Monday, August 31st, 2015

Interview for Enjoy Magazine by Phil Reser - September 2015

"She and Brazilian Hearts are part of the entertainment at the upcoming annual Chico World Music Festival, which is free on Sept. 12, 2015 on the campus at Chico State University." 

ENJOY: What actually happens inside you, when you give
out those incredible vocals and communicate to an audience?
KÁTIA: I believe, I follow my intuition. I face the stage as an
extension of life. “Welcome. Pretend you are in my living room,” I tell
the audience sometimes. And I feel it is. I believe movement helps
me to embody a song, an idea. Yes, it makes my voice shaky, but frees
my soul. I’ve been singing with Los Angeles based Viver Brasil Dance
Company since 2007, and I have a great deal of pleasure enhancing
their performance with sound.

ENJOY: Who and what do you see as the most valuable music influences on your growth as an artist and human being?
KÁTIA: Ah, so many wonderful inspiring people in Brazil and around the world. My first impression with music was Rita Pavone. Later on, my big time inspiration was singer Elis Regina. I feel inspired by artists who make me feel equal, who remind me that we are all here in the same boat. Of course, that changes depending on what you’re going through in life, or how much you’ve learned about your craft. As a teenager I loved Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon, Bob Marley. Later on, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Gabriel and Prince.

ENJOY: Describe your past recorded music. Are you planning a solo album?
KÁTIA: I recorded two albums in Brazil with a theatrical-rock band in the 1980s called O Espírito da Coisa. Here in the U.S., I recorded/ performed with my band Sambaguru for 14 years. I’ve been rehearsing my way into a solo artist since the band stop working together in 2010. The first sign was an EP produced by Irish producer/engineer Lynne Earls. I just watched a documentary about George Harrison where he mentioned the time it took to gather himself after the Beatles broke up. I was always surrounded by guys taking over the process of recording, and now I have to take the wheel and drive. I’m feeling stronger about my new compositions with different partners, so I believe a plan is under way.

ENJOY: How would you describe the power of music?
KÁTIA: I’ll answer using a quote from a singer I like. In 2012, I created a show called “Brazilian Heart, a Celebration” to pay homage to Brazilian artists. The first one to be celebrated was Elis Regina, my all-time idol. In 2013, it was Clara Nunes – a samba icon, and last year I paid homage to Maria Bethânia, who continues to bring poetry/ literature to the stage every time she performs. She says: “Music is like perfume.” Think about it…the notes enter your soul through your senses and bring you to a place where sometimes you did not have any idea existed. It moves you to joy or to pieces. It makes you dance, cry, think, ponder, laugh, wonder. It touches your senses, our common ground. From there we evolve, we progress, and inspire through action.

ENJOY: Do you think that an artist should be socially responsible?
KÁTIA: Yes. It’s strange to me when I take a stand about some social/ political issue and someone makes a face, or mentioned an artist is not supposed to do that. On May 30, I performed at Aratani Theatre in downtown Los Angeles and told the audience that I’m a Mahatma Gandhi follower, a pacifist. Before I flew to L.A. in 1990 I spent a month in El Salvador. That country was in the middle of a civil war, and I spent a night inside of a closet in the Brazilian embassy praying that a bomb wouldn’t fall on our heads. I believe no one deserves the horrors of a war. 

Saturday, September 12, Chico State University •
Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Katia Moraes at Hollywood Bowl's SummerSounds 2015

"Kátia Moraes & Brazilian Hearts’s performances were truly a highlight of our SummerSounds 2015 season.  Beyond an exhibition of exceptional quality Brazilian music and dance, Kátia and her ensemble touched our hearts with an underlying energy and joy that I have not seen in many groups before.  With a 5-day/10-performance schedule, I was beyond impressed – truly inspired – by seeing such fire and drive in each and every performance.  Every moment, music dance and text, was delivered at 200% with such a strong objective to connect with our audiences that it was felt by every person in the room.  Working with Kátia was an absolute joy.  We both feel passionately about bringing music to people young and old with as much genuine spirit as humanly possible.  It's the language that can heal the world; and her belief in that is palatable to all from the second she walks on stage!"
- Megan Swan, Collaborative Learning Manager of the Hollywood Bowl's SummerSounds.
Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Kátia Moraes & Brazilian Hearts @ Annenberg Beach House 2015

"We are always so excited to see Kátia Moraes when we get to present her at the Beach Culture series at the Annenberg Community Beach House – she brings her bubbling irresistible energy every time – and we get lots of great complements from audience members and happy dancers in her wake!"
-Naomi Okuyama, Cultural Affairs Supervisor, City of Santa Monica
Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Katia Moraes at Hollywood Bowl's SummerSounds 2015

".....a huge thank you and loud cheer for the absolute joy and professionalism you
brought to our program this season. Megan Swan and I could not stop talking (jealously)
about the sheer force of nature that you are."
Debbie Devine, Director of the Hollywood Bowl's SummerSounds 2015
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Kátia Moraes & Brazilian Hearts @ SummerSounds 2015

"GREAT! Such POWER and LIFE! I'm so happy I got to see you live before I started writing anything.
You reminded me of the soul of Brazil. (…) Your work sweeps away the veneer and gets to the humanity. ( I mean this as a compliment) Your
work reminds me of what someone like Edith Piaff does for French music. (…)you make the
songs so moving! And what a fabulous band!"
Leon Martell, actor and Hollywood Bowl's SummerSounds' Writer/ 2015
Sunday, November 30th, 2014
Friday, June 13th, 2014

Dicas by Denise Prado - May 2014

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Soul Brasil Magaziner - June 2014

Review of the show "Maria Bethânia, a Celebration" by Soul Brasil Magazine : 
Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The Beverly Hills Outlook / December 2013

Kátia Moraes - World Music Artist of the Year 2013 
Saturday, June 8th, 2013
April 2013:
"One of the Southland’s most consistently fascinating "Brazilian artists, Moraes visits the memorable music of ‘70s Brazilian hit-maker Clara Nunes. As always, Moraes’ interpretations will simmer with the dynamic energy of her own, unique expressiveness." 
- Don Heckman for Picks of the Week @ The International Review of Music.
Monday, February 25th, 2013
"As for the performers, Katia Moraes as Stefanie is simply wonderful."
(Quote from Caroline Waters' musical "Finding Venus' Review by )
February 2013
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
"Words alone do not do justice to Renaissance woman Katia Moraes, who put on a show on January 26th at Brazil Brazil Cultural Center in Culver City. The venue was set up in such a way as to recreate a comfortable, large living room with sofas, pillows and benches, creating a colorful backdrop against which the singer's own paintings hovered. It made for a very inviting environment for the many families, guests and friends that arrived and who enjoyed a small, but well stocked, liquor bar, which was provided for everyone's relaxation.
As I listened to Katia in this cozy, intimate setting, I could feel the music as she shared deep emotions through her body movements, facial expression and vocals. At one point, she engaged the audience directly, giving everyone orange construction paper; she actually led the crowd in creating a sailboat origami.
While bringing the sounds of Brazil to life, Katia danced with audience members, both old and very young, while her backup group, Sambaguru, laid down the beat for them to move to.
A woman who is very, very appealing to my senses, beautiful Katia, in keeping with the communal nature of her performance, had audience members join her, dancing and singing, on stage at the concert's conclusion."
By Lucia Leon for Beverly Hills Outlook
February 2013
Monday, December 10th, 2012
"I have not been more impressed with a singer!  Katia Moraes is a brilliant and thoroughly professional singer...emotional and technically superb!  The band is composed of incredible musicians and together they joyfully play a show of wonderful Brazilian music....Brava!"
- Cathy Segal-Garcia for LA Jazz Scene
December 2012
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
"No matter what she sang, however, whether in English or Portuguese, the words came vividly to life, illuminated completely by the intense feelings of Moraes’ soaring vocals and the impassioned rhythms of Brendle, Jiffry and Shogren."
- Don Heckman for The International Music Review
  September 2012 
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
"Leading the event on stage was local personality, singer, composer, and astral guru Katia Moraes who was truly amazing in her guiding the event through the complicated and long day."
- David de Hilster (co-producer of the Brazilian Day in Los Angeles) 
  September 2012
Friday, October 28th, 2011
“What a great way to start our season. Katia engaged our audiences like few other performers have. A truly passionate professional performer, Katia was a joy to work with and the audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation...both nights!”
Christian Wolf, Executive Director
Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
"Remarkable throughout was the robust singing of Katia Moraes,  providing a narrative that  rose above even the thundering drums of five tireless drummers. Ms. Moraes is a vocal powerhouse who seems ready to sing at full throttle all night long." 
Quote of Glen Creason's review about the show at Cerritos Performing Arts Center.
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
"Katia, you truly are positive energy incarnate and one of the precious jewels we have in the Los Angeles Brazilian community. You were magnificent!"
Katia, you are a jewel in the Brazilian community! Pure positive energy, talent, and soul!"
Brazilian Day in Los Angeles Co-Director and Organizer, David de Hilster 
Sunday, July 31st, 2011
"The Spectacular Katia Moraes & Sambaguru."
Jose Rizo, KJAZZ  88.1FM about Central Jazz AveFestival
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

"Katia Moraes is a treasure! Katia and Pure Samba lit up the room with their energetic, irresistible blend of gorgeous song and danceable rhythm. Their concert at the Annenberg Community Beach House inspired a packed dance floor with young and old alike. In both concert and dance hall they can't be beat!

Thank you fo a wonderful concert! Many happy people! Many compliments!
Many people dancing and sweating! A wonderful night!"
- Isa Naomi Okuyama,
Director of Events for The Beach House/Annenberg, Santa Monica, CA
Monday, July 18th, 2011

LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art / Music Series on July 16/2011

"Katia was her marvelous self!"
- Mitch Glickman, Director of Music Programs
Saturday, June 11th, 2011

LA WEEKLY / JUNE 9, 2011: ‎
"And we'll rave again about carioca Katia Moraes with Sambaguru. They both oughta be world-famous and not even talk to jazz critics anymore. They're at Vitello's on Friday and you will dig it utterly. Even you jazz snobs and smarter-than-everybody avant garde people. Really."
Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Katia Moraes & Sambaguru by Brick Wahl for LA Weekly/ April 2011

It might just be easier to head over to Vitello's, where we are surprised as hell to see KatiaMoraes & Sambaguru playing Friday. In fact, if you love Brazilian music, this is a must. The band smokes no matter what style, so tight, so limber. And she is a world-class Brazilian vocalist who at times will remind you eerily of Elis Regina. She has more stage presence, charisma and enthusiasm than maybe anybody in town. We have to wonder how the nice white people in their little chairs at Vitello's are going to handle just sitting there once she and her band get moving. They'll be wriggling over their pasta and then realize it and stop. And then start wriggling again. Make reservations now.
Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Katia Moraes & Sambaguru by Don Heckman for the International Review of Music/April 2011

By Don Heckman
Any performance by Kátia Moraes and Sambaguru is a gripping tour through the seemingly infinite rhythms and far reaching passions of Brazilian music. And their appearance at Vitello’s Friday night offered all that and more.
Moraes has been one of the Southland’s most dynamic singer/dancers since the ’90s. A frequent star of Carnaval celebrations, her performances sizzle with rhythmic high voltage and soaring melodies. But the work she does with the six piece ensemble Sambaguru takes in a far broader perspective.

