Kátia Moraes is a force of nature. Devoted to an artistic expression that investigates the edges of her musical influences while deeply touching her audience, she frequently self-produces shows in Los Angeles. Part festival, part one woman show, part collaboration part massive jam band, Brazilian Heart, A Celebration brings the audience inside the 'heartmind' of the musicians. Here, Kátia sits down with Anna B. Scott to give a bit of background on the Brazilian Heart.
Southern California is getting excited for the annual Brazilian Heart Celebration. For those who have never attended, can you tell us what it is? What can people expect?
Brazilian Heart, a Celebration is a show that mixes poetry, stories and music paying homage to Brazilian artists who have less recognition here in the US.
So this isn't really a solo show? How do you go about lining up your collaborators?
I originally created the series to sing the repertoire of my favorite singer-songwriters from Brasil. In 2016 I invited singer songwriters of my community here in Los Angeles for the first time to pay homage to a variety of Brazilian women artists and celebrate International Women's Day.
It's fabulous that Brazilian Heart Celebration is in its 6th year. What inspired you to start it?
I wanted to pay tribute to Elis Regina, who inspired me to be a singer when I was a teen. This was in 2012.
Has BHC always happened at the Electric Lodge? What have been some of the other venues? How does the Celebration change based on location?
This is the first time BHC will be presented at Kelman Theatre (Electric Lodge). The first two shows were at Brasil Brasil Cultural Center, then at CAP studio, and the last two at Beyond Baroque. I've been changing locations so I can improve the quality of the light and sound of the show.
OK, imagine it's 2020, BHC is having a blowout, arrasando full-on festival. Where would it be, who would perform, and what would have happened in the previous years to make all that wonderful possible?
Wow, thank you for asking this question. Never stopped to think ahead like that. ;-)
After I created the 2014 show paying homage to Maria Bethania, I realized that I've been missing my musical theatre roots. I would love to see Brazilian Heart, a Celebration at the Red Cat (at the Walt Disney Hall downstairs room) with a 20 women cast mixing dancers, actors, musicians, and multimedia.
Anything else we should know about BHC?
That is all made with a lot of heart and support of friends, with very little financial help, creativity, and community spirit. I believe Art transforms people, and creates a better just society. My intention is to create a model to show that this is possible.