“Everything is inspiration and I am grateful for it”

Bossa Nova World

Bossa Nova is my essence as a person, my original impulse as a singer and my life-soul-heart’s pulsation.

Tom Jobim – Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim – Concert at Ibirapuera Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil – 28/11/1993 – I was there in the first row! 50.000 people came to watch it.
The image shows Juliana Areias with: Leila Pinheiro; Rosa Passos; Leny Andrade; Rita Lee; Joyce; Wanda Sa; Alaide Costa; Claudette Soares; Leny Andrade and Angela Maria; // Ronaldo Boscoli; Luiz Carlos Vinhas; Roberto Menescal; Sivuca and Joao Donato; Johnny Alf; Carlinhos Lyra; Luizinho Eca; // Tiao Neto; Pery Ribeiro; Maestro Mascarenhas and Zimbo Trio; Ruy Castro; Mauricio Einhorn; Os Cariocas; Carlinhos Franco and Marcos Valle; // Araken Peixoto; Toquinho; Mieli; Alcelmo Carvalho; Tito Madi; Billy Blanco; Gilson Peranzzetta; Araken and Moacyr Peixoto; // Tom Jobim with his band “Banda Nova”: Jacques Morelenbaum (cello), Paulo Jobim (guitar), Tom Jobim (piano, vocals),Tião Neto (bass), Paulo Braga(drums), Danilo Caymmi ( flute and vocals) and female unisono choir composed by Paula Morelenbaum, Beth Jobim or Ana Lontra Jobim, Maúcha Adnet and Simone Caymmi; //Leny Andrade and Silvia C. Areias Mendes; Johnny Alf; Adriano de Oliveira; Roberto Menescal; ?, Tiao Neto, Ruy Castro, ?, Wanda Sa and Luizinho Eca; Luiz Carlos Coutinho; Claudette Soares and Leny Andrade.

Female singers major influences

Leny Andrade, Leila Pinheiro, Rosa Passos and Luciana Souza

Juliana, Leny and Angela Maria – 1991

– Ladies and gentlemen , this is Leny Andrade – the singer I have most watched live in my life. I used to come so often to her concerts and take so many photos of her  that she has started to call me ” my little photographer fellow” and has  invited me to watch one of her recording sections. She has a very spontaneous and groovy way of singing, a deep low tone voice, a delicious repertoire and a groovy band composed by Luis Carlos Coutinho ( piano and arrangements), Adriano Oliveira (drums) and Lucio Nascimento (bass).  In Switzerland, I had the opportunity to work with the guitarist  Ademir Candido who has also recorded an album with Leny Andrade in Sao Paulo, on 1984. This is one of my favorites albuns of her, it is called “Leny Andrade” and it includes the delicious songs: Estamos ai,  O negocio eh amar and  Vale o escrito. Salve Leny!

Leila Pinheiro

Juliana Areias and Leila Pinheiro -1990

– Leila is a talented pianist and singer who has at the same level, great musical perception, feeling and vocal control. I have always loved and felt identified with her beautiful voice  and soulful way of singing. As we have a quite similar voice tone when I seriously started my career as a singer, I had to make a decision of stopping listening to her CDs so I could separate my way of singing from hers to be able to develop my own style. Although singing is an endless progressing process of discovery and development I think I am getting there!  That said, of course she will be always one of my greatest musical influences and I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to pay a tribute to her by performing with her. Strong desire and enthusiast work combination creates opportunities and circunstances. Therefore, the right opportunity will arise. Bencao, Leila!

Rosa Passos

Juliana Areias and Rosa Passos, 1992.

– Rosa is an amazing composer, guitarist and singer. As a singer, I admire her unconventional and groovy musical division (not by mistake people state she is Joao Gilberto’s female version). I also cherish the way she conducts her career with integrity and ideal, never compromising the essence and quality of her music.  I was living in Salvador when Rosa’s Festa album was first released on 1993. It made a huge impact in my life. I used to repeat it over and over again, specially the track #10 “Paris: de Santos Dumont aos travestis” ( by Moacyr luz and Aldir Blanc), and think to myself – Wow, what a fine taste, what a groove, what a perfection!  This is the musical excellence I want to reach! – Since them I distinguish two types of people in the world: the ones whom know Rosa Passos and the ones whom don’t. If you are still in the second group, don’t waste your life any longer, please give me the pleasure to introduce you to Rosa Passos. Rosa morena!

Luciana Souza

Grammy winner album 2007

– On 2008, by opening the free music sample of my Windows Media Player’s new computer I founded  a song called Muita Bobeira performed by Luciana Souza and Romero Lubambo. This is how I was first introduced to this outstanding singer. How does it come I already knew the amazing guitarist Lubambo, but Luciana? This record gave me a new insight and inspiration. How precise, clear yet syncopated and groovy a voice can be at the same time. I felt a strong connection with it.  Since then, I’ve learnt more about Luciana’s biography and music thanks to my talented friend and musical partner Jose Henrique Alves (So Brazil duo) who also admires her work. She has studied and lectured at the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston  and she is a grammy winner along with Herbie  Hancock for his amazing River – The Joni Letters album– (2007). In the CD cover Herbie thanks “Luciana for her skillful and deft navigation”. I feel the same. Obrigada Luciana! I also feel the same way she feels about bossa nova, see her interview video promoting her The New Nossa Nova – CD  here.

