© photo by Leo Aversa
 photo by Leo Aversa
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  • Sep 02 2024 - 5:00 pm
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Not long after the dawn of her career, as a teenager in Rio de Janeiro, Joyce Moreno was declared “one of the greatest singers” by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Yet despite reputable accolades and the fact that she has since recorded over thirty acclaimed albums, Joyce never quite achieved the international recognition of the likes of Jobim, João Gilberto and Sergio Mendes, all of whom became global stars after releasing with major labels in the US.

As the military dictatorship’s grip on Brazil began to subside in the 1980s, Joyce had a handful of hits in her home county, including a tribute to her daughters ‘Clareana’, and the iconic ‘Feminina’ – an intergenerational conversation between mother and daughter about what it means to be a woman. But already a feminist pioneer, these successes were hard fought. Joyce had caused controversy as a nineteen-year-old when shebecame the first in Brazil to sing from the first-person feminine perspective, and the institutional sexism she faced was worsened by the dictatorship who would often censor her music. Even once the Junta was out ofthe way, Joyce found herself up against the male-dominated major record companies in Brazil, who sought to dictate her career and sexualise her image, before dropping her for refusing to play along.

A few years after the success of her albums Feminina and Agua E Luz in Brazil, Joyce’s music began to find its way to the UK, Europe and Japan, and ‘Feminina’ and ‘Aldeia de Ogum’ became classics on theunderground jazz-dance scenes of the mid to late-eighties and early-nineties. The full-length version of ‘Feminina’ from the Natureza sessions was first heard on a Brazilian Jazz compilation in 1999 and ‘Descompassadamente’ was licensed for a CD compiling the work of Claus Ogerman in 2002. Following these, word began to get out about an unreleased Joyce album with ClausOgerman and the legend of Natureza grew.

Forty-five years since it was recorded, Natureza finally sees the light of day, with Joyce’s Portuguese lyricsand vocals, as she intended. Featuring the fabled 11-minute version of ‘ Feminina’, as well as the never before heard ‘Coração Sonhador’ composed and performed by Mauricio Maestro, Natureza’s release is a landmark in Brazilian music history and represents a triumphant, if overdue victory for Joyce as an outspoken female artist who has consistently refused to bow to patriarchal pressure.

Come hear the legend on the 2.9.2024 at Emmauskirche!

Jul 2, 2024