“His songs powerfully attest to the global reach of his music.”
- Los Angeles Times
Ivan Lins, from Rio de Janeiro and Tijucano, is a musician and composer known for his countless recordings of his work all over the world, for his differentiated harmonies and for his arrangements, at the same time refined and popular.
He spent part of his childhood in the United States and has been his first influences since time immemorial. On his return to Brazil, he had contact with the great interpreters and the songs of the time, in addition to the fado that he listened to at his grandparents' house. Later, jazz and Brazilian music, especially bossa nova, would be added to this melting pot of influences. At the age of 18, already a university student of chemistry, he adopted the piano as his instrument and began his career as a composer. His compositions, with a differentiated harmonic construction, harmonization and unusual enchainment in Brazilian music in the 70's, make him a respected artist among musicians from all over the world.
Ivan has also had numerous hits as a singer and as a composer, including "Madalena" (released by the unforgettable Elis Regina), "Abre Alas", "Somos Todos Iguais Essa Noite", "Começar de Novo", "Dinorah, Dinorah", "Bandeira do Divino", "Bilhete", "Desesperar, Jamais", "Aiaiaiaiaiai", "Vitoriosa", "Vieste", "Lembra de mim", "Dependência de nós", "Novo Novo Novo Novo Noite", "Vieste".
His work has been renewed through the years, always bringing new musical values and added ideals, without ever losing its authorial mark, its DNA and its originality. From the 80's his work has a great international repercussion, mainly in the United States, where it was and is recorded by great artists such as Sarah Vaughan, Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, George Benson, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Manhattan Transfer, Take 6, New York Voices, Sting, Diana Krall and Barbara Streisand.
At the same time, he began to compose fados, a music that was part of his life intensely with the coexistence of his Portuguese grandparents. In 77 he composed and recorded his first fado, simply called "Um Fado". This song became the first fado recorded by a Portuguese artist, in the wonderful interpretation of Carlos do Carmo, who would record 4 more fados of his authorship. Then there were songs recorded by Mariza, Antônio Zambujo, Maria João Quadros and more recently by Cuca Roseta.
His work and his musical themes are present in several tracks for cinema and TV. With Vitor Martins he composed most of his hits, but his melodies also serve as a base for lyricists and poets such as Caetano Veloso, Dudu Falcão, Lia Luft, Elisa Lucinda, Paulo César Pinheiro, Celso Viáfora, Ronaldo Monteiro, Abel Silva, Martinho da Vila, Aldir Blanc, Chico Buarque, Moska, Nei Lopes, Chico César and Salgado Maranhão.
In 2005 he records the CD and DVD "Cantando Histórias" where he rescues great successes of his career with new arrangements and the participation of several guests, which earned him a disc and a DVD of gold in Brazil and two Latin Grammys: the best Brazilian disc and the best disc of the year, top prize of that academy, until today never received by another Portuguese speaking artist. In 1981, the song "Dinorah, Dinorah" also won a Grammy for best jazz instrumental arrangement with George Benson's recording; in 1982 the song "Velas" received the same award with Quincy Jones' recording and in 2004 Sting won the Grammy for best pop vocalist with "She Walks This Earth" of his authorship.
In 2009 he won another Latin Grammy with his album "Ivan Lins & The Metropole Orchestra", recorded with this Dutch orchestra and with arrangements and conducting by conductor Vince Mendonza, great name of world music, having as guests the Uruguayan guitarist Leonardo Amuedo, the singer Trijintje Oosterhuis, the saxophonist Stefano Di Batista and the Portuguese singer Paulo de Carvalho. This project is a complement to a long history of presentations made by Ivan Lins with symphonic orchestras, cameras, jazz and big bands.
In 2011 he was chosen by a FIFA world jury to perform at the World Cup 2014 Key Draw event, which was broadcast worldwide. In November, he received in the Netherlands the Edison Award, the highest award in Dutch music, in recognition of his contribution to world music.
Ivan Lins is today one of the most recorded Brazilian composers internationally, even so one of the most active artists abroad, with several tours and international projects. In 2012 alone, he had 5 phonographic projects released simultaneously, all over the world. A CD in Spain, with its works poured into Spanish, having as guests Alejandro Sanz, Jorge Drexler, La Mari, Pedro Guerra and the Cuban Carlos Varela; a CD in Italy in partnership with the band IventaRio and with guests such as Vanessa na Matta, Chico Buarque, Maria Gadú, Bungaro, Petra Mangoni and Maria Pia de Vitto; a CD in Germany in partnership with SWR Big Band; a CD released in Japan.
In 2012 he also released a CD of unpublished works in Brazil, called "Amorágio", a title inspired by a poem by Salgado Maranhão and which brings together some of the representatives of the new generation such as Maria Gadú, Pedro Luiz, Tatiana Parra and the Portuguese Antônio Zambujo.
In 2015, Ivan completed his 70 years of life and 45 years of career, releasing a CD called "América Brasil". In this CD he ruled old songs that did not have the deserved prominence of the media and songs of his authorship that were recorded only by interpreters and not by himself. This work has the format "made at home" since he and another musician, keyboardist Marco Brito, make all the arrangements and play all the instruments.
Ivan Lins continues to be from Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, making his songs inspired by his city and his country, and therefore, increasingly universal. His work has led him to play in the four corners of the world, whether accompanied by great local musicians, participating in festivals or playing with major orchestras and bands. In all situations and places where he performs, he takes with him the genuinely Brazilian music, the best image of his country.