A Tribute to Musica Popular Brasileira

Cissa Paz Tribute to Brazilian Popular Music (MPB)

I’m excited to be doing a tribute to MPB featuring composers such as Djavan, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and more. These amazing artists most Brazilian people grew up listening to. As a musician, I’ve studied and pulled apart some of their compositions, trying to find their secret sauce and creating my own. They are important because they have put Brazilian music on the level it is today. Bossa Nova is wonderful and very well known internationally, but MPB is not as recognized. So I’m taking this opportunity to show you what it’s all about and mixing it with the amazingly talented jazz musicians in the area.

MPB is a short for “Música Popular Brasileira” (translated: “Brazilian Popular Music”). And as the name suggests, it is a very varied and multifaceted genre and the biggest genre within Brazilian music. MPB is any kind of Brazilian music, that is neither traditional folk music, nor fits into any other clearly defined genre, like for example bossa nova, rock, manguebeat or soul. Generally MPB brings together elements of various Brazilian musical styles, often mixed with different kinds of international music genres.

MPB, as it is defined today, basically began during the 1960’s, with artists like Edu Lobo, Maria Bethânia, Elis Regina, Jorge Ben, Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento. The real explosion of creativity within Brazilian music, however, occurred during the 1970’s, when all sorts of music styles were mixed, completely new styles were invented and uninhibited creativity was allowed to blossom. Among the most taletend, most successful and most exciting MPB artists during the 1970’s were, apart from the above mentioned, also Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Novos Baianos, Tom Zé and Gal Costa. Ever since the 1970’s, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil have steadily reinvented themselves as artists and they both remain as two of Brazil’s most beloved and admired figures in Brazilian music. Although already a huge star in the 1960’s, Chico Buarque gained depth both musically and lyrically during the 1970’s, when he produced some of his most brilliant albums. Gal Costa gradually moved away from the radical experimentalism of her tropicalismo years, turning into a more conventional (but no less exciting) MPB singer. Novos Baianos splendidly mixed rock, samba, choro and Brazilian hippie culture, while Djavan’s unique mix of samba and MPB earned him a position as one of Brazil’s leading artists for three decades.

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(Part of this text was taken from: http://www.greatbrazilianmusic.com/mpb.html)

Where is Cissa?

Here are some dates for where you can find me this spring and summer.  More coming soon.  We are working on new videos, new arrangements and new songs!  Can’t wait to share with you.  The winter was mild, busy and swift.  Awaking from the productive indoor slumber, I’m looking forward to sharing the blooming energy coming up on the equinox.  Some exciting shows this year, I’m looking forward to opening up the DC Jazz Festival at Yard’s park this year, we’ll be playing high energy music to bob and move to.  This month at Bossa we’ll be celebrating Christylez Bacon’s birthday, and I’m excited to be playing with Cristian Perez (guitar), Pablo Oliveira (cavaco), Jean-Francis Varre (Bass and back vocals) and special guest Fernando Saci coming from NY to play percussion.  Hope to see you there!

And we don’t stop!

Woow! Carnaval has kept us busy over here, and it’s not over yet. This weekend we head down to Charlotte, NC to play for the yearly A Night in Rio Festival. We are bringing samba de raiz to represent my hometown and get people warmed up. Looking forward to a high energy crowd, dancers and sitting in with Caique Vidal and Batuque for some real-deal Afro-Brazilian Axé (Ah-sheh) and samba-reggae music! Can’t wait!

Fun times at the Carlyle Club last week (photo), I felt like I was in a more romantic version of carnaval. The wonderful Dee Hale came and performed samba de gafieira with Gustavo for us, I can’t live without the dancing!

On other news, all is well with the album and my wonderful musicians. We’ll be featured at the DC Jazz Festival this year at Yard’s Park, DC on June 17th for another high energy happy hour in the nation’s capital. Looking forward to that too.

We are still working on new material, single to come out soon. I’ve been on the rhythm and prose vibe for a while and now experimenting with different rhythms of the diaspora, always bringing it back around the Brazilian roots of course. You know that summer festival where you bring a blanket and lay on someone’s lap while we serenade percussive and soft sounds? Well maybe you don’t know, but that’s what I’m shooting for 🙂

Thank you for checking me out, I look forward to seeing you soon. Stay tuned to the shows page to find out where I am or click here to subscribe to the mailing list to really stay in touch.


A Release Concert to Remember

Thank you so much to all my supporters, the album is FINALLY here! The release concert was as magical as I dreamed it. I’d like to thank each and every person who was there and all the people who helped me make it happen.

BUY IT NOW straight from the source 🙂

OR CLICK HERE TO BUY A DOWNLOADABLE VERSION. Please check back or sign up for MY MAILING LIST to get more updates.

