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Daniela Mercury Portrait vertical rule Canibália: Deluxe Edition

 

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Revolution and reinvention are in Daniela Mercury's blood. Singer, dancer, composer, choreographer, producer, she is a major figure in the contemporary arts with few peers. Her wide-ranging and versatile work is a brilliant synthesis of the European, Latin American, and African traditions. She has released thirteen CDs, five DVD's of live shows, and sold more than eleven million albums around the world. With eleven international tours in over 100 cities in the past two decades, Daniela has become the most internationally recognized Brazilian artist since Carmen Miranda in the 1940s.

 

Daniela Mercuri de Almeida was born in 1965 in Salvador da Bahia, the most Africanized region of Brazil. She was the third of five children of Antônio Fernando de Abreu Ferreira da Almeida, an industrial mechanic born in Portugal, and Liliana Mercuri, a social worker of Italian descent. From the age of eight, Daniela trained as a dancer, studying ballet, modern, and Afro-Brazilian dance. At sixteen, she began singing in bars in Salvador, where she gained a reputation for her interpretations of popular music, bossa nova, and jazz. At eighteen, she entered professional dance training at the Federal University of Bahia.

 

Daniela's childhood passion for Bahia's gigantic annual street carnival inspired her with the ambition of singing on a trio elétrico (a rolling, amplified truck) at a time when only men were permitted. Fiercely persisting against entrenched custom and male bias, she would eventually be acclaimed as the "queen" (rainha) of the Salvador carnival. She designed a lavish three-story truck topped by a dance platform, which she calls her "teatro" (theater). This majestic trio is the hub of bloco Crocodilo — her mass of street followers whose symbol is a crocodile. In 1996, Daniela created a dramatic new carnival route (Barra-Ondina) along the sea and later constructed the first personal camarote (a veranda of balcony boxes) for viewing the carnival from a new perspective. Every year, she and her troupe of virtuoso musicians, drummers, and dancers are celebrated for their innovations at carnival, which is televised throughout Brazil. Daniela is famous for her energy and stamina, enabling her to sing for seven hours straight each carnival night.

 

Daniela's first two albums were recorded with Companhia Clic, a pop group which she formed in 1989 and which had two hit singles prefiguring her pioneering incursions into electronic music. Her first solo alum, Daniela Mercury (1991, Eldorado), was a massive blockbuster that conquered Brazil. The passionate, high-impact single, "Swing da Cor" ("Swing of Color"), became an instant classic : the anthemic song remains synonymous with samba-reggae (axé), a hybrid genre rooted in Bahia's Afro dance groups (blocos), whose ceremonial street drumming is derived from the ancient Yoruba rituals of Candomblé.

 

Daniela's 1992 open-air concert in the plaza of São Paulo's Museum of Art caused a sensation. Her midday performance attracted more than 20,000 people who spilled into the main avenue and halted traffic. The police had to shut down the concert because of fears that the crowds and vibration were endangering the Museum's art works. This unprecedented event in the heart of Brazil's cultural and media capital demonstrated how Daniela's music was breaking down rigid regional and racial barriers.

 

Daniela's second album, Canto da Cidade ("Song of the City", 1992, SONY), sold a million copies and became the first diamond record in Brazilian history. She was the first exponent of the new Bahian sound to have a TV special about her broadcast on Rede Globo, the national channel. Her third album, Música de Rua ("Music of the Street", 1994, SONY), established her eclecticism as a composer and arranger.

 

The critically acclaimed Feijão com Arroz ("Beans with Rice", 1996, SONY) is often called Daniela's "masterpiece", an exploration of samba music from its ethnic roots to modern pop. Elétrica (1998, SONY), Daniela's first live album, captures the electrifying atmosphere of her mammoth, marathon open-air shows. Recorded in Salvador, it blends the Bahian acoustic guitar of the traditional trios elétricos with blazing electric rock guitar.

 

Sol da Liberdade ("Sun of Liberty", 2000, BMG) reaffirmed Mercury's affinity for samba-reggae, whose rhythms she daringly mixed with beats from electronic music (rap, funk, lounge, house). Sou de Qualquer Lugar ("I am from any place", 2001, BMG) brought together prominent songwriters such as Gilberto Gil and Carlinhos Brown and showcased Daniela's most intimate compositions.

 

Eletrodoméstico, a production of MTV Live, was recorded at the Castro Alves Theater in Salvador and released on CD and DVD (2002, BMG). An elaborate spectacle of striking costumes and indigenous stage sets, the show was a high point in Daniela's promotion of multiculturalism. Among her guests were Portuguese singer Dulce Pontes, Spanish gypsy flamenco star Rosário Flores, Italian rapper Lorenzo Jovanotti, and the Bahian bands Olodum, Ilê Aiyê, and Hip Hop Roots.

