Looking to develop projects with voices from the most varied musical universes - from jazz to Brazilian music, and from world music to pop - in 2012 and 2014, the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos (OJM) shared the stage with Mayra Andrade, whose warm voice and unique style have been conquering the music world since her first album “Navega”, released in 2006.
In the sound of Mayra, always focused on the music of Cape Verde, there are references both from jazz and bossa nova and a new insight into the traditions of drumming and funaná. In 2001, the Cape Verdean artist received a gold medal at the Francophone Games in Canada and a scholarship to study in Paris, where she has been living since she was 17 years old. During this period of intense learning, Mayra discovered her artistic identity, defined by her life of extensive travels and aesthetics, which is reflected in “Navega”.
On her second album “Stória, stória...” (2009), Mayra collaborated with Alê Siqueira and several great musicians that had already participated in her first album (Quim Alves, Etienne Mbappé and Zé Luís Nascimento) and affirms her place among the great voices of the world music. In 2010, Mayra confirms her search for renovation and freedom in music creation on the album “Studio 105”, an intimate record of a concert in the studios of Radio France, with the participation of Vincent Ségal (cello) and Hugh Coltman (voice).
Throughout her career, the artist has done collaborations with big names of music, such as Charles Aznavour, Chico Buarque and Lenine, Youssou N'Dour, Mart'nália, Carlinhos Brown, Margareth de Menezes, Angélique Kidjo, Yael Naim, Asa, Pedro Moutinho, among many others.
The appreciation of her work is also reflected in important awards. In 2007 and 2010 she received distinctions from the German Record Critics Association and the BBC3 awarded the singer the prize for new artist of 2008. In 2010, Mayra was also awarded by the President of the Republic of Cape Verde with the 1st Class Medal of the Ordem do Vulcão.
For the 2012 concert with the OJM, the orchestra presented new arrangements on themes from the first two albums of Mayra, such as “Odjus Fitchádu”, “Stória, stória…”, “Dimokránsa”, “Regasu” and “Nha Damáxa”. In 2014, the OJM invited the Cape Verdean artist to another performance. In this unique concert, as part of the commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the granting of the royal charter of Matosinhos, the orchestra directed by Pedro Guedes and Carlos Azevedo selected once more themes of the albums “Navega” and “Stória, stória...”, including also songs from the latest album of the singer “Lovely Difficult” (2013).