By the way,thanks to Jose Henrique’s recommendation – I have discovered this album that has also become a huge musical inspiration for me, specially its song title – River– one of the best recording I have ever heard featuring Herbie Hancock (piano), Wayne Shorter (Sax), the great and amazingly young Tal Wilkenfeld (Bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and a soulful vocal interpretation by Corinne Bailey Rae. I put this song to play and repeat continuosly  in my car and every time I listen to it, I discover a new nuance and subtlety. I love, for example, how Corinne contextual  intention and interpretation changes for everytime she repeats the sentence “ I wish a has I river” . Also note how particulary she sustains and link the notes at the last time she says “ I could skaaaate-awayyyyyy-onnnn” giving us exatly that impression. I truly fly and travel to another dimention by listening to this recording.

Female Pop singers early influences

Rita Lee, Celly Campello and Madonna

Juliana Areias and Rita Lee – Bossa n’roll Concert -1991

Rita Lee‘s single  ” Lanca Perfurme” was probable the first song I ever performed to an unfamiliar audience. I was 5 years old when it became a hit (1980) . Every time I would take a bus with my Mom, I used to stand up beside the bus driver and sing it to everybody inside the bus :-) . She is a crazy, irreverent, clever, satirical singer-songwritter who knows how to use theatrical elements in her performances.

Childhood:Angela ( my best friend), Paulinho, Juliana Areias, Giuliana and Jamille – around 8 years old – 1983.

I used to play my Mom’s Celly Campello‘s 4 tracks vinyl disc in my little orange portable record player at our apartament block’s playground. Dressing up in my very 60’s white dress with a pink bow I used to sing and create coreographies for her songs with my friends. After rehearsing it “until perfection”, we used to send hand crafted  invitations to every apartment resident to come to our special “performance party”. I was around 7-9 years old at this time (1982-84). Her songs talk about delicious and  ingenuous adolescent flirts . It souns kind of cheesy and old fashion nowadays but still it is very sweet and playful.

Madonna: I started to blond dye my hair when I was 12 years old (1987) because of her. No need to say that I also used to dress up exactly like her to go to school, shopping, to the doctor  or anywhere. She is the archetype of a free artist and woman who is at the same time: sexy yet clever; ambicious yet sensitive;  independent yet romantic,  feminine yet sure of herself; rebellious yet empathic.  I like the way she uses dance elements to express herself as a performer.  Some of her songs I still enjoy listening to: Cherish, Boderline, Crazy for you, Like a Prayer, Vogue, Express yourself, True blue.

Menudo Fever

Confession time: yes, during my pre-teen years (9-12 years old ) I also was a Menudo’s fan and I used to spend hours looking at the stars and dreaming about my “prince charming” Charlie Masso, my favorite menudo boy ( the tallest dark-skinned with curly hair). Recreating the story of one of their video clips, yo sere tu bailarin, in one of my dreams I was a Brazilian dance teacher who had to  move to San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Capital. While  teaching  in a dance studio over there, I met Charlie and we fell in love, of course!  How sweet, isn’t it!? Any similarity to the video clip is not mere coincidence. All the romantic cliches ideas promoted by their songs, appearance, dance and videos were very cheesy yet irresistibly appealing to any girl making the transition from childhood to adolescence like me at the time. Charlie was certainly my first crush, making my imagination to fly… The interesting fact is that his physical characteristics are still the ones I usually find the most attractive in a man. The fever lasted for 3 years from 1984-1987 . Quoting the  Portuguese  poet Fernando Pessoa famous phrase that has also become a cliche: “All is worthwhile if the soul is not small”.  Thanks to Charlie I can communicate and sing in Spanish nowadays. Therefore, muchas gracias, Charlie –  Carlos Javier Rivera Masso!  Would be still very interesting to meet you personally one day to find out who you are beyond the cliche. Who knows?  “There are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” ( Hamlet by William Shakespeare).

Family and friends

My family

Juliana Areias Geoffrey Drake-Brockman Jobim e Lilas

My beloved kids Jobim and Lilas. They are the ones who live with me, loving me, surprising me, moving me, helping me,  challenging me Strassoldo Juliana Areias Jobim Lilas torreand inspiring me to be not only a better mother and artist, but a better person all the time. They have to deal with my artistic craziness or idiosyncrasy every single day , trying to find a way of understand it, and appreciating it , supporting me in the best way.

Thank you, obrigada, meus amores.  I love IMG_3451you so so so much and I hope I can make you feel happy and proud as much as  I do feel happy and proud about you! I admire you. I love being with you. I love you! You are everything in my life.

Juliana Areias Geoffrey Drake-Brockman love Sydney Sept 2015Geoffrey,  Meu Amor… my love, the man of my life, my partner, my lover, my friend, my soul mate, who knows  how to well love me and who I  well love infinitely back and every day more… Life is extraordinary withLilas Jobim Geoffrey beach tower you. I love being with you anywhere and sharing all the moments we share together… I love looking at you while you are working and creating your amazing artistic visions…  I love you mind, your soul, your artistic process,  your talent, your intelligence,  your integrity, your Jobim Lilas Juliana Cottesloe 2011 by Claudia Rondonpersistence, your voice, your touch, your smell, your taste, your charm, your body,  your deliciousness,  all your Italy Venice IMG_5165 Juliana Areias Geoffrey Drake-Brockman Juliana Areias Geoffrey Drake-Brockman Jobim and Lilasfacets… I love you…  Thank you for inspiring me in so many different levels… You know that without your presence in my life, the “Bossa Nova Baby” album would still be just a dream. As I said in your song “Belas Artes” , you have the gift to transform what you see.  Thank you for all the inspiration, love and support. For being here beside me. For being you. Te amo.