Katia Moraes and Sambaguru

In her non-stop set Saturday, the music cruised through a brilliantly kaleidoscopic collection of Latin music. Surprisingly, the only element missing was bossa nova — Brazil’s best known genre, and the staple of most Brazilian ensembles appearing in this country. But no problem. The music, most of it written by Moraes and keyboardist/composer Bill Brendle, along with the intensely rhythmic playing of Sambaguru, provided a colorful, richly succulent musical banquet.
One could make a convincing case for Brazil as the source of some of the most richly diverse musical forms created by any single country in the world. And Moraes and Sambaguru adventured convincingly through many of them — from the sophistication of samba to the African-tinged rhythms of Bahia — and all stops in between.
Although Vitello’s upstairs room had been fitted with a dance floor, Moraes’ frequent calls for members of the audience to try out their samba steps produced no results. Fortunately, she offered a few of her own, recalling the irrepressible dancing she once did with groups such as Viver Brasil Dance Company and the Folk Ballet of Brasil. Too bad she didn’t do more.
Backing Moraes’ fiery, audience-grabbing singing and dancing: special guest Miguel Gandelman, tenor saxophone, bassist Hussain Jiffry, percussionist Kevin Ricard, drummer Tony Shogren and keyboardist Brendle. Together, they created the sort of performance that deserves a far wider hearing. It’s time for the programmers and producers at Disney Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, the Greek Theatre and beyond to check out the utterly mesmerizing music of Kátia Moraes and Sambaguru.
Friday, August 20th, 2010
"(...)  L.A.’s omnipresent Carioca ambassador, the exemplary and lovely Katia Moraes and her group Pure Samba. 
(Steve Krugman for 2010)
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
"When the super-heated Katia Moraes and her accomplices in Sambaguru hit the stage, the Brazilian rhythmic pyrotechnics never stop."
January 2010
Michael Katz for
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
"On Saturday the exquisite Kátia Moraes will do a mix of storytelling (she is a wonderful short story writer) and Brazilian singing with a band at a new French place in Glendale called Nyx (156 S. Brand Blvd., 818/545-0333). She never fails to entertain."
April 2010
(Brick Wahl for LA Weekly)
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
“Katia wowed the Chico World Music Festival with her incredible voice, limitless energy, and an honest commitment to sharing the power of samba with the audience.  Multiple standing ovations and smiles galore were followed by a rush to the CD table for her music.”
(Dan DeWayne - Director-University Public Events/California State University, Chico 

September 2009)
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Viver Brasil Dance Company
@ Ford Amphitheater/July 2009
Rachel Levin for Explore
"(...) The opening piece, "Avanhia," was mystical and reverent, leading the audience into a kind of worship service for mother Earth, beginning with the sound of wind chimes and singer Katia Moraes' bittersweet, disembodied chants. The dancers entered through the audience, clad all in white, a clergy of movement. But this pristine, holy dress didn't stop them from playing in the dirt, so to speak. They clawed the sky and then plunged to the ground, rubbing their hands as if sifting through earth. Their dizzying spins evoked the rotation of the Earth on its axis."
Sunday, July 19th, 2009
"(...) But there ain’t a Brazilian singer in town who is as irresistible asKatia Moraes. Crowds go nuts when she performs. The energy, the charisma, the sheer joy of Brazilian music just fills a space. Her Sambaguru is a sharp band, too. They’ll probably be mining their latest,Tribo (she’s yet to record a clinker) and Culver City will be rocking Rio-style when they hit the stage in front of City Hall on Thursday night."
By Brick Wahl / LA WEEKLY
The last act was Oscar Castro-Neves with a dream team band. Celebrating 50 years of Bossa Nova.
Don Gruisin – piano
Abraham Laboriel – bass
Alex Acuna – drums and percussion
Charlie Bisharat – violin
Gary Meek – sax ad flute
Most of the music played were from one of the fathers of Bossa Nova, Tom Jobim. Classics like Chovendo na Roseira, Agua de Beber, Aguas de Março, Triste, Corcovado.

Oscar is an excellent guitar player, but I'm sure even he would admit he’s not the greatest singer. So he had a nice surprise for us. The beautiful voice and presence of Katia Moraes.

I’ve heard Katia’s work with the band Sambaguru but it was the first time I heard Katia singing Bossa.

And I gotta tell you, she can do no wrong. She’s amazing singing either Samba or Bossa Nova. Her voice is sweet and powerful at the same time, and it was a perfect match and choice for this band.

It was a magical and enchanting way to end a perfect Jazz night.
Review by Wilbert Sostre
Jazz and Bossa
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009


