VOCALIST CAROL BACH-Y-RITA
RELEASES MINHA CASA / my house on ARUGULA RECORDS
A STUNNING BLEND OF BRAZILIAN, BEBOP and JAZZ
Listening to vocalist CAROL BACH-Y-RITA sing, it comes as no surprise that she’s also a dancer. Her singing has a
supple fluidity that suggests a body in motion. On her newest CD, MINHA CASA / my house, she performs reimagined
standards and original songs that celebrate both well- and lesser-known Brazilian rhythms.
Bach-y-Rita’s current band is called Jazz Bliss and features stellar musicians who are leaders in their own right,
including LARRY KOONSE on guitar, BILL CANTOS on piano, JOHN LEFTWICH on bass, and MIKE SHAPIRO on drums
and percussion. They are joined on one track by Brazilian percussion master DUDU FUENTES. According to Bach-y-
Rita, “I wanted to work with musicians who really know how to play both straight-ahead jazz and Brazilian music.
There are a lot of great musicians who can play one or the other, but I’m lucky to work with bandmates who can soar
in both styles.”
Bach-y-Rita is a jazz singer with a broad international outlook. She is conversant in five languages, including English,
Spanish, French, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese, and has lived in several countries including France, Italy, Mexico
and Spain. Her father was Paul Bach-y-Rita, a well-known American neuroscientist whose family originally came from
Catalonia where children are given two names: their father’s patronymic and their mother’s maiden name (i.e. Bach
and Rita.) But it was her mother, Eileen, an artist and Feldenkrais practitioner, who instilled in her a love of jazz and
dance that has been tightly woven in the fabric of her life.
With its rich music and dance history that contains elements of African, Portuguese and other European influences,
Bach-y-Rita was ineluctably drawn to Brazilian rhythms. A versatile artist, she’s also adept at arranging and
composing. Bach-y-Rita teamed up with bassist John Leftwich to arrange “A Night in Tunisia” with Brazilian rhythms,
singing lyrics by one of her idols, Eddie Jefferson, and she turned the Joni Mitchell/Charles Mingus tune “The Dry
Cleaner from Des Moines” into a samba reggae, which is a rhythm that originated in Bahia and was derived as a blend
of Brazilian samba with Jamaican reggae. Bach-y-Rita asked the respected Los Angeles guitarist Larry Koonse to
arrange “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” (Cole Porter) with an Afro-Peruvian feel by singing the 6/8 bell patterns
for him. Koonse also did a straight-ahead arrangement featuring the guitar trio on the lovely standard “Tis Autumn,”
as well as a version of “Pra Quem Quiser Me Visitar” by Guinga for voice guitar and bass.
Bach-y-Rita isn’t afraid to take chances with her music as she demonstrates on the tune “Gardening with No Pants,” a
duet she wrote that features just vocals and percussion accompaniment by Dudu Fuentes, one of Rio de Janeiro’s
foremost percussionists. Dudu had a small break on his US tour and flew out one afternoon just to record this song
with Bach-y-Rita. “Trust” was written by Bach-y-Rita and drummer Mike Shapiro. Bach-y-Rita was inspired to write
the tune after attending a drum workshop. The song is composed around the maracatu rhythm from the North East
region of Brazil. Although traditional maracatus are performed by a group of 80-100 drummers, a chorus, and a
coterie of dancers, Bach-y-Rita and the band create an intimate version of the music while still capturing its exotic
essence. “Nature Boy” is another tune that features a voice/percussion duet, this time, with Mike Shapiro on drums.
According to Bach-y-Rita, “I love having at least one completely improvised tune on every project. We hadn’t
discussed our approach at all before starting. We just listened closely to one another and took it somewhere new!”
Three additional tunes feature the wonderful Bill Cantos on piano: a duet of the rarely recorded “While My Lady
Sleeps” (Bronislaw Kaper,) a spirited samba arrangement of the Cantos composition “Morning Coffee,” and the
Rodgers & Hammerstein composition “Love Look Away” rearranged modally by Cantos from major to minor.
MINHA CASA / my house is a paean to the heart and soul of Brazilian rhythms and the American Songbook. An
inventive artist with a smooth, warm voice and sure command of exotic cadences, Bach-y-Rita raises the bar for
other singers inspired by Brazilian music and American Jazz.
About Carol Bach-y-Rita
Carol Bach-y-Rita grew up primarily in Northern California. As a child, she lived abroad in Italy, Mexico and Spain.
After graduating from UC Berkeley, she spent three years singing in Paris, and toured extensively throughout Europe.
She possesses both American and European/Spanish citizenship.
Although she focused on singing and dancing when she was younger, she stepped back from music for several years
to pursue very successful careers first in radio and then as a voiceover artist. Her credits include hundreds of TV and
radio commercials, games, animation, narration, movies, web, print and on-camera work.
Bach-y-Rita has worked with many top artists in Jazz and Brazilian music in the United States and abroad, including
Harry Allen, Claudio Roditi, John Clayton, Joshua Redman, Jacky Terrason, Bill Cunliffe, Ricardo Silveira, Mark Levine,
Chico Pinheiro, Bruce Forman, Dado Moroni, Bob Sheppard, Michael Spiro, Kleber Jorge, and more. She’s also been a
featured performer at jazz venues and festivals throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, with noted repeat
engagements with MTT and The San Francisco Symphony, The Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Newport Jazz Party.
MINHA CASA / my house is available on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. You can sample the track “Morning Coffee” on