Check out pictures by photographer ERIN SCOTT from the CD Release Concert:

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I’m not even sure how to say thank you to all the amazing people who helped me make the album release concert happen. I’m still a little high and tired but coming down from that feeling happy and accomplished. It was a beautiful show full of love and light. I appreciate each and every person who was there to support and appreciate the music. Thank you for coming. And I am eternally thankful for the beautiful souls who helped me. They deserve a lot of credit for I could not have done it without them. Here are some behind the scenes credits:

Fe Black – Stage Manager, Set Designer and Sanity Keeper smile emoticon
Anike Robinson – MC & Make-up Artist
Michael Moriarty – Amazing Promoter and Production Manager
Carlton Pettway – Promoter & Amazing Supporter
Kofi Rozzell – Sound Technician who had to deal with numerous problems since the theater was not ready for live music, with the help of Jean-Francis Varre. Together they miraculously made it happen! But not without the awesome sound equipment graciously lent by Aaron Broadus! Thank you Aaron!!!
Dean Carrigan – Head Production Assistant who worked hard to get those pretty rugs on stage!
Solange Moraes Rego – Hostess and Promoter
Isaac Wright, Emile Vieira, Laurence Perry, Renata Duarte, Renee Livshin, Kate Spanos – for your loyal friendship, help and support.
MY AMAZING FAMILY!!! For sticking through it and being there for me at every step!! Cecilia Pc, Fred, Renata, Marcelo, Cauan.

Also thank you to: Ernest Evans Photography, Erin Scott Photography, LiveSyphon Video Productions and Paula Phillips of the Phillips Agency.

A huge amount of work went into this show, thank you all so much for being there for me.

And thank you to my talented musicians for making my music sound good and being so hard working and reliable! César Orozco, Leonardo Lucini, Pablo R. De Oliveira, Jp Silva, John Lee, Michel Nirenberg, Lucas Ashby, Fernando Saci, Matvei Sigalov, Jean-Francis Varre and my great friend and special guest Christylez Bacon.


The Album is here!  Get your ticket today at cissapaz.brownpapertickets.com!

On September 15th, 2015 at 8pm the Cissa’s self-titled album will be performed at the Gala Hispanic Theater in Columbia Heights, DC.   The album mixes the rhythms of Brazil with those of Lusophone countries in Africa such as Cape Verde and Angola.  With Brazilian and African composers, songs mix rhythms and ideas with similar roots but different evolution.  Cissa Paz, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recorded the album in her hometown in 2014.  Her producer JP Silva is the former Musical Director for Brazilian iconic singer Elza Soares.  Special guests on the album include world famous violinist Nicolas Krassik, the voices of the traditional group “Jongo da Serrinha” and New York based percussionist Davi Vieira, former member of Forro in the Dark.  Performing with Cissa at the release party will be the producer JP Silva on 7-string guitar, Cesar Orozco on piano, Leonardo Lucini on Bass, Fernando Saci on percussion, Pablo Oliveira on Cavaco, Matvei Sigalov on violin and electric guitar and Special Guest Christylez Bacon on beatbox and hip hop.


We are so excited to finally be able to show the public this wonderful project we have been working so hard on for the last 2 years!  Thank you so much for your contributions and support, I couldn’t have done it alone!

Washington Sound Museum #23

I’m so happy to be a part of my awesome friend Christylez Bacon’s project: The Washington Sound Museum. Check it out: After two sold out concerts, Washington Sound Museum returned to the Atlas Performing Arts Center on April 25th & 26th 2015 with Grammy nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist, CHRISTYLEZ BACON and Brazilian vocalist, CISSA PAZ. Both shows were sold out and the audience was captivated by the ease at which the band mixed Brazilian and American rhythms and flavors. The pair has been exploring the connections of traditional Brazilian music and Hip-Hop/Go-Go resulting in a collaboration that has taken Christylez and Cissa abroad to Brasilia, Brazil to collaborate with Brazilian virtuoso harmonica player, PABLO FAGUNDES, and back to Washington, DC to debuting their collaborative soundscapes for Washington Sound Museum’s 23rd Installment. As a bonus, the renowned percussionist VALERINHO XAVIER also came from Brasilia to join the project!

Join us this Friday, May 1st, for an AFTER PARTY and Concert taking place at TROPICALIA (14th and U Streets, NW, DC) to celebrate the beautiful cultural exchange which has been taking place and give a chance for the ones who missed the concert at the Atlas to experience with the artists. This time, with a dance floor! Here’s the line up:

Christylez Bacon – Progressive Hip-Hop & Beatbox (christylez.com)
Cissa Paz – Vocals (cissapaz.com)
Pablo Fagundes – Harmonica (pablofagundes.com.br)
Valerinho Xavier – Percussion
Pablo Oliveira – Cavaquinho
Cesar Orosco – Piano (cesarorozco.net)

$10 in advance – BUY TICKETS HERE
$15 at the door

Doors: 8pm | Concert: 9p-11pm
21 and over only

Stick around after the show for DJ MagaBo and Gregzinho spinning progressive Brazilian music and fusion beats.