Alex Theatre/ March 2009
“Several pieces employed ensembles of women to animate feminine power and pleasure. Viver Brasil's "In Motion, Em Movimento" was a toast to "the vibration of possibility." Clad in cheery green and white outfits, the women — joined by a male tambourine player — alternated between samba shimmies and acrobatic capoeira-like boasting. Live Brazilian musicians and the indefatigable Katia Moraes provided the soundtrack. It was the only piece of the night in which the dancers smiled, a salve for the audience.”
Sunday, March 8th, 2009
MITCH GLICKMAN DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AT LACMA (Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art) August, 2008
" It was a great concert - she really got the crowd up and dancing. Always fun with strong musicianship."
"(...) The inherent contagious rhythms of Brazilian music had some audience members upon their feet, dancing on both sides of the stage area, with a few stepping it off at the rear of the patio. (...) Her performance was full of joy, as she continued her non-stop barefeet dancing as she sang. This petit animated bundle of high energy continued her active pace throughout the entire two set performance.
(...) Your cares will melt away as Katia makes her audience feel welcome, as she shares her musical traditions of jazz with warmth, grace, and rhythmic precision, to please and entertain."
From Viver Brasil, an intoxicating foray into the exotic By Victoria Looseleaf, Special to The Times July 7, 2008
"(...) Guest crooner Katia Moraes also filled the night air with a rapturous and soulful sound. In "Identidade/Identity," from 2007, which featured Andriana Mitchell, Katiana Rush, Abdullah and Williams in contemporary mode, Moraes chanted phrases, such as: "Dance connects me with the universe, dance connects me with you."
The ladies, heeding this aphoristic call, lunged, leaped and high-kicked to the narration, their butterfly-like arms a kind of wistful prayer."
CD Review Having started her career in Rio de Janeiro, Kátia Moraes spent the 1990s in Los Angeles, eventually fronting a swinging, free-thinking polyglot band called Sambaguru. This is their first album together, and it will come as a pleasant surprise to those who don't know this attractive, energetic singer/songwriter and will be a confirmation for those who have caught her effusive, instantly appealing live act. Though the band has roots planted firmly in Brazilian music, there are no Brazilians in the band besides Moraes (they're from the United States, India, and Sri Lanka), and that undoubtedly fuels their desire to pick up threads of influence from everywhere. More importantly, Moraes is a fine songwriter (with talented keyboardist Bill Brendle often collaborating in the writing), and she spreads the word in a thin, clear, agile voice with crystalline Portuguese diction. While the Sergio Mendes/Brasil '66-like opening track "Pesca Das Muié" is almost a rewrite of Gilberto's Gil's "Roda" from the 1960s, the CD soon veers into the melting pot of tropicalia with battering Bahian rhythms, rap, reggae, ghostly chorus and sassy brass effects on synthesizer, heavy metal rock guitar, and trace African elements -- always applied with a light touch. The album closes on a compelling note with the revolving groove of "Gruve da Bicicieta" (or "Bicycle Groove") and a scorching message to Moraes' absent father ("Pai"), where the sweetness of her voice belies the bitterness of the lyric. If anything, this highly disciplined recording is a bit on the restrained side in comparison to the band's live show, but just a bit; the high quality of the tunes still shines through. ~ Richard Ginell, All Music Guide Music
Deseret Morning News By Larry D. Curtis December 11, 2007
Salt Lake ballroom comes alive with sounds of Brazil KATIA MORAES, SAMBAGURU, Sheraton City Centre, Monday Few could understand the words sung by vocalist Katia Moraes during Monday evening's installment of the monthly Jazz at the Sheraton series. There were a few Brazilians on hand and a few Utahns versed in Portuguese, and the tiny singer did try a song in English, but for the most part the diminutive vocalist relied on her expressive face and body to broadcast each song's emotion. Sambaguru isn't strictly jazz, playing instead high-level samba, imported and inspired by its many different musical cousins from Brazilian culture , which borrows from African and Portuguese roots. So the non-Jazz, non-English, two-hour set performed by musicians hailing from Sri Lanka, Brazil and the United States might sound like a tough sell, but for the hundreds packed into the Sheraton Ballroom, the warm, bright performance was the perfect ray of light for a cold Utah night. Joining Moraes in the spotlight were percussionist Kevin Ricard and drummer Tony Shogren. The trio provided much of the stage presence and performance power for the sextet. Primary composer and pianist Bill Brendle, although responsible for much of the music and adept at his keyboards let his music do the talking. He played several instruments, including a mean accordion. Moraes — who perfectly embodies the energy, attitude and sensuality of her hometown, Rio Di Janeiro — demanded much of the attention with her contagious enthusiasm, expressed by arms, legs, face and hair. She urged the audience to respond and participate at every turn, finally creating a pocket of dancing near the front of the stage in the later portions of the show. Ricard was also impossible not to watch while, wearing a wicked grin, he pounded various drums, convincing the audience that he was enjoying every beat. He worked an array of traditional Brazilian drums and chimes, creating soft tinkles, pounding thumps and even scratches and shakes on the pandeiro. (Think of a tamborine that gets the workout of a conga.) Guitarist Mitchell Long and bassist Hussain Jiffry (who could double for a young Little Richard) are fine musicians that shone brightly in brief moments, working tightly within Brendle's compositions. Moraes and company definitely brought the feeling of traditional Brazilian music to the show but blended it with unique sensibilities and top-notch musicianship, which allowed those unfamiliar with the genre to enjoy a cultural baptism. At one point she asked audience members to close their eyes and imagine a beach scene at sunrise for a song that translates as "The Bicycle Groove." But with the building layers of the siren's passionate voice, it was impossible to keep your eyes closed. The group represented several Brazilian regions with salsa and samba, injecting with verve and energy what Ricard called "country music, just from another country."
CIUDAD MAGAZINE September 2007 Tour Guide/Brazil
"When I'm feeling homesick, I head for the beach. I prefer Laguna Beach because the water is a bit warmer. Or I'll go to Gaucho's Village in Glendale and have a beer or a passion fruit juice." - Rio de Janeiro native Katia Moraes, musician and dancer who leads the LA band Sambaguru.
