Welcome to the ninth installment of the 2015 Quick Fact blog series. These posts aim to give you a bite-size overview of performances you’ll find at the Festival this season. Each post in the series includes who, what, when, where, and why. We’ll even throw in some photos and videos to sweeten the deal!


Mônica Salmaso returns for a second time after her Festival debut in 2003.

Listen: Casamiento de Negros


For this year’s Festival Monica Salmaso is teaming up with two of Brazil’s most esteemed musicians: pianist Nelson Ayers and saxophonist and flutist Teco Cardoso. Her performance will explore the Brazilian songbook of various eras and styles from the chants of traditional Afro-Brazilian songs to the works of contemporary composers. Exuding the lyrical soul of Brazil, Salmaso’s music is a place where the rustic and urban worlds of the samba and the waltz meet.

Photo by Myriam Vilas Boas

Photo by Myriam Vilas Boas


College of Charleston Cistern Yard, 66 George Street


Saturday, May 23 at 9pm
Sunday, May 24 at 9pm



Michael Grofsorean, Director of Wells Fargo Jazz: “When she recorded her first album in 1998 named Trampolim, someone told singer Mônica Salmaso that she had the “lyrical soul of Brazil.” This comment has been echoed by journalists ever since, as she has chosen and interpreted songs with uncommon artistic judgment. Now it has become the name of her album Alma Lírica Brasileira, and is the repertoire that she will bring to the 2015 Festival. “There is obviously lyricism,” she says, “but this expression covers many other things, like Brazilian humor, faith, regionalism, the way Brazilians laugh at misfortune.” The release of the album prompted another round of critical reviews, universal in their assessment of her stature. The newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo summed it up: “With more than a decade-and-a-half career, at age 40, with respect to pitch, vocal technique and choice of repertoire, the singer is the greatest of her generation, and she does not have to prove anything else to anyone. Knowing that good songs are rarely played on radio nowadays, Mônica follows her career according to her own ideas and does not think about making concessions to interests other than music.” She first performed at Spoleto USA in 2003, and we are very pleased that her long-awaited return will be in this year’s Festival.”

Listen: Lábios que Beijei 


“. . . The most pure singer in Brazil today. She has, from the outset of her career, possessed a voice with remarkable clarity, which is matched by Salmaso’s formidable interpretive gift.” – Billboard


Mônica Salmaso is part of the Wells Fargo Jazz series, which also includes Carlos AguirreRita Marcotulli and Luciano BiondiniKate Davis, Musica NudaDianne Reeves, and Madeleine Peyroux. Tickets to Mônica Salmaso and all other Festival performances are available online at spoletousa.org, over the phone at (843) 579-3100, and in person at the Charleston Visitor Center (375 Meeting Street).  


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