Geoffrey Drake-Brockman Juliana Areias Jobim Lilas Solar Jayne 2014 Sculpture bu the Sea Cottesloe

Our Pati amada… heart friend and sister, someone we love so much and we feel always connected  no matter how far we might be from each other. We make life happy and interesting because we can, we care, we want and we deserve it. We have lived some defining moments  together and our love and friendship is here to stay. We love you!

London IMG_4781G

Thomas and Lloyd, delightful and beloved sons of Geoffrey, I love seeing you both together with your dad and I enjoy your bright, playful, witty conversations and the love you share to each other. You guys make your dad so happy and proud… It’s a pleasure to get to know you both and to spend time together.

Geoffrey Drake Brockman Looking Glass Opening Thomas Lloyd Elise Juliana Areias

Miguilim amado, my beloved brother, thank you for all the love and presence in our lives and for being so caring  to all around you, our mom and whole family.  I love to see you playing and laughing with  Jojo and Lilinha … As your oldest sister, my subconscious and heart always feel a bit like your mother and it always makes me smile every time I exchange yours and Jobim’s name, hehehe.  We love you and we love every moment we can spend with you!

Juliana Areias Jobim Lilas Rodrigo Perth 2015

My heart family in Australia and around,  a family that is always present and growing…   Tio Fred, Tia Clau Clau, Marcinho & San San, Luquinhas, Ceminha & Orestes, Luiz,  Aninha & Ewan , Tia Jacque, Leo, Roro & Ze , Henrique, Ian, Luke;  Rere & Petr, Alex, Lucas; Carina & Gibinha, Florinha; Pinguim & Flavia, Renato &Sonja,  Lia, Celinha,  Tia Dani & Tim,  Donato e Lilica;   Gabriel, Veronika, Tim,  Jeffrey, Terrence& Vanessa, Dani & Nico, Alisson, Audrey, Alessandra,  Libby, Tara & Arvis,  Brenda, Michelle, Margaret Lamberto, Simon, Rodrigo, Abuka, Tiago, Rafa and Sandrinho, Susana & Miodrag, Bruno, Yelena, Rachel; Margaret & Roger, Xavier; Cati, Ale –  Bruxinha Azul, Jo e Tico, Soo-Soo, Johannes,  Uginho, Josinha, Zizzinho… You are so essential…  Thank you for all your friendship, inspiration and enormous help over the years… life is worth living with friends like you.

Amigos 2016 Juliana Areias

My parents – I have learnt from my parents how to appreciate music.

This photo of my parents listening to music together, reminds me the lyrics of a Caetano Veloso song called Saudosismo (Nostalgia) –  ” Eu, voce, Joao girando na vitrola sem parar e eu fico comovido de lembrar o tempo e o som. Ah, como era bom,mas chega de saudade , a realidade eh que aprendemos com Joao, pra sempre a ser desafinados“. Trying to translate it, the lyrics says : “I, you and  Joao Gilberto’s vinyl disc turning in the record player non stop. I feel moved when I remember that time and that song. Wow, It was so good, but no more nostalgia, the reality is that we have learned from Joao Gilberto how to sing out of tune forever. ”

Paloma, Ju and Rodrigo

My mom Eidineise Vasconcellos used to take me with her to all concerts of the “Pixinguinha Project” to watch  Gilberto Gil , Milton Nascimento, 14bis…,  even if by law I was not allowed to be there because I was much younger then 10 years old.  I truly thanks my mom for it, as these experiences were precious in my life and they are part of my best childhood memories! She used to put me on the top of the stage to kiss Gilberto Gil. We also used to come to rehearsals of her friends’ bands, such as the Radio Taxi, Tutti Frutti... I remember one day we went to a jazz band rehearsal in a bar. It was a magical moment for me to listen how a bass, drums, piano and guitar could sound so beautifully together! Thank you, mom, for the freedom!

My dad Jose Wilson Areias Mendes has a musician soul. Although he earns a living as an economist, he has a daily musical ritual. Every night when he comes back from work, after saying hello to everybody, he takes his tie off and then he goes  to play his guitar for a while. Only after it, he “comes back to the normal world” again to have dinner, to have a chat, watch

Marcel, Luna, Clara and Ju

TV, etc… During the weekend mornings, he usually plays his favourites CDs of BB King, Raphael Rabello … and gets his guitar to have a jam with them! He loves Frank Sinatra and can sing like him. He loves blues and likes playing the  harmonica. He can play a little of the piano and my grand father’s accordion as well.  We went to many concerts together, specially the Rita Lee’s ones, that I’ve always loved so much. We also love to go out to dance and to listen to live jazz, blues, bossa nova  and chorinho bands. I remember we went once to a afternoon party at a house where the Raizes de America band were staying in. They spend the afternoon playing music while I spend the afternoon playing in a sand pit with their Spanish speaking kids and listening to their music.  My dad gave me my first acoustic guitar and he taught me my first chords and songs.