REHEARSALS.COM/Doug Miller Sambaguru feels global vibe "The lead singer began her career in Rio de Janeiro, the bass player was born in Sri Lanka, one percussionist honed his chops in the Louisiana delta and the guitarist mentions Afro-Peruvian melodies as an influence. In other words, if you're trying to categorize the band Sambaguru, maybe it's best to just sit back and watch them play. The Los Angeles-based six-piece, fronted by dynamic Brazliian-born singer Katia Moraes, has been wowing crowds with their eclectic, colorful music since 1997. Their latest album, "Navegar ao Sol" (Moondo), came out in June 2005. With so many instruments at play -- including guitars, cavaquinos, keyboards, accordion, bass, drums, percussion and vocals from all six members -- and so many different rhythmic elements to consider, Sambaguru is an act that benefits greatly from practice. That, and the ability to connect with fans, was the main reason the group agreed to head down to the world-famous CenterStaging facility in Burbank, Calif., and have their rehearsal sessions preserved on high-definition video for CenterStaging's Web site, The band is working on a new album and getting ready for dates in the United States and in Bermuda, so there's no time to waste in perfecting their stage show. "I love rehearsals because I really feel much more comfortable on stage when I go over and over and over and over something," Moraes says. "And I feel like that I need a lot of rehearsal to be able to move around and play with people and not look at lyrics or something else, or being really worried about the notes or anything else." She might be being a bit modest there. In fact, Moraes' resume indicates that she isn't lacking any confidence at all when she performs. "She comes on stage like an explosion, her body in constant motion, her voice excited and dynamic," the Los Angeles Times once wrote, and this type of presence isn't something that has been thrown together haphazardly. Moraes, raised in Rio, joined her first pop-rock band, O Espirito da Coisa, in 1984, toured Brazil and appeared on TV for three years. She has been performed with Sergio Mendes, Rita Lee, Banda Cheiro de Amor, Alex Acuna and Justo Almario's Tolu, Badaue, Kalani and Midnight Drums. Since 1990, she's been in L.A., where she's released an American CD with the band Brazil Nuts, written and published short stories and articles, worked on solo music, taught Brazilian dance and put out her own monthly newsletter, Brazilian Heart. And then there's Sambaguru, who have played at the Playboy Jazz Festival, the House of Blues, the Getty Center, the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans and countless other events and venues. Moraes works with a supremely talented, diverse group of musicians, with each member having a different background and different approach to taking the mélange of sounds that make up Sambaguru's music and adding fresh, enticing ingredients. Band co-founder and UC Santa Barbara music professor Bill Brendle, for example, is Sambaguru's chief composer, and he sings and plays keyboards, accordion, cavaquino and guitar. He, along with Moraes, brings an understanding of Brazilian music to the group, providing the base for most of the songs. Bassist and vocalist Hussain Jiffry, meanwhile, grew up in Sri Lanka, lived in Europe, and has dabbled in music from many corners of the world, including Brazil, Africa and Greece. Percussionist Kevin Ricard, whose family roots are in Louisiana, finds common ground between the zydeco he heard and played while growing up and the rhythmic structures of music from Cuba, Brazil and Peru. The band members all agree that this mixture of styles and influences makes Sambaguru a creative force. "We have such different backgrounds," Buratto says. "Everybody adds something different to it. And although it might not be authentic Brazilian music, it becomes its own thing." "I think Sambaguru's sound is Brazilian-based, but bringing all the elements of all the places that all of us come from to the music," Ricard adds. "So it's Brazilian-based music, but it's also music for the world."
FOOD BANK OF NORTHERN NEVADA/Bill Kolton July 2007/Sambaguru featuring Katia Moraes
"As in the past two times that we brought the group here, we were stunned, amazed and pleased with their professionalism and down to earth "feel like old friends" way of dealing with us and the crowd. Their performance was excellent and we received many compliments from the audience members for bringing them back. 2008 is our 10th year of presenting this world music series during Artown and we are surveying the crowds to seek their "Votes" for one or more of groups that performed in the first nine years to come back as the People's Choice for our 2008 lineup. I suspect that Sambaguru will be among the performers that are high on people's lists."
VIEWPOINT SCHOOL/ Julianne De Sal June 21 & 28, 2007/ Brazilian Heart Dance Workshop "Class with Katia Moraes is both a journey and an adventure. She was open, vibrant, and patient with students and everyone left feeling exhilarated and capable. She infused my students with a love for the samba and for her."
MICHIGAN TECH LODE April 2007 "...Moraes entranced the crowd with her singing voice and was able to get the audience to participate in rhythmic clapping that enhanced the crowd’s connection with the music..."
L.A. JAZZ SCENE/ Mauro Werneck Monteiro April 2007 The Annual Queen Mary Brazilian Carnaval
"Ms. Moraes' solid stage presence, playfulness, and captivating energy enhance any room she happens to be in and the Queen Mary was especially glowing with the singer's carnaval performance. She involved the crowd with a delightful and frenzied game having them dance from each side of the dance floor that created a riotous good time. After a full and diverse set, the singer closed with "Cidade Maravilhosa" (Marvelous City), the tribute to Rio de Janeiro's entrancing beauty and charm."
LA TIMES/ Lewis Segal Viver Brasil at Celebrate Dance March 5, 2007 " music added another dimension to the celebratory choreography, with singer Katia Moraes being especially prominent."
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD/ Sydney, Australia January 14, 2007 "The effervescent Katia Moraes..."
World Music Review - LOS ANGELES TIMES Taking Brazilian Music far Beyond just Samba By Don Heckman June 06, 2006
"Brazilian Summer Festival 2006 had plenty of familiar sights and sounds from (...) to the rhythmically diverse singing of Katia Moraes & pure Samba. But Moraes' eclectic presentation was the first indication that something more unusual was on the way. Garbed in a surprisingly rural-looking outfit, accessorized with a hat, glasses, white socks and tennis shoes, she darted across a wide spectrum of styles, from familiar samba and bossa nova to less often heard forró, frevo and pagode. Propelling every number with her nonstop dynamism, she roved the wide Ford stage, calling out the audience, encouraging people to dance, setting the stage for what felt more like a party than a concert." Sounds of Brazil, via Southland By Don Heckmam Los Angeles Times June 2006
