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Flora Purim

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Flora Purim (born March 6, 1942) is a Brazilian jazz singer known primarily for her work in the jazz fusion style. She became prominent for her part in Return to Forever with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke. She has recorded and performed with numerous critically acclaimed artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans, Opa, Stan Getz, Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, Santana, Jaco Pastorius, and her husband Airto Moreira.

In 2002, Purim was the recipient of one of Brazil’s highest awards, the 2002 Ordem do Rio Branco for Lifetime Achievement. She has been called “The Queen of Brazilian Jazz”.

Purim was born in Rio de Janeiro to parents who were both classical musicians: her Romanian-born father played violin and her Brazilian mother was a pianist. Flora discovered American jazz, when her mother played it while her husband was out of the house. She would bring home those 78 vinyl RPMs and when my father was at work, she would play them. That was how I got exposed to jazz music… basically listening to Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, and Frank Sinatra. But also a lot of piano players, such as Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner, those were my mother’s favorites.

Purim began her career in Brazil during the early 1960s. During this period, she made a recording, entitled Flora e M.P.M., in which she sang bossa nova standards of the day by Carlos Lyra and Roberto Menescal. Later in the 1960s, Purim was lead singer for the Quarteto Novo, led by Hermeto Pascoal and Airto Moreira.

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