Iconic second-generation bossa nova composer, singer, and guitarist Joyce Moreno’s multi-day residency at Berklee will be capped tonight by a concert featuring her music.
By Evelyn Rosenthal
One of the great things about living in Boston is being able to see and hear music from all over the world, not just in clubs and regular concert dates, but as part of the essential studies at the city’s great music schools. Berklee College of Music’s Signature Series brings together world-class musicians with students and faculty, often in the form of a multiday residency, capped by a concert featuring the music of the invitee. It’s a collaboration that gives much to all participants: the composer gets to experience new interpretations of his or her work by Berklee faculty and a younger generation of players; students are exposed to deep insights into the creative processes of successful musicians and, often, into the music of other cultures; and the concert audience gets to hear the results. This week, the series focuses on the music of Brazil—previously represented by masters such as Ivan Lins, Rosa Passos, and Guinga—with the iconic second-generation bossa nova composer, singer, and guitarist Joyce Moreno.
For those who know Brazilian music and may be confused about who this “Joyce Moreno” is, she was known (and recorded) simply as “Joyce” until reclaiming her surname a few years ago for the sake of Internet searches. Tonight’s concert at the Berklee Performance Center at 8 p.m., will feature some of her best-known compositions, including her signature song, “Feminina,” a propulsive samba with lyrics about a young girl asking her mother what it means to be a woman. It will also dig into her catalog with new arrangements of some of her lesser-known songs. Special guests will include Brazilian pianist Hélio Alves and drummer Tutty Moreno, Joyce’s husband and longtime band member.
For a sneak preview of the concert, here is Joyce singing and playing a version of “Feminina,” with Berklee students Nêgah Santos (on percussion) and James Heazlewood-Dale (on bass).
Stay tuned for a longer piece about Joyce Moreno’s life and career and one of her Berklee clinics.
Evelyn Rosenthal is the former editor in chief and head of publications at the Harvard Art Museums. She is also a professional singer, specializing in jazz and Brazilian music. She writes about musical theater, books, and music for the Arts Fuse.