"(...) That thought kept persisting during the performance Wednesday by Ted Falcon and the Los Angeles Choro Ensemble at the Vic in Santa Monica. One of the first presentations in the venue's dedication to unusual programming in the new "Fission Wednesdays" series, the Choro Ensemble's performance was enhanced by guest singer Katia Moraes, ukulele player Marvin Falcon and flutist Rebecca Kleinmann. (...) The guest performers added more spice to the proceedings. Marvin Falcon (Ted's jazz musician father) called for a musical shift of gears with a Hot Club of France-inspired jazz take on "Lady Be Good." Kleinmann's warm toned, lyrical flute offered a colorful contrast to the fast-paced clarinet work of Andy Connell. And Moraes' singing, as always, was a virtual definition of the passion that is an implicit part of Brazilian music".
Sergio Mielniczenko from Global Village at KPFK (90.7 FM/Los Angeles) March 2006 “You’re incredible...not everybody can perform with so much energy. You make part of the great singers and entertainers club. Congratulations!” By Melissa Fargo June 2006 "(...) with the audience being involved from the beginning with Pure Samba along with Katia Moraes urging everyone to “dance your butts off”. Ms. Moraes’ enthusiasm was infectious and dance is exactly what everyone did for the rest of the night (...)"
Brazilian Carnival Party On the Queen Mary BY: ZACHARY GALE New University UC Irvine March 2006 "(...) As the first drops of water flowed down my dry throat, Katia Moraes and Pure Samba took the stage. As my thirst was quenched, I felt the musically equivalent sensation. Moraes, typically an electrifyingly engaging performer, proved to exceed audience expectations as she succeeded the other acts. An infectious energy emanated from Moraes’ lithe frame and gentle smile. Fitting with the extravagant theme of the night, her elaborate headdress gave the impression that she was growing different sized silver tubes out of her head. The classic Brazilian songs, infused by Moraes’ distinctive sound, got the dance floor grooving a little more at 1 a.m. than it had at any point during the night. In an apparent recognition that the party had only now really started, confetti was shot into the air, followed by a lowering of Brazil-themed green and yellow balloons onto the dance floor. As if the night needed more percussive punctuation, balloons were popped to the music. A seasoned performer, Moraes’ samba songs soared to a point that the dancers, foot-tappers and even the subtle head-nodders surely enjoyed. Her act ended with a flourish of color as all the Oyá Brazil joined Moraes in their original costumes (...)"
Katia Moraes with Praful/CD Review /2005
"(...) Brazilian singer Katia Moraes contributes strong lead vocals to the beat-propelled proto-samba “Acredite” and the trippy, Eastern-influenced ‘Ponto De Partida." Dance and the City - Next Year in Rio: Brazilian Carnaval at the Queen Mary's Aquadome by Rachel Levin/ 2/14/05
"(...) Inside, the festive sounds of local singing sensation Katia Moraes - who resembled a bouquet of flowers in her full Carnaval regalia - reverberated through the dome. Footage of samba schools parading down the streets of Rio rolled on huge screens on either side of the stage. During Katia's hour-plus, non-stop set, The Oyé Brazil dancers pleased the crowd with their enchanting sambas and parade of colorful, beaded costumes (or, rather, the skin that the skimpy costumes revealed). After that, the energy of the evening seemed to drop. Brazilian pop musician Jorge Ben Jor, visiting from Bahia, played a solid set, but he didn't seem able to fill the larger-than-life space of the Aquadome like Katia did." Nov/2004 by Christine Bunish " (...) Schwartz wasn't surprised when the comedy's producers asked, "Can we do a song here? How about Brazilian? With a Brazilian singer? Overnight?" He got Brazilian lyricist/vocalist Katia Moraes to come in for a 10pm recording session at which she sang the first set of lyrics." The first lyrics were very beautiful, but it needed to be more immediate and fun. Her second version was just right." The song, "A Magica Do Mar," and 28 others are featured in the special soundtrack section of the Arrested Development DVD released last month.(...)"
SAMBAGURU/Playboy Jazz Fest Review All About June 2004
“Two mixed-marriage ensembles greatly excited the crowd. The first was Katia Moraes and Sambaguru, a sextet merging musicians from Brazil, Sri Lanka and the U.S. Fronted by colorfully garbed and face-painted booty-shaking dancers, this highly percussive band was extremely well-received.”
SAMBAGURU/Playboy Jazz Fest Review Entertainment June 2004
“The day kicked off with a blast from Katia Moraes & Sambaguru, one of L.A.’s best Brazilian bands who have been tearing up the club scene for years now. Their energy transferred nicely to the large setting…” Katia Moraes & Sambaguru Latin Beat Magazine/ May 2004 “The music of Kátia & Sambaguru is heavily rooted in traditional Brazilian rhythms and forros such as samba, frevo, baiâo and choro, but is non-traditional in the sense that most of their material is original, with a unique textural variety. In other words, this is Brazilian music in its modern popular form that pays tribute to all the musical influences of its interpreters. Kátia Moraes & Sambaguru is a high-energy, dynamic collective that celebrates life and the joy of dancing, drumming and singing. The best way to absorb and enjoy their magic is to see them perform live.”
Katia Moraes & Sambaguru World Music Central/January 2004 "LIVE" (Kufala Records) CD Review "(...) But not so fast, because there's still katia moraes and Sambaguru to deal with. Their double live has a few things in common with the Cantuaria album--great sound, tight rhythms,etc.--but it's got more of a flat-out party feel. And that ain't a bad thing, since this band has the chops to lay down sambas, bossa novas, songs flavored with salsa, reggae and funk, forro (a rootsy style from the north of Brazil) and more. They cool down the pace here and there, though for the most part the heat stays on. It's pure bliss from the beginning of disc one to the end of disc two, all brought home with the fiery \"Mae Africa\" capping things off (...)
" Katia Moraes at the Latin Project/CD Review The 2003
“The duo does not quite achieve the single packaged perfection of this track anywhere else on the album although they come close with tracks like “Windows” and “Brazilian Love Affair.” The generous use of guests is really what propels most of The Latin Project. Aside from the sensuous vocals of Freddie Crespo, the album boasts the Brazilian Katia Moraes on four tracks. Moraes effortlessly adds her vocals as another rhythmic line woven together with a pumping bass beat, powerhouse horns and complex percussion. Her funky and casual delivery feels fresh and at home in the midst of all the electronic madness surrounding her.” Katia Moraes at the Latin Project/CD Review July 2003 "Clouds" is a brisk samba with more piano montuños, breezy synths and vocals that conjure images of panoramic sunrises over the beaches of Rio. "Sonhando" slows things down to a jazzy breakbeat but keeps it spicy with skittering percussion fragments and the atmospheric vocals of Joël Virgel and Katia Moraes, who are used to great effect throughout the album.”
L.A. JAZZ SCENE July 2002/Mauro Monteiro Forróçacana, Katia Moraes & Badauê "(...) tonight featuring the lovely singer/songwriter/dancer Katia Moraes with her "Amazonian chic" face paint, head-dress, and jungle-pixie wardrobe rocked her choreograghy and sambaed like tribal royalty. Did I mention she sings beautifully? Party. Ready? Go."

