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Flora Purim

Performer

About this Artist

FLORA PURIM's voice has earned her two Grammy nominations for Best Female Jazz Performance and Down Beat magazine's Best Female Singer accolade on four occasions. Her musical partners have included Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, and Airto Moreira, with whom she has collaborated on over 30 albums since moving with him from her native Rio to New York in 1967.

In New York, she and Airto became central to the period of musical expression and creativity which produced the first commercially successful "Electric Jazz" groups of the '70s. Blue Note artist Duke Pearson was the first American musician to invite Flora to sing alongside him on stage and on record. She then toured with Gil Evans, about whom she says, "This guy changed my life. He gave us a lot of support to do the craziest stuff. This was the beginning for me." Her reputation as an outstanding performer gained her work with Chick Corea and Stan Getz as part of the New Jazz movement that also contained the nurturing influence of sax man Cannonball Adderley.

Shortly after, Flora started in earnest to re-educate discriminating musical minds, after linking up with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Joe Farrell to form Return To Forever in late 1971. Two classic albums resulted - Return to Forever and Light as a Feather - nodal points in the development of fusion jazz.

Flora's first solo album in the U.S., Butterfly Dreams, which was released in 1973, put her immediately among the Top Five Jazz Singers on the Down Beat magazine Jazz Poll. In the mid-'80s, Flora and Airto resumed their musical partnership to record two albums for Concord - Humble People and The Magicians - for which she received Grammy nominations. In 1992 she went one better by singing on two Grammy-winning albums - Planet Drum with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart (Best World Music Album) and the Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Orchestra (Best Jazz Album).

The launch of the highly combustive Latin jazz band Fourth World in 1991, with Airto, new guitar hero José Neto, and keyboards and reeds supremo Gary Meek, marked a new era in Flora's career. The band signed to UK-based jazz label B&W Music - and Flora consciously set out to win over the next wave of listeners.

Flora's 1995 album Speed of Light, with important writing and performing contributions from Chill Factor and Flora's daughter Diana Purim Moreira, makes the connection between her experimental beginnings with Chick Corea and Gil Evans and the new "head" music being produced by jazz players out of the London and New York hip hop scenes.