Sound Culture Presents Luciano Antonio & Neusa Sauer Quartet
Neusa Teresa Orsini Vaz Leguisamo was born in the sun drenched southern shores of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Graced with an exquisite voice and a natural stage presence, she began singing at age 8 and at age 17 won a coveted prize at the Voz de Ouro sponsored by ABC affiliate networks (the largest and most prestigious national singing competition in Brazil). Her win secured her a contract with a prominent Brazilian radio and TV station now part of the Rede Globo network of companies launching her career.
Partnering with singing greats on the Bossa Nova scene, Neusa worked with Elis Regina and Breno Sauer, who later became her husband and together they toured extensively throughout Mexico, Japan and Canada. She currently resides in Chicago and has become a pillar of the Bossa Nova and World Music scene in America. She is part of several acclaimed musical groups including Som Brazil (originally named Made in Brazil) and Copacabana Trio.
Neusa released records with international acclaim such as Tudo Joia under the Pausa Record label which was later acquired by the What Music label and digitally re-mastered. Performing music by the likes of Tom Jobim, Baden Powell and Joao Bosco, her style is derived from Samba, Bossa, and Brazilian Jazz and has become the highlight of many national music festivals. Neusa has toured the festival circuits performing at large venues such as the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Harrisburg Jazz Festival, the Green Mill and the Bulls where she won the hearts of audiences and critics alike. Here are some of the rave reviews she has received from acclaimed critics:
"...Som Brasil epitomizes the softly lilting, melodically intimating aspect of Brazilian Jazz."
- Howard Reich, art critic, Chicago Tribune
"...some of the best bossa nova you're likely to find this side of Rio. I've never heard a better female bossa nova singer than Neusa Sauer."
- Larry Kart, nigh life critic, Chicago Tribune.
"One of Chicago's oldest and authentic Brazilian groups resurfaces to breath fresh air into Chicago's Brazilian music community. Som Brasil performs Brazilian music exclusively including original and classics standards by composer such as Antonio Carlos Jobin. The group places much emphasis on performing music by more contemporary Brazilian composer such as Djavan, Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento. The music employs the Samba (and it's many variations) as its main rhythm and the melodies and harmonies
borrowed heavily from American Jazz.
Lead by long time pianist Breno Sauer and vocalist/wife Neusa Sauer, Som Brasil enjoyed critical acclaim in 70's and 80's Chicago after leading successful groups in Brazil. Breno Sauer is considered a master pianist in the Brazilian tradition with a wealth of knowledge similar in nature to Cuba's Buena Vista Social Club."
- David Chavez, producer/promoter, Sound Culture.
Luciano was born into a musical family on January 3, 1969 in rural Iretama, Parana, Brazil’s southern region. From this melodiously rich environment, he learned first how to sing with his mom, Luiza Maria. He further developed his vocal abilities through his maternal grandparents, who performed for local live radio shows and paternal grandparents, who harmonized beautifully. By age 14, he took the violão (acoustic guitar) as a self taught instrument, focusing his repertoire on Brazilian Folk and Bossa Nova (Brazilian Jazz). He continued his pursuit of technical development through the study of classical guitar at the age of 17, attending several guitar symposiums, work shops and master classes under one of Brazil’s most respected professors, Henrique Pinto. Luciano’s music journey next led him to the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) where he received a bachelor’s degree in music performance. While at UMKC full-time, he was invited to join Chicago Samba (a Chicago based Brazilian music group) and commuted weekly between Kansas City and Chicago to make ends meet. After successfully completing his education at UMKC, he relocated to Chicago where he has since established himself as a performing artist. Luciano has collaborated with many great fellow artists: playing acoustic guitar on John Goldman’s ‘For All the People’, vocals on Matt Geraghty’s ‘Mozaic’, arranging/co-producing, and performing on the recent release ‘Samba Mundo’ by St. Louis based Samba Bom, serving as lead vocalist and guitarist with the Evanston Orquestra de Samba which connects classical music with Brazilian rhythms and harmonies, and performing throughout the Chicago Jazz scene as a soloist. Other engagements include opening performances for Caetano Veloso, Vinicius Cantuaria, Virginia Rodrigues, performances for the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events, The Democratic Convention of 2004, Jakarta Internacional Jazz Festival in 2007 and several commercial releases throughout the Mid-west. Luciano's most recent accomplisment is the release of his debut album of original music "Vida De Artista - An Artist's Life". Luciano also plays classical guitar for weddings, social events and private functions.