A Planet's Worth of Sounds from Playboy
By Don Heckman
June 22, 2004

"Variety, in other words, was the theme of the day at the Hollywood Bowl. Variety embracing Brazilian music and funk, African rhythms and songs from the Great American Songbook, cutting edge contemporary jazz and simmering Latin rhythms. After a spirited opening by the Hamilton High School Academy of Music Jazz Ensemble "A", for example, Sunday’s program immediately dipped into Brazilian sounds with singer Katia Moraes & Sambaguru. Delivering a program that ranged exuberantly across Brazil’s multiplicity of rhythms, Moraes was a bindle of galvanized energy, her quick-paced singing empowered by Sambaguru’s driving rhythm section and the well-crafted arrangements of Bill Brendle. The only problem with the set, in fact, was its scheduling; music with so many engaging elements should have been programmed later in the day, after most of the seats were filled."

By Richard S. Ginell

"While the first day of the 2004 Playboy Jazz Festival stayed generally within the galaxy of music that can be called jazz, Sunday's edition sometimes careened off the chart in the inimitable Playboy way. The day started off on a good omen with the long-overdue Playboy debut of the energetic Los Angeles-based Brazilian singer Katia Moraes -- a born afternoon sunshine performer -- and Sambaguru, which stirred up an unpredictable stew of ingredients rooted in the samba."

By Willie Campins
June 22, 2004

"Luego de la apertura el domingo con el ensamble de jazz de la academia musical de la secundaria Hamilton, el maestro de ceremonias Kevin Eubanks diu turno a la brasilena radicada en Los Angeles Katia Moraes y su banda Sambaguru.

El grupo multietnico, que hizo su debut en el festival, conjuga las musicas del tecladista Bill Brendle y las letras de Moraes con otros temas de autores brasilenos. Con una voz luminosa y unna belleza muy carioca, Katia es el centro de atencion de un conjunto muy ajustado y digno de seguir en su evolucion."

Sambaguru Weaves a Brazilian Spell
By Rebecca Howard
Deseret Morning News

January 14,2004
Salt Lake City Centre Sheraton, Monday

Percussionist Kevin Ricard introduced Katia Moraes and Sambaguru by saying, "You may not know it, but it's the middle of the summer in Brazil. With that in mind, we're going to take you there." And that's how they played. Led by Moraes' vocals and driven by Ricard and drummer/percussionist Tony Shogren's rhythms, the band heated up the Sheraton Monday night ˜ enough to make most of us forget how cold it was outside. All the music they played was Brazilian at heart, although some of the charts mixed in elements from other genres (e.g. rock, blues, various ethnic flavors). Better yet, all the music was happy, upbeat and sunny, performed with infectious, electric energy. Moraes, of course, set the tone with her outgoing personality and vibrant energy. Singing, dancing and joking with the audience, she set a great party atmosphere. But for all that she gave to the performance, it was hard to tell who gave more, Moraes or the two percussionists, Shogren and Ricard. They were clearly working up a sweat with all t hose wonderful Brazilian rhythms, which often sped by at a frenetic pace. Of course, guitarist Mitchell Long, bassist Hussain Jiffry and keyboardist Bill Brendle all gave good, tight performances as well; they just weren't as athletic as the other three in their delivery. While all the music had a Brazilian base in common, the group added variety to the mix by performing styles from different regions. One of the most flavorful was the forro from northeastern Brazil, which Ricard kept referring to as their "country music," Fast and happy, it featured a triangle, accordian, and a drum called a zabumba. Another interesting style was the choro, which blends ragtime and samba, and which featured a drum called the pandero. They also had some fun with a Brazilian salsa. Of course, they didn't neglect the samba, which was featured plentifully. Nor the bossa nova Some of the most entertaining and spirited charts were the sambas in Carnival style ˜ which really cut loose with some no-holds-barred rhythms. The lyrics to all of the charts were in Portugese, but Katia's actions and body language communicated the spirit of each song, even if most of the audience couldn't understand the words. While the music wasn't exactly deep or intellectual, it certainly didn't lack intelligence, and the band was tight. Perhaps more important, the group focused on delivering a great performance of what the music is all about: lightening the spirit. And the audience responded. At first, there were visible smiles scattered throughout the audience as heads bobbed and toes tapped to the rhythm. But by the end of the concert, small groups of people had gathered in the corners and were cutting loose and dancing.

Beverly Hills Outlook
August, 2003
By Lisa Bourne

The 10th Annual Brazilian Nites Summer Festival took place this year under a starlit sky, with a backdrop of a plush green oasis in the hills called Hollywood at a cozy little amphitheatre known as "The Ford". Mother Nature lent her hand to the temperature, which kept us cool at a comfortable 70 degrees in anticipation of a night that would probably go down in history. For it would be the first time ever that Rio DeJaniero's Supergroup Fundo de Quintal would perform in the U.S. From the minute I got there to the dancing and cheering at the end, the night's festivities seemed planned as a progression from one energetic stage to the next. And judging from the faces of happy people leaving the theatre, I'd say it was a pretty unforgettable night.

It started off with Brazilian singer Katia Moraes, whom I've reviewed previously, and whose energetic performances have been known to capture the hearts of live audiences all over the Southland. This night was no different. Katia did have a bit of a rough start, because I could hear the shakiness in her voice on her first two songs, but she loosened up as I expected, and eventually began to flow with the music. Accompanied by an impressive group of musicians who perform together as Sambaguru, Katia moved through various kinds of Brazilian sounds and often brought the crowd to their feet while beckoning them to dance with her. Joining her at the end of her set was Samba Explosion, a dance troupe headed by Marco Aurelio Vaz. Their costumes did little to enhance Katia's performance visually, especially compared to the starkness of her white ethereal outfit; besides, Katia is enough of a firebomb that she doesn't need dancers to enhance her show, but the dancers were there nonetheless. However, what seemed out of place at the beginning turned out to be more functional than aesthetic. Members of the crowd were able to join the stage and dance with the troupe behind Katia. By the time Katia was done with her set, the entire theatre was on its feet. There were more people dancing in the aisles than seated. The groove was infectious and it was clear that the people came out that night TO DANCE!

