Ed Motta

Ed Motta

Ed Motta

Selected performance:
Saturday 12th October


Ed Motta (guitar and voice), Matti Klein (piano), Paulinho Guitarra (guitar), Miguel Casais (drum), Hannes Huefken (bass)

At the end of the 80´s Ed Motta burst upon the music scene as a major singer and one of Conexão Japeri´s composers and producers. He was an instant success on the carioca show circuit and his 1988 debut album, "Conexão Japeri" (Warner), confirmed it. Songs like "Manuel", "Vamos dançar", "Baixo Rio" and "Um love" became big hits. The songs were marked by lavish musicality and introduced strong soul and funk components into the pop-rock scene that was the rage in Brazil at the time. It was soon clear that at age 16, Ed Motta had arrived and was making plans to soar much higher.

 Two decades later, not even the most optimistic of optimists could have foreseen he would get this far. Today he is a singer and composer, plays several instruments, makes arrangements and produces music in many different countries. In his own style, while remaining loyal to funk-soul, he mixes influences that vary from jazz to popular Brazilian music, from Hollywood film soundtracks to rock, from classical music to American standards, from bossa nova to reggae.

Born on August 17th., 1971, in Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Motta grew up surrounded by music. As the nephew of singer and composer Tim Maia, the creator of Brazilian - and more to the point, Carioca - soul music, his earliest recollections are of his uncle´s music, the samba-canção and bossa nova albums his parents, Luzia e Antonio Carlos, would listen to. He also remembers Earth, Wind & Fire hits, Stevie Wonder tunes and his sister Regina´s favorite: disco music, the rage during the 70´s. But what made his natural passion for music turn into an obsession was British blues-rock: Thin Lizzy, Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Free, Rory Gallagher... An obsession that led him to accept an invitation a neighbor made to become lead singer of a hard rock band called Kabbalah

When he had covered the whole blues and rock catalog and its byproducts, Ed heard "Blow by blow", and realized that what English guitar player Jeff Beck did was soak up from the same soul and funk source he himself had listened to throughout his childhood. It was the mid-80´s and that´s when it all started: the birth of the Ed Motta that was to become famous through his recordings and his band, Conexão Japeri. The band toured Brazil, the album was a great hit and sold ...., prompted by three huge hits played over and over again on radios: "Manuel", "Baixo Rio" and "Vamos dançar", songs that to this day are standard requests in all his shows.


In 1996, the soundtrack of the film "Pequeno dicionário amoroso" (directed by Sandra Werneck) proved that Ed was close to reaching a combination of artistic ambition and commercial success. The album was released by BMG and ratified the influence of MPB (Brazilian Popular Music - from bossa nova to choro) and jazz on Ed´s music. The success of the song "Falso milagre do amor", an elaborate samba-canção in a soul-funk framework, with lyrics by Ronaldo Bastos, proved that Ed was ready. This also became obvious through his many performances throughout Brazil and around the world. He experimented with different configurations and took part in conductor Nelson Ayres´Symphonic Jazz Orchestra. Ed also sang in London, Buenos Aires, Nova York, Boston, Miami and Rome. In Paris, after his show at the Hot Brass, a traditional Parisian jazz club where the avant-garde movement started, he got four encores.

 After Universal hired him in 1997, Ed released "Manual prático para festas, bailes e afins, Vol. 1", sharing production credits with Liminha. This time he proved it was possible to write quality commercial pop music. Pop prêt-à-porter. It was a bold move musically-speaking and he managed to merge his first influences, funk, soul and pop, with what he had begun to listen to in the mid-90´s: orchestras, jazz, Hollywood soundtracks and Broadway musicals.

 In 1997, after his album was released and became a hit on radio stations and a favorite in record stores, Ed toured Brazil and performed in Europe and the USA, where he did a show with vibraphonist and singer Roy Ayers, at New York City´s Central Park Summer Stage. In 1999, Ed teamed up with Ivan Lins and went on a coast to coast tour of the USA. The Carnegie Hall show in New York City boasted performances by guests singer Chaka Khan and bass player Will Lee. That same year, Ed took part in Mondo Grosso´s album, a project by Japanese composer and producer Shinichi Osawa. While on tour, Ed also found time to compose and record the soundtrack for "De janela pro cinema", Quiá Rodrigues´s award-winning film at the Vitória, Maranhão and Recife film festivals.

Soundwise, Ed invests in funk and soul you can dance to, music that has been present in many moments of his career - from "Conexão Japeri" to the two editions of his "Manual Prático" -, on an album that was co-produced by Silvera (musician and singer with two solo records) and used analogic and digital instrumental.

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