 

In Carnaval Eletrônico (2004, BMG), Daniela invited the most important producers and DJs of electronic music in Brazil to participate in a disc commemorating the five years since she had formed TrioTechno, the first trio elétrico of electronic music to parade in the Salvador carnival. The album is a bold fusion of Brazilian rhythms with such electronic styles as drum 'n' bass, house, techno, lounge, and dub. The album received a Latin Grammy nomination for best pop album of the year, and Daniela was nominated for a TIM award for best female pop/rock vocals. In a national online poll sponsored by the weekly magazine Revista Isto É, Carnaval Eletrônico was voted best pop album of the year.

 

In 2005, Daniela released Clâssica on CD and DVD (Som Livre). Recorded from a show she gave in a nightclub setting at São Paulo's Bourbon Street, the album is a sampler of bossa nova, jazz, and MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) hits, along with one of Daniela's most haunting compositions, "Aeromoça". In the same year was released Balé Mulato (EMI), which drew from samba-reggae, rock, romantic ballads, frevo (a mix of martial polka and African rhythms), and galope (a northeastern Brazilian rhythm imitating a galloping horse). Daniela toured with the Balé Mulato show in 30 cities internationally for two and a half years. The DVD Bale Mulato Au Vivo (2006, EMI), recorded before a crowd of 250,000 people at Salvador's historic fort and lighthouse, Farol da Barra, won a Latin Grammy in 2007.

 

Daniela's Baile Barroco (2006, EMI), recorded at the 2005 Salvador carnival, was the first live DVD of a performance on a trio elétrico. The collection of songs celebrated twenty years of axé music. To stress Salvador's history of cultural diversity, Daniela opened the parade with a baby grand piano. Accompanied by pianist Ricardo Castro, she sang selections from Bach and Villa Lobos as well as Ary Barroso's classic Aquarela do Brasil. Baile Barroco was nominated for a Latin Grammy for best Long Form Video.

 

Canibália (Four Quarters – North America), Daniela's latest CD, shows off her immense range of styles—pop, samba, samba-jazz, samba-reggae, meringue, and salsa, with an electronic base throughout. The title refers to the bible of Brazilian modernism, Oswaldo Andrade's Manifesto Antropófago ("Cannibal Manifesto"), which was published in 1928 and would inspire Brazil's seminal Tropicalia Movement 40 years later. Daniela's live DVD, Canibália: Ritmos de Brasil (which is a companion Bonus with the CD) captures the bravura of the New Year's Eve 2011 show she gave for a crowd of two million Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. A spectacular event that was broadcast throughout Brazil, featured guests from different regions of Brazil including samba school Unidos da Tijuca (Rio) , Banda Didá (Bahia), AfroReggae ( Rio) and Boi Garantido (Paratins, Amazonia) portraying the country's vast array of rhythmic diversity.

 

Through her production company, O Canto da Cidade, her publishing house, Páginas do Mar, and her recording studio in Salvador da Bahia, Daniela exercises total control over her creative work. She has sung with many other stars, such as Wyclef Jean, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Mercedes Sosa, Tom Jobim, Caetano Veoloso, and Gilberto Gil. Her honors and firsts have been numerous. For example, in 2009, she was the first Brazilian to perform live at the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. The TV ratings for her finale, broadcast by Univision, were the highest in the award ceremony's history (12.8 million viewers). Daniela's last U.S. concert before her 2011 North American tour was a free, open-air show on the evening of March 22, 2009 at Hollywood Beach, Florida. As the headline act for the Brazil on the Beach festival, she performed for the largest single-day audience in Hollywood history. Because of the size of the crowd, which was estimated at 65,000, officials were forced to close the bridges and roads from the city of Miami.

 

Daniela is an ambassador for UNICEF, UNAIDS, and UNESCO and is a highly active representative for many non-profit charity organizations in Brazil.

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Tour Dates

7 October

New York City, NY

Best Buy Theater

 

8 October

Miami, Florida

Adrienne Arsht Center

Ziff Opera House

 

10 + 11 October

Mexico City

Plaza Condensa

 

13 October

Los Angeles, California

The Greek Theatre

 

14 October

San Francisco, California

Paramount Theatre

 

15 October

San Diego, California

4th and B Theatre

 

20 October

Toronto, Canada

Kool Haus

 

                 
                     
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