July, 2003
Review Dance/Electronic
The Latin Project (Electric Monkey Records)

"(...) A cover of George Duke's "Brazilian Love Affair" (featuring vocalists Katia Moraes & Joel Virgel) is the icing on this rich and satisfying set.

April 2003
Jazz Review By on Heckman

"(...) The name Latin Crossings was selected to reflect the ensemble's blend of musical cultures. It was a good choice, given the lineup: singer Katia Moraes (Brazil), saxophonist-flutist Justo Almario(Colombia), trombonist Arturo Velazco (U.S.), pianist Otmaro Ruiz (Venezuela), bassist Oskar Cartaya (a New York-born Puerto Rican), drummer Alex Acuña (Peru) and percussionist Tichie Garcia (Puerto Rico).

(...) Moraes, always an irrepressibly effervescent performer, demonstrated her growing versatility with a poignant rendering of the Jobim classic "Dindi", followed by a bring-the-crowd-to-its-feet romp through Milton Nascimento's "Canção do Sal."

LATIN BEAT August 2002
By Rudy Mangual

"...setting the stage for local singer/songwriter sensation Katia Moraes. The young carioca came to L.A. in 1990 after performing with the Rio pop-rock group 'O Espirito da Coisa' for over three years. Her exotic personality and stage presence has made her a favorite among aficcionados of Brazilian music since the release of her first North American CD with her band 'Brazil Nuts.' She's currently performing with the acclaimed Los Angeles-based group Sambaguru with whom she recorded her second CD, 'Ginga.'

Backed by the group Badaue, Moraes strutted on stage with the grace and attitude of an Amazon princess. Instantly, her electric energy and charisma prompted instant samba-lines down every aisle of the amphitheare, creating a frenzied atmosphere with each new song. Moraes danced, sang and communicated with her fans for over an hour, delivering an impressive performance".

LA OPINION, February 15, 2002

"El programa se inici— pasadas las 9:00 de la noche con la participaci—n de Katia Moraes, quien lo mismo se inspira en Madonna que en Ellis Regina para su espectaculo. Siempre cambiante, actualmente realiza sus grabaciones con las bandas Sambaguru y Badaue, ambas de muy buen calibre."

Katia Moraes la estrella del Carnaval Brazile–o 2002
Fotos y articulo by © Tomas Benavente

La gran cantante y compositora Katia Moraes acomapa–ada de TropiDanza dancers y la banda Badaue, fueron la atraccion en la noche de Carnaval Brasile–o 2002, que se llevo a cabo con gran esplendor el pasado 9 de Febrero del corriente en el Hollywood Paladium.California. Una noche de esplendor, algarabia musica, fuego y pasion dificil encontrar una palabra que describa todos los elementos que se fusionan en Katia cuando esta arriba en el escenario, la energia y su entrega total al publico al cual invita a participar en su mundo contorneado con las ondas musicales de la samba al que combina con sus movimientos sensuales y su melodiosa voz. El Carnaval se realizo el mismo dia que Brazil daba inicio la celebracion de 4 dias del famoso Carnaval de Rio de Janeiro y para celebrar en grande los organizadores trajeron en forma especial a12 miembros de la reconocida escuela de Samba Imperitriz Leopoldinense, la cual ha sido ganadora en los ultimos tres a–os del Carnaval de Riod de Janeiro. Katia ha actuado en House of Blues, Jon Anson Ford Amphitheater,Getty Center, Playboy Jazz summer fest, Luna Park, Santa Monica Festival entre otros. Actualmente Katia actua con la banda Sambaguru, con la cual grabo su segundo CD titulado "GINGA" y con Badaue Band (Sonidos de la Bahia) al mismo tiempo preparando material para su proximo CD.

L.A. TIMES, Monday, December 18, 2001.
Moraes Offers Musical Magic of Brazil
Jazz review by Don Heckman

The Singer, backed by her quintet, performs a wide range of styles with exuberance and whimsy. Brazil may possess a more diverse array of music than any other single country in the world . The only comparable collective that comes to mind is the range of American styles stretching from bluegrass, Cajun, blues and swing to the seemingly endless multiplicity of jazz expressions. So, when Brazil's samba, pagode, forr—, bossa nova and maracatu collide creatively with American jazz -as they did in the performance by singer K‡tia Moraes and her group Sambaguru on Saturday night at La Ve Lee in Studio City, sparks can be expected to fly. Which is precisely what happened in a pair of sets embracing a range of Brazilian styles too rarely heard in the Southland. Moraes and her quintet, led by keyboardist-musical director Bill Brendle, have been together nearly a decade, strenuously making a case for the assertion that the magic of Brazilian music reaches well beyond the more frequently heard (and seen) Las Vegas-style feathers-and-glitter samba presentations. Confirming that, Moraes- a galvanizing presence, constantly in motion, joyously enmeshed in the music- clearly needed no elaborate costumes to enhance the attention grabbing qualities of her performance. Several of the tunes were Moraes-Brendle collaborations from Sambaguru's current album, "Ginga", songs as such as "Pesca das MuiŽ", "Pra tocar Pandeiro" and "Gruve da bicicleta", combining Brendle's engaging melodies with Moraes's lyrical mix of whimsy and insight. More familiar numbers- Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Chega de Saudade" was one- also surfaced from time to time. Like everything else in the program, they were rendered with effervescent enthusiasm by Moraes and the players, their effectiveness further enhanced by the well crafted arrangements framing each number. The ensemble- guitar Sanjay Divecha, bassist Hussain Jiffry, drummer Tony Shogren and percussionist Chalo Eduardo (subbing for Sambaguruâs regular percussionist Kevin Ricard), in the addition to Brendle- fully matched Moraesâ energetic drive. Together, they opened a wide and colorful window into a world of irresistible compelling music. Moraes and Sambaguru will perform in the International Association of Jazz Educators Convention in Long Beach in January 10, returning to La Ve Lee for a performance January 12.