Areias Family: Juliana, uncle Ninho and dad Jose Wilson – Fortaleza, Brazil – August 2007

My uncle Ninho ( Ascelino Teixeira Mendes Jr) has also taught me how to play some bossa-novas songs such as Balanco Zona Sul, Teus Olhos and Esse seu olhar – and other Brazilian Music styles such as the song “A barca” by Moraes Moreira.

Dad was also part of a choir group called Pedra-mar that used to rehearsal at his home. The group was composed by the great artist Tiago Araripe, Fabinho, Elcinha, Rene Boechat and himself among others. They performed at a Festival in  the Zacaro Theatre in Sao Paulo, around 1982.

Jobim, Lilas, Juliana Areias, dad Jose Wilson, Tiago Araripe and uncle Ninho – Fortaleza, Brazil – August 2007.

Tiago Araripe‘s work itself is also a major musical influence in my life and career. His album Cabelos de Sansao recorded on 1982, is one of the most interesting records I’ve ever heard and I’ve always kept it with me in a mini disc format.  Visiting Fortaleza on 2007, a had the pleasure of  meeting  Tiago again and bein informed by him that his album would be remastered thanks to a Zeca Baleiro‘s project initiative. Who win with it is not only us, but the Brazilian Popular Music itself.

Marcio Catunda is also a friend of my family  who became a central figure in my career and life. He is an ecletic poet, composer and Brazilian diplomat. We have first met in Geneva in a fundrising party where I was singing to all local autorities including the Geneva Mayor and Marcio himself. After it I ended up recording the 2 first Marcio’s CDs: “Anima Lirica” with the Brazilian pianist Rubens Diniz in Geneva (1997) and “ Crescente” with the Bugarian pianist Christian Boyadjiev, in Sofia on (2000). To record this second CD, I have spent 2 weeks in Sofia at Marcio’s home, with his lovely wife Janet and son Vinicius. It was a very special time for me, I truly miss having  Janet’s delicious desserts and  Marcio’s eloquent poetry sessions every night after dinner. Since then we have developed a good friendship and new musical projects that I am very proud to be part of.

Rubens Diniz, Juliana Areias and Marcio Catunda – Geneva, 1997

My aunty-mom Silvia Cassia Areias Mendes is a very important person in my personnal and musical formation for sharing with me her refined music taste and bohemian passion for the night and live music. Through her special music collection, she has introduced me to essential artists such as Leny Andrade and Egberto Gismonti – the composer of Palhaco – a vital song in my life, (it has celebrated the birth of my first son Jobim as well as the birth of So Brazil’s debut concert). I spend my teen years not going to noisy dancing night clubs as the majority of my generation’s friends, but enjoying with her several concerts such as Leny Andrade’s, Leila Pinheiro’s, Garganta Profunda’s, etc…

Bartira and Ju

We used to go, every weekend, to a typical Brazilian live music bar (barzinho) called Metro Bar in Moema – a suburb of Sao Paulo City. At the time, the Metro bar had 2 musical resident attractions per night , a voice and piano duo performing a lot of Djavan songs and a traditional samba band  called “Metro”. Some of the songs I have learnt in this period are pearls of  my repertoire, such as the beautiful “ O sol e a Brisa” – a Zeca Pagodinho’s rooty samba classic or a samba  “from the ghetto” – as a talented musician, friend and musical partner Rick Goncalves values it!


Everytime I listen to Djavan, (my favorite Brazilian composer along with Tom Jobim), I recall our car trips to Caraguatatuba, Itanhaem, Guaruja and others beaches of the Sao Paulo State’s Coast. The freedom and happiness we felt simple by being alive, travelling, singing and listening to Djavan cassete tapes very loud inside the car, feeling the refreshing breeze coming through the open car windows. I also miss the New Year’s Eve nights we used to make an one hour car  trip from Sao Paulo to the beach simply to offer flowers to Yemanja – the goddess of the sea . (This is a very Brazilian cultural way of celebrating the New Year, by throwing roses to the ocean , where lives the mermaid Janaina, also called Yemanja , the Goddess of the Sea in the Candomble –  African Brazilian Religion – mythology).

Ju, Tio Paulo and Ana Paula

My Uncle Paulo Henrique Areias Mendes

– Tio Paulo had the pacience to take me to watch a Menudo Concert. He also told me a very important sentence lesson: “The best place is where we are. It reminds me another sentence from a Gilberto Gil song” : The best place in the world is here and now”. What also reminds me another parable, that a very special person and   former boy friend, Marcelo (from the Joy Dancing Club) told me : An old local resident man stays in the begining of his city greeting the new people. A new resident arrives, he says to him: ” Welcome to my city, did you enjoy the place you were living before ? ” The new resident replies: ” Not very much, I did not like the people, the place was sad, ugly, boring… what about here? The old local resindent says: ” you will feel the same thing here”. Another new resident arrives, he asks him the same question: ” Welcome to my city, did you enjoy the place you were living before? The second new resident replies: ” Oh, yes, very much! I love that city and I have left many friends over there, what about here?” The old local says: “you will feel the same thing here.”