The show must go on!

Some set backs and some progress lately but all in all we are moving in the right direction. The album is ready and I’m working on the final touches – cover, liner notes, copyrights, etc. All the fun stuff artists suck at! But I’m plugging along. Here’s a cool picture from one of the many sessions I’ve been having to find the right cover, done by my awesome friend Ernest Evans, you can find him on facebook here: Ernest Evans Photography.

By Ernest Evans

By Ernest Evans

Catch me at Bossa before Rio

Hello world,

As you know I’ve not been performing much lately since I’ve been working hard on the album.  But I’ll be singing with some cool characters on Thursday, January 16th at Bossa Bistro in Adams Morgan, DC.  Right before my trip to Rio to hopefully finish recording the album.  I hope you can make it!


It’s about time for a Cissa update!

Dear friends, family, supporters!

I’m so sorry I’ve been silent for a while now. But I promise we have been working VERY HARD on the project. SO MUCH love and hard work are going into this album, it’s difficult to explain. It’s definitely been a big challenge to work with a team who’s so far away (in Brazil). We made good use of the time while I was there, and have been working hard on getting this songs on tracks. We have SEVEN songs recorded now with everything but my vocals. And the three that are left will be the end of the kickstarter money. So my new challenge is finding funding to mix, master, print and distribute. Wish me luck! I’m so fortunate to have had your help to get this far, and rest assured I’M GOING TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!

No time to worry, the arrangements have been coming out really beautifully. Among the arrangers are JP Silva, Nelson Freitas and Cesar Orosco. We have three original songs written by myself and JP. There are some Cape Verdean songs and one Angolan song. The rest are Brazilian. The sound is the mixture we were looking for and the band is super talented and never ceases to amaze me! It’s been really fun and I’m really looking forward to sharing this music with you.

Supporter’s gifts are in the works and will be getting to you before release date. Which right now is set to the first week of April (subject to change, but fingers crossed!). If you have questions or ever wonder what the heck I’m doing please reach out to me on facebook. Even if I take some time to respond I do my best to keep that inbox clean.

On more good news, we set a date! I’ll be going to Brazil in January to record all the vocals \o/ YAY!

Blessings and eternal thanks to all who are making dreams come true. I will try to send another update before too long, this one was way too long coming!

I HAVE A SPECIAL SNEAK PEAK FOR THOSE WHO STILL WANT TO CONTRIBUTE AND WHO HAVE ALREADY CONTRIBUTED, OF COURSE. I have sent an unfinished version of one of the songs on the album to all kickstarter contributors. If you haven’t had the chance to contribute but want to, here’s the link, any amount counts! You will receive the sneak peak after contributing! 🙂


The album is in the belly

It’s been an amazing month in Cissa world!  I was so happy and relieved to have made the Kickstarter goal.  I can’t thank my backers enough, and I hope you know that your money is being very well measured and spent.  I’m trying to make the right financial choices to make sure the album is as GREAT as possible. 

While in Brazil, we recorded 6 tracks.  They sound SO BEAUTIFUL.  The musicians working with us are absolutely amazing.  They brought in the levels of professionalism and creativity that I had been hoping for.  We recorded with Nelcinho Freitas (piano), Rodrigo Ferreira (bass), Paulinho Criança (drums), Anderson Vilmar (percussion) and of course JP Silva (guitar, cavaco, mandolin).  There will also be other additions with horns and an AMAZING rabeca player, who shall remain nameless for now.  A true blessing! I’m happy to report the CD will feature about 4 original songs, composed by JP and myself.  I’m loving them so far.  Making a song is almost as gratifying as making a baby.  Lol!

I also made room for some great opportunity for the album.  With an upcoming collaboration for the next 4 songs (to complete the album) of Marcos Suzano and João Pires.  Suzano is a world-famous percussionist who’s worked with all the big names like Bebel Gilberto, Ney Matogrosso, Djavan to name a few.  And João is a wonderful composer from Portugal, with tons of Cape Verdean experience.  His new CD called “Caminhar” has just been released and is very beautiful. 

The trip was very enriching for me.  I made some great friends, great music and even sat in on some of JP’s gigs.  Jongo da Serrinha was very accommodating and I was also very happy to sit in with them at Trapiche in Downtown Rio.  Those are some very talented ladies with a gorgeous repertoire!

Back at the nation’s capital:  Last night I had the honor of opening the show for Casuarina.  A wonderful samba band made up of super talented virtuosos. They had been on tour in the U.S. and Tropicalia was their last stop before returning home.  What a wonderful night!  The crowd was awesome and Casuarina killed it!  It’s such a treat to have a band of that caliber in town.  I’m very blessed to have been a part of it.

These are exciting progressions and I am really looking forward to sharing my music with you very soon.  I’m working hard every day to make it happen and I’m so grateful for the support from my community.  You are making dreams come true!  Thank you!  ❤