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Ithamara Koorax

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Although Rio de Janeiro-based vocalist Ithamara Koorax has long been established as a recording artist in her native Brazil as well as in Europe and Japan, it wasn’t until 2000 that American listeners were introduced to her unique vocal stylings on Milestone’s Serenade in Blue. That release helped position her for a 4th-place finish in the Female Singer category—behind Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, and Dianne Reeves—in the 2002 Down Beat Readers Poll.

Back in 2000, Ithamara was voted for the first time one of the world’s best jazz singers by Down Beat, also appearing as # 3 Best Beyond Artist, behind only Sting and Carlos Santana, and ahead of such heavyweights as Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell. Serenade In Blue (featuring Deodato, Jay Berliner, Azymuth, Dom Um Romao, Kevin Jasper, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Nelson Angelo) was voted # 7 Best Beyond Album in that same 2000 Down Beat Readers Poll.

Ithamara’s extraordinary follow-up CD, Love Dance: The Ballad Album, will certainly establish her artistry in the most convincing possible terms. It was just voted # 5 Best Beyond Album in the 2003 Down Beat Readers Poll, behind only discs by Norah Jones, Steely Dan, Radiohead and The Roots. Love Dance was also acclaimed as one of the Top 10 Vocal Albums for 2003, by the critics of the prestigious The Independent Weekly magazine.

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