My cousin Rubens Vasconcellos De Donno is an acclaimed double bassist of the Symphony Jazz Orchestra of Sao Paulo State; the first double bassist of the Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paulo City and a lecturer of The Tom Jobim Free Music University.   I’ve proudly grown up watching his professional music career progress. As a teenager his first musical instruments were the acoustic and the electric guitars, then he moved on to the violin,  to the cello and  finally to his chosen main instrument and passion: the double bass and electric bass. His creativity, talent, determination and professional music trajectory has always inspired me. I also have learnt from him some very precious music perception and theory lessons. Obrigadao Binho!

Marcia Cecilia Vianna Canete is a person I love very much and who left a decisive impression in my life.She is a psychologist involved with bio dance therapeutic art expression. She has always been a very alternative and free minded person. She was my father’s girl friend for a short period of time and his friend afterwards. I was around 4 years old when I met her. We were so strongly connected that one day we have phoned each other exactly at the same moment, in a complete synchronicity that the phone did not even ring, we had just to pick it up and say hello. We had a couple of cats called ‘chico” and “chica” ( what means boy and girl in Spanish). Since then, any other pet I ever had, I have named the same way. We used to make drawing around the house together. I like thinking we were kind of 2 good witches with a mystical bond. Then she fell in love with a Chilean guy and they some how decided to move to Sweden.  There was a huge dressing up farewell party for them. Guess what was my fancy dress? I dressed up as a witch, of course, and again, since then it has been my favourite fancy dress costume. She used to send me postal cards, letters, drawing, little gifts and photos from Sweden.  Because of her I made a very serious decision when I was only five years old: I decided that I would live overseas, in Switzerland when I grow up. (Note that as a child I used to confuse the two different countries, I used to think she was living in Switzerland instead of Sweden). Sure enough, I fulfilled my dream by moving to Switzerland when I was 21 years old. Can you see how powerful are the thoughts and the decisions we make based in love and other pure feelings? The last time I have seen Marcia, was at her first trip back to Brazil around 1981. At this time I had the opportunity to meet her little son called Emiliano. As time passed we had eventually lost contact with each other but I’ve always kept all the correspondences she had sent me with a lot of love and tenderness. Now I am an adult woman, a mother as well and an artist living around the globe, thanks to her inspiration. I think that my personality still resembles hers in many ways.  After more then 20 years apart, thanks to the internet we have found each other again, having the opportunity to put our 2 witch souls together once more. I love you, Marcinha,  you play an essential part in my  life’s story.

Emiliano, Marcia and Juliana – 1981

Luiz Gustavo Alves –  actor, director, play writer and drama teacher

Luiz Gustavo and Damian

My Gus, as I call him, is the person responsible for my professional debut in the performing arts field. I started my career with him, as an actress when I was 13 years old, on 1988.  He was first of all my drama teacher, my source of knowledge and inspiration, always feeding and stimulating my  hunger to learn, revealing to me the magical and wholesome side of the artistic world. I have learnt from him to love and to respect the stage , as a sacred place. The stage can be any place – a theatre room, a public square floor, a bathroom, a beach…anywhere the artist performs its art with integrity. Gus has been playing so many rules in my life: teacher,  play director, play writer, actor, friend, father, councellor, psicologist, brother, angel, idol, confident, accomplice, visionary and even God sometimes! His love gives me strength to keep going  in my way, never letting me forget who I really am: that girl all in blue carring a guitar in the back and  walking to the MASP ( the Art Museum of Sao Paulo city) to watch a Baden Powell concert. Gazing at me while I was walking, Gus made his prophesy: She is going to be an artist. Here I am, my Gus!  I love you…

Centauro Teatre Company 1988. Ana Paula Beato, Paz Marchant, Marcia Furtado,Guilherme Roselli, Vinicius Sartini, Luciana, Alphonse Joseph Moujaes, Alcino Barbosa Alves (Cininho!), Luciano Reis, Angela Mariko Tokunaga ( Ge! My best friend), Giulia Murakami, Christiane Albuquerque, Lucila Sampaio!, Ana Claudia Pity, Rodrigo Raposo Tosi!, Alessandra Zeringota, Elaine Felix, Jonathas Abdalla Lulo ( Joba!), Silvio Restiffe!, Giancarlo Pinto, Fernando Aquino, LUIZ GUSTAVO ALVES, Cristiane Bussab, Camila Massariol, Juliana Areias ( Jullie Vasconcellos), Sheila Pituka, Sabrina de Borba, Marcello Borges ( Calouro!), Marcelo Laham!, Fabio Sammarco!, Paulo Henrique Cunha (Carioca!) and Marcelo Migliori!
Juliana Areias and Silvio Restiffe (Silvio de Paiva) playing ” As Hienas” by Braulio Pedroso. ( ” Encontro de autores nacionais – directed by Luiz Gustavo Alves) -1989
Marcelo Lahan, Fabio Sammarco, Andre Moss Neto, Luiz Gustavo Alves (Gustavo Luiz) and Silvio Restiffe playing “Figura Paterna” by Luiz Gustavo. ( directed by Sebastiao Apolonio).1990
Juliana Areias and Andre Chiaramelli. Andre: a great actor, person and friend. Andre has passed away in a car accident in Portugal during a tour with a play in the peak of his career, as Gus told me on 2008. We have played together ” Tiananmen”, written and directed by Luiz Gustavo Alves – 1991. Others great friends and artists also have worked in this big production including: Raquel Gomes, Paulo Fabiano, Walter Stein, Laercio Schiave, Tharso Maiur, Fran Costa, Roberto Rivelino ( Riva!), Ivan Fagundes, Neneco Martins, Alessandra Miranda, Renata Mastroiani and Doni Sacramento.
Keila Blask, Silvia Ferreira (Silvinha aquariana!), Juliana Areias and Raquel Gomes (que saudade!) playing ” A bruxinha que era boa” by Maria Clara MAchado (Directed by Walcyr Carrasco).1991
Juliana Areias , again as Fredegunda – the witch!
Monica Kika and Juliana Areias. We used to perform together at hers kids party entertainment group ” A turminha do Faz de conta” every weekend. Thanks to her I have got a big picture of my huge Sao Paulo City and State, as we have possibly performed at all suburbs of Sao Paulo city as clown, princess, Marvellous woman, xuxa, paquita, butterfly, farry, Mikey mouse, etc… Our talented clown and friend Josue used to work with us as well! It was a fun time!

