira in the voice).

Every time I’ve performed “Girl from Ipanema”, the crowd reaction is one of delight and recognition of the song.  It is such a beloved tune – even people who don’t really listen to jazz or Brazilian music know that song and have a special kind of love for it.”

4. With a rather hectic schedule, do you have any time at all to relax or do any “girl things”–reading, shopping, cooking, etc.?  Any hobbies that you enjoy doing (in any spare time you might have)?

I most enjoy being out in nature when I have time off.  Since I grew up surrounded by wilderness and ocean, I like to return to these places whenever I can.  I especially love to hike in the forest, swim in rivers, and collect rocks and shells at the beach – I have quite a vast collection of treasures I’ve found while beach-combing!  I’ve always loved reading, and am a big fan of being able to have time to finish a book in two or three days – it’s rare that I’m able to dedicate that much consecutive time to reading, but it’s always very satisfying when I’m able to do that!”

5. When I read your announcement back on January 28, (learn more by tapping or clicking here:…

I felt overall that your words you spoke were pure, honest, and truly heartfelt. All I would like to know is–did you manage to accomplish something very meaningful during your time reconnecting with nature?  And in your own humble opinion, did you manage to return to normal life stronger than ever, both inside and out?

“Seeking the peace of nature certainly helped me calm my mind and ease my sorrow…it usually does.  Nature is a powerful healer.  Sometimes all it takes to return to feeling centered is a short trip to a forest.  I learned that as a little girl, and I still turn to the wilderness for answers in difficult times.”


Quick little story before I finish this Q&A:
On that same Saturday just a few hours after I posted that blog, I was invited by my mother to join her many co-workers at a major Chinese buffet restaurant in town.  About three hours into the dinner (since we could not pass up going for seconds), I show one older gentleman (who is into gardening vegetables and flowers in his spare time) the pic I posted of Halie walking outside with her eyes closed, but I wanted to make sure that the headline I posted was not in full view of the smartphone screen.

I quickly told him amidst the occasional brief yells of young children celebrating their birthdays a few tables away:  “Here is this nice woman simply enjoying life to the fullest.  She really enjoys making nice jazz music.”  He told me in his excitable voice, “Really?  I will have to look her up!”  I then tapped a few clicks later to show him my past review and he was instantly hooked, but sadly he doesn’t get online that much.

So Halie, at least in one of portion of the Midwest–you have a new virtual fan in your corner.  (Albeit, the weather Oregon normally gets on August 4 was in the opposite direction, as my area in the Midwest was basking in autumn conditions, at the same time most of the northern third of the West Coast was baking in triple digit heat.)


6. Are you planning to cover any Brazilian jazz, past or present in future shows?

“Brazilian jazz is always a favorite of mine, and I’m sure I will continue to perform songs from this rich tradition for as long as I am able to perform anything at all!  It is intoxicatingly (calm and) lovely music.  I am forever drawn to its rhythms.”

7. Anything else that fans wish to know about what makes your music special, the online floor is yours…


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I’m excited to begin recording a new project this fall…I will be making more announcements about this soon on social media and my website (  I’m so excited to share my brand new music with the world! I’m also currently recording new songs with the band “Halie and The Moon”, and I’m having so much fun with that.  I feel blessed to be able to create so much music that inspires me, and to create it with people that I deeply love and admire. It’s a lucky life indeed!”

Special thank you to Halie being so kind and gracious with her time in answering my questions.  Please continue to have safe travels and great times in places that you go and the people that you meet each time when it is time to perform.

Thank you again for wanting to feature my music.”

Speaking of new music, Sabrina Malheiros released a new album on July 28 and I will look forward to profiling Clareia next week.  Plus, I will highlight one new young artist looking to make a new names for herself with some interesting guitar work and another artist returning with her first new album since 2013.

Please enjoy your weekend and thank you for supporting my blog.

P.S. Halie’s Twitter account led off on August 11 saying it was,

“A lovely blog…”

Thanks again, Halie.  You are so sweet.




Master Composers: Gregg Karukas Brings Lots of Groovy Soul


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With a longtime love of the piano since he was six, Gregg Karukas has enjoyed quite a successful career, primarily dealing with commercial smooth jazz.

After spending five years dabbling in R&B and later as a studio musician in Washington, D.C., he moved to Los Angeles in 1983.  He would become a major player in the pop-jazz genre with the likes of David Benoit, Richard Elliot, Grant Geissman, and Ronnie Laws, to name a few.  Dave Koz impressed him early on with his early version of his specialty on the saxophone and by the mid-’80s, Gregg was an original member of the Rippingtons.

Between 1987 and 2009, he produced a dozen albums.  This album from 2014 covers over 70 minutes and is excellent music to wind down the day (especially great listening for any college student that cannot sleep too easily at night, me being one of them back in the day–and yes, welcome to my newest fan in my former one-time Speech and Music Appreciation professor when I was in school.  Hello and welcome, hope you enjoy reading my blogs).

Teaming up with Brazilian jazz royalty from Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi, and Ricardo Silveria–each song has just the right amount of rhythm not to be rushed and more importantly in this day and age–each track sounds just lively enough in case if you were hosting a party and just want your guests to kick off their shoes (or in case for the ladies who happen to be reading, their heels) and relax.

In fact, the only vocals you will hear is on Track 5, “Rio Drive”.  A very effervescent tune, if there was one–I can easily compare it with Les Hommes’ spring break type tune on The Mood Is Modal (of which you can read in one of my past blogs, fyi).  Another nice track that should be on your jazz playlist should be Track 9, “Secret Smile”–a very laid back and soothing mix of Vincent Ingala on sax and Michael O’Neill on guitar.

No wonder Gregg Karukas is more than just a talented musician–he also had the time to work also as a freelance producer, in addition to being featured as a sideman on albums by smooth jazz greats in Peter White, Boney James, and Craig Chaquico.

Hopefully, with the American firecracker holiday of Independence Day done for another year…it will be interesting to see what album I will review next.
Please check back next week, and tell your friends who might be interested in checking out the most relaxing music this side of the Equator.

Thirty (that’s 3-oh to you and me) other people have been convinced, so why not join in on the fun?  See you all next week and may you all have pleasant dreams.