INTERVIEW: Marisa Monte will celebrate ‘Portas’ with shows at the town hall


Pictured: Marisa Monte will perform at New York City Hall, March 22-23. Photo courtesy of Leo Aversa / Provided by Cindy Byram PR with permission.


Marisa Monte has fascinated audiences in the music space for over 30 years. The Brazilian singer has the praise and applause expected of a star of her caliber: four Latin Grammys, millions of albums sold worldwide and collaborations with Laurie Anderson, David Byrne and Gilberto Gil. His latest project is called Doors, and she is ready to celebrate these new songs with two concerts at Town Hall in New York. March 22 is already sold out, but there are still limited tickets for March 23.

the Doors album is something special for hardcore Monte fans. She hasn’t released a solo record in over a decade, according to press notes, and her US appearances are rare opportunities to see the singer in person (the pandemic, of course, has reduced many of his plans). Those lucky enough to snag a ticket will have the chance to hear his unique blend of samba and Brazilian pop, pleasing to the ear and contagious to the body.

Monte has loved music since she was little, according to her official biography. The first inspirations were Carmen Miranda, Maria Callas and Billie Holiday. His breakout status was earned in the late 1980s, first in Brazil and then around the world. His albums over the years have included everything from MM for Tribalists for Cinephony.

Recently Hollywood soap box exchanged emails with Monte about his upcoming mayoral shows and new album. The questions and answers have been slightly edited for style.

What inspired you to record the album Doors?

My main inspiration is life, everyday life, nature, people, and in this specific case as we were in this moment of isolation, there was also a huge desire to meet and communicate through music.

How difficult has the COVID-19 pandemic been for you?

It was a difficult time for everyone. It was no different for me, a phase of a lot of uncertainty, fear, insecurity. On the other hand, as I travel a lot, it was a privilege to be able to be at home longer with my family. I think it was a period that marked all of us on the planet. People of all ages and professions will never forget this experience.

Would you say that growing up in Brazil played an important role in your appreciation of music? The country has such a great musical heritage; it must have been paradise.

Brazil is a great young country with a very diverse and rich, innovative and creative culture. It is impossible to talk about Brazilian music and culture without mentioning the mix and diversity. In this sense, I think that the culture of Brazil is an example for the world.

When did you first fall in love with music?

From an early age, I was drawn to music in a transcendental way. There is no way to explain it. There wasn’t even a specific time. It has always been so.

What can your fans expect at your concerts in New York?

In terms of repertoire, there will be songs from all stages of my career. In the group, only fantastic musicians. A versatile and virtuous formation: bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, percussion, cavaquinho [four-stringed guitar], a brass section and a ukulele, so many instruments at the service of the beauty of Brazilian music. Visually the same concept as the show I did for the first time in Brazil last month, which I’m traveling overseas with for the first time on this US tour.

How did you feel winning the TENCO award?

I was particularly proud to be the first Brazilian woman to receive this award, a recognition of my work as a songwriter. I feel that more and more women are putting their sensitivity to song, creating their own repertoire, and I’m happy to represent this moment and pave the way for other women.

By John Soltes / Editor / [email protected]

Marisa Monte will perform at Town Hall in New York on March 22 and 23. The concert on March 22 is sold out, but there are limited tickets left for March 23. Click here for more information and tickets.

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