My special teachers:

Juliana Areias and Denise Palacio – 1986

–         Luiz Gustavo Alves (Drama), Denise Palacio (Jazz Dance), Valeria (Portuguese), Fernando (Religion), Jose Henrique (History), Catarina (Portuguese), Malu – Maria Lucia Faricelli ( Maths), Beth ( English), Marilia (Geografy), Paulo ( Physics), Regina Freitas (Portuguese) from IMACO, Sao Paulo.

–         Luiz Gustavo Alves (Drama), Valdenis (Maths), Luiz Carlos Garcia – “Bolha” (Administration) from Vocacional, Sao Paulo.

–         Elizabeth ( Psycology), from CAN, Brasilia.

–         Sasha ( Aesthetics) from UFBA, Salvador.

–         Jeremy, Seonaid  and  Simon from Worldwide School of English, Auckland – NZ.

These inspiring and talented teachers have taught me much more then academic subjects, they have shared themselves, their time, passions, experiences, feelings, life, love, ideas, ideals, believes, hopes, principles, philosophies and  ideologies with me. These lessons are still very much alive within me, refleting a big deal of who I am now and forever. Thank you so much!  I also acknowledge my beloved father Jose Wilson and my grand parents Lola and Celo for valueing and investing in my education, giving me the opportunity to study at very good educational institutions in Brazil, specially at my beloved primary and secondary school IMACO ( Instituto de Ensino Imaculada Conceicao), my second home, where I have learnt education for live, ( ” educacao libertadora”) and where I have met an incredible group of people – teachers and friends – including the most influent Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire who used to have his “Vereda” office, over there.  The teachers Valeria, Fernando and Jose Henrique specially, how I wish I could find you again! Valeria who taught me how amusing can be a “ syntactic analysis” and how to be an independent woman and person able to have my own thinking and ideology. Fernando who taught me that there are many ways of being “religious” and that it is also possible to “talk to God” by listening to music or remembering about an ‘omelette” we have eaten in our childhood that made us feel so happy, loving, loved and belonging. Jose Henrique who taught me that the man is the agent of the History and that we are making history right here, right now all the time. I love you all!

My beloved school: Imaco (Instituto de Ensino Imaculada Conceicao at Rua Cincinato Braga, 500 – Bela Vista, Sao Paulo, Brazil). Most of the building no longer exists…

From Sao Paulo to Salvador – Bahia – Brazil and Switzerland

Ivo Gato – artist and set designer

Vania, Ivo Gato and Juliana Areias – 1996
Joaquim, Ivo, Iva and Juliana at the “Sky production room”.

Ivo is certainly the most focused , dynamic, proactive and hard working professional I have ever known in my life. In 1994, Ivo Gato was already the most prominent set designer of Salvador City. I was just arriving in town, 19 years old, working as an entertainer monitor at an event designed by him inside the Barra Shopping Mall. Straight away, Ivo noticed my performance and trusting on my professional potential, has invited me to work with him. In few months I was already his business partner at his arts productions company “Atelier do Ivo Gato” – also formally known as “Base Arte”. Thanks to him I could coordinate many interesting projects, including a doco for the Vatican, many publicity campaigns for the TV, theatre sceneries, cinema scenarios, directing plays, travelling around different states of Brazil (such as Amazonas, Para, Bahia and Minas Gerais) working together

Liliana Levendakos

with very talented marketing professionals and artists: Liliana Levendakos, Lorena, Vania,  Cabral, Eri, Hamilton de Oliveira Souza, Jonas, Joaquim, Mumu, Sergipinho, Paulo Black, Guine,Washington Arleu, Chico, Gustavo… As part of the Atelier, I have also established a highly regarded casting agency, working  with great actors,  musicians, models and monitors, such as Mona, Cristiane, George, Carlinhos Franco, Vainer Dias Gomes, Alessandra Kali, Joselma Coelho, Pedro Moraes and Vladimir Brichta – who has became a national celebrity afterwards.

