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"Speaking in Tongues": Luciana Souza at 92 Street Y

Published on
December 4

Luciana Souza

Photo: Luciana Souza, courtesy of the artist

Though New York had a very the cold and rainy fall evening last Thursday, November 19th, Luciana Souza brought light and warm melodies to the city. Souza’s performance at the 92 Street Y kicked off her newly released album, Speaking in Tongues. Luciana, a gifted Brazilian Jazz songstress, filled the concert hall with a plethora of effervescent intonations of bebop and soothing, soulful melodies that tugged at the heartstrings of the audience.

Luciana has been singing since she was a young child, first performing jingles for Brazilian commercials, now she is one of the most renowned Jazz singers today. She was accompanied by a group of unbelievably talented musicians: masterful guitarist Lionel Loueke, harmonica virtuoso Grégoire Maret, bassist Massimo Biolcati, and drummer Kendrick Scott. Though the majority of the songs were wordless, sung in pitched syllables, the most enchanting pieces of the evening were “Split” and “No One To Follow,” based on the poems by Leonard Cohen.

Luciana opened the concert solo––plucking at a small thumb piano, the stage dressed in blue light. Slowly, her fellow musicians joined her on the stage, and the show began. The wordless music was quite captivating and mesmerizing––Souza explores this idea of lyric-less sound in order to “articulate [her] own humanity with just sounds.” The breathlessness and whispers of Souza’s voice captained the moods and themes of each song––with each accompanying band-mate given the opportunity to intensify and extend the Jazzy atmosphere with stunning solos. I definitely recommend everyone to give a listen to Souza, her work truly capture the soft, intangible complexities of being human. I secondly advocate for 92 Street Y, a venue that welcomes and celebrates cultural diversity––from the performers to the audience. This venue is a true supporter of the arts.

92 Street Y offers Columbia University students and staff a generous discount for up and coming concerts, just enter the promo
COLUMBIA15 for a 15% discount. See below for the next of several upcoming concerts:

David Broza, December 24th:

For more information on Luciana Souza, visit: