Born in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian singer Leny Andrade has toured the world and won countless accolades. At the age of nine, only three years after beginning to play the piano, Andrade won a scholarship to the Brazilian Conservatory of Music in Rio. At the age of eleven, she was invited to sing in a children's program at Radio Tupi, where she performed weekly for two years. At fifteen, she had her first professional gig as a singer with the orchestra of Maestro Perminio Goncalves.
From then on, Andrade performed almost constantly, both with groups and solo. While she was still underaged, she performed in two of the hippest clubs of the era: Bottles Bar and Bacara Club with the Sergio Mendes Trio. In the late 1950's, Andrade was already a well-established performer, and the Bossa Nova surge of the time launched her recording career and won her international recognition.
Andrade has starred in many musicals, such as Rio, Bossa, and Balanco and Gemini 5 in Rio and in Mexico City, and after Gemini 5''s run ended, she stayed in Mexico for five years, performing in clubs and on television and becoming one of the most popular artists in all of Mexico.
Back in Brazil, Andrade assumed her position as a "musician's singer," based on her incredible ability to improvise and her flair at scat singing. She toured all over Latin America while recording many albums and appearing in musical theater and on television.
Andrade has invited to perform in jazz festivals all over the world; she has been featured in festivals from Sweden to Spain and almost everywhere in between. Jazzman Paquito D'Rivera even composed a song inspired by her, "For Leny," which was included on his album Manhattan Burn.
The New York Times describes her: "like Sarah Vaughan, Andrade has a large, rich voice that becomes a mighty baritone when she dips into her lower register ... she possesses a lusty, free-flowing passion that packs every phrase with an earthy sensuality." Leny Andrade's Chesky Records release, her first American recording, Maiden Voyage (JD113) has been lauded as "an elegant, sophisticated voyage into high-voltage jazz which will leave you breathless."
During the recording session for Maiden Voyage, Andrade leaned forward in her chair and pronounced slowly, "I pay the price of every word I sing." Throughout a career which has spanned almost half a century, that has certainly been true. Now, Chesky Records proudly introduces to the US this intense first lady of Brazilian jazz, Leny Andrade.