1994 – My 1st designing inspired by Mondrian (1872-1944).
Live outdoor project 1995
Hamilton, Eri and Ale Kali

I could write many books about the entire Atelier do Ivo Gato’s adventures, funny stories, life lessons and consecutive nights of work without any sleep to delivery projects within deadlines. And we always did! This is something I have learnt from Ivo: the artist in the actual world needs more then talent, creativity and network; he must be a reliable professional, an entrepreneur in order to succeed. He must also be versatile, able to recreate and diversify his work anticipating the market changes. Influenced by Ivo Gato I went to the University to do an Fine Arts bachelor degree. The surprising lesson I have learned in my first semester at the University is that the biggest aspiration of the majority of the art students about to graduate was to find a job such as mine in an Art Atelier. How ironical: I had their dream job even before I went to the University. Thank you, my dear friend Ivo, for all opportunities and unforgettable experiences!

Standing on the left, Jonas and Juliana with the super monitor team.
Joselma Coelho ( in Black, on the left), Vladimir Brichta (the tallest in the middle) and Juliana Areias ( in grey – on the right).

Jo & Tico (Joselma Coelho and Alvaro) – The super couple, my friends forever… They are talented and hilarious actors, dancers, singers, artisans, traders… in fact there is nothing in this Earth that they cannot do.  When we are together, we can just be ourselves  and this is so good! I love you!

In the photos, Ju, Tico and Jo in an Olimpic Games Projetc of the Atelier do Ivo Gato 1996/  Tico wearing my red pants to play Elvis and Jo playing Elvis’ widow, hehehe…1995/ Rogerio, Jo, Tico, Ju and Lilas in Jericoacoara – 2007 ( photo taken by Jobim!)

Ale Kali
singer, composer and aromoterapist. My little blue witch! My friend since ever ! Apart from her soulful voice that needs no comments, she is a complete artist who is always in touch with her musical roots and the new tendances at the same time. It  makes her work even more special.  I am her fan, I have always been. She likes telling me : “You are a talented, sensitive  artist, independent, obstinate, beautiful , inteligent and  interesting woman.” These words coming from  her have double value for me. It helps me to go back into my feets when I most need it. Thank you, minha Bruxinha Azul! I love you!

Ale Kali and Juliana Areias on 1995 / Ale Kali on December 2009:

Your smiling eyes always reflecting your timeless soul! You are atemporal!

Alê Kali

Carlinhos Franco – musician, singer and composer

Carlinhos is a genius artist who posses a talent beyond the ordinary. He has got the most beautiful  guitar touch, feeling, sound and groove I have ever heard. He is my first love, soul mate and eternal friend who I have met when I was only 13 years old on 1988.  His father, Franquito, (the prodigious boy) and Aunties Stella and Ana used to live in the same apartment block of my mom’s in Sao Paulo. Carlinhos has given me his love, music, family, friends, his Itapua Beach, his Salvador City, his Bahia and the opportunity of fulfilling my dream of living in Switzerland. It is quite a lot, thank you, Cal, Cacau, Calzinho, forever! Thanks to him I have also met other very special performing artists in Salvador: Adelmo Case, Vainer Dias Gomes, Joselma Coelho & Tico, Alessandra Novaes, Ale Kali, Pedro Moraes, Tito Bahiense, Luciano Calazans; Angela Lopo, Tita Alves, Dalmo Medeiros (with Vainer composing the beautiful vocal group Dende Diet); Janaina Carvalho, Sandra Simoes,  Marquinhos Adriel, Paulo de Tarso Sariga, Plinio de Oliveira, Mutreta, Adilmar, Diu, Fabricio and Arthurzinho.

1992 – Carlinhos Franco and Juliana Areias at the “Lavagem do Bonfim” Procession Party/ Juliana at Itapua Beach / Juliana and Carlinhos at Lagoa do Abaete/  Carlinhos Franco performing on the top of a Trio Eletrico – wearing my pants!

Itapua Beach /  “Morenissima”: My tannest look on summer 1993, when we used to sale “organic sandwiches at the beach”/ At our “Village” home, our private paradise at the same street of Vinicius de Moraes’ home in the “Farol de Itapua”, (1993-6).

The 3 aquarians: Teco, Ju and Gilzinha / Leco and Cal / Cris and Ju

Vitor and Marcelo Sane / Teresa and David.

Adelmo Case and Carlinhos Franco performing  at Juliana Areias’ 17th birthday party -1992 .

Adelmo e Daniela Mercury no trio eletrônico que saiu na segunda-feira de carnaval.Adelmo Case performing with a very famous Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury, on the top of her “Trio Eletrico” – ( a  high-tech Carnival Float created in Bahia) . Adelmo has become a national celebrity after getting the 3rd place in the first edition of “Fama” – the Music Contest TV Program  broadcasted by Globo TV Channel (it is equivalent to the “American Idol” or the European “Operacion Triunfo” Tv programs). I am so glad, you deserve it! Adelmo’s brother, Aderbal Case, who also plays harmonica very well,  is  one of the best doctors of Salvador City who used to take care of me. Thank you, Aderbal! He used to affirm surprised  that my uterus looks the same of a Black African woman’s uterus. He was right, later on I’ve discovered that I have an African great great grand mother ancestral called Benedicta who came to Brazil as a slave.  There is why I have a black African woman uterus that I am very proud of. I also love to attribute to her some others of my genetic heritages; specially my  large pelvis, my  musicality , my groove and strong sense of rhythm. Salve Benedicta!

Vainer Dias Gomes

Vainer Dias Gomes – singer, musician, composer and vocal technique teacher. Vainer is the Voice’s God, the most complete singer I have ever met. He combines natural talent and a beautiful voice tone with brilliant vocal technique and feeling. I have always wished to be his student. This opportunity has not come yet, however I have just allowed myself to be a singer after putting me into test in front of him, as I knew I could trust his expert judgement and his sharp sincerity. My “test” was to sing for him a Chico Buarque’s song called ” Homenagem ao malandro” at our mutual friend Kiosk Beach restaurant ” Barraca do Sariga” at Itapua Beach. I was so nervous and anxious to hear his first impression about my singing! He listened to me with surprise and attention. When I finished, he simply said: “ Ju! I’ve never known you could sing! You are quite in tune! “. For me it was like a blessing, meaning that I had at least potential. So I decided to devote my life to fulfil this potential and ideal of living from what I sing. Thank you Vainer!

1994 – Potato Pum Musical Play  – What a team! Cristiane, Alessandra Novaes, Vainer Dias Gomes, Janaina Carvalho, Carlinhos Franco, Sandra Simoes, (?), (?), Tito Bahiense, Pedro Moraes and Marquinhos Adriel. It was   Vainer’s 30’s Birthday this day!

Paulo de Tarso Souza – Sariga :  My beloved friend-brother Sariguinha. Not only the owner of the restaurant at the Itapua Beach where I first performed as a singer, but also my best friend and flatmate for many years in Geneva, Swetzerland. We have shared so many life, meals and nights together listening to music, laughing, making confessions, meditating, philosophing. I love you, my brother. Living with you in Geneva, ironically, I have rediscovered the true Bahia, the one I love so much, the one I have always with me. Sariguinha irmao amado!

In Switzerland I was also lucky to meet and work with some very inspiring musicians and friends. Thank you for being part of my life: Ecio Parreira, Plinio de Oliveira, Mauro Martins, Rubens Diniz, Ademir Candido, Josvander, Jairo Freitas, Fofao do Cavaco, Nenen, Virginia Pedrazzani, Cristina Davet, Ingrid Wildmann, Aldara Leon, Diana Miranda, Angelo Areia, Junior, Nico, Magda, Sonara, Jussara, Rosane Aquino, Adriana Laranja ( Drikinha), Piu-piu, Janet Santos, Alexandre, Edinho, Pedrinho, Antoine, Juliana,  Joao and  Marcelo Mendes.

Carlinhos Franco, Juliana Areias and Sariga / Halloween at “Jangada Bar” and “Tulipas Bar” in Geneva/ Among friends at the “Atelier Volant in Lausanne (Josvander, Juliana Areias, Sariga and Plinio de Oliveira).

At home, dressing my dress for Carlinhos 30th birthday party. Our Legendary apartment flat at level 3, 39 Rue de Zurich, Paquis, Geneve ( Nico, Sonara, Adriana Laranja, Virginia Pedrazzani, Sariga, Carlinhos Franco, ?, Jussara and Ro.) and our other flat at 14 Rue de Rousseau, Geneve.

In New Zealand – Aotearoa:

Kia ora everyone! There are four people that were pivotal in my musical life in New Zealand: Mani Fagundes, Christopher Naughton, Johannes Dimyadi and Soo Burns. There is not enough words to describe how grateful I am for all your friendship, love, help,  musical inspiration and all the door and horizons you have opened for me. We have shared so many beautiful moments together… thank you for every single moment of our friendships… I love you forever.

Also thank you to some other special people that have played an important part in my life in Aotearoa: Andrews Moraes ( Tio Kika, my beloved brother), Matthew & Massumi/ Greg Goodyer/Natasha (and all our multicultural group);  Olivia, Emiliano,  Dara, Sasha, Taciano Milfont (and all Baque Virando friends); Alda Rezende, Bobby Brazuka, James Hugles & Heidi (and all University of Auckland’s FreeSamba Project, Jambalaya Festival and Batucada Sound Machine friends), Mona Lynn Courteau (and all AK Samba friends); Cleve Brown / Maureen Hayes/ Sandy Mao/ Quezia (and all friends from Worldwide School of English), Habbib Hass & Marcia (and all friends from Di Mare restaurant; Fabio Santos & Nadia, Catarina & Silvinho Meireles, Alex & Gaby, Marcia & PC Got Family,  Wagner & Monica Silveira Family, Ana & Ewan Fisk, Flaminio & Denise Oliveira  Family, Goreth & lesen Diogenes Family, Marcia & Reginaldo Family, Sarah & Rodrigo Family, Tania Serrat, Marcia Leite, Elemaria & Bruce (and all Mexican Cafe friends),  Yovanka Tomich,  Ricardo Cavati, Pedro “pandeiro”,  Joao Paulo Ayres, Maximiliano Ayres, Craic Denham, Roni Taylor, Mestre China,  Martin Salin, Chico and Jean Pierre ( Thanks for all French songs I have learned from you… and for playing and singing” Quand je monte chez toi” for me once, a moment of beauty that I will never forget).


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