There are two artists who use this name:
1. A Grammy-nominated American jazz singer
2. A Bossa nova & torch song (fossa) interpreter
1. Maysa Leak (born August 17, 1966) is an American jazz singer better known by her mononym Maysa. She is well known by fans of smooth jazz both for her solo work and for her work with the British band Incognito.
After receiving her degree from Morgan State University, Maysa headed to Southern California to perform with Stevie Wonder’s female backup group Wonderlove, While with Wonder, Maysa was a vocalist on the Jungle Fever soundtrack and performed on numerous television shows including The Arsenio Hall Show, Oprah and The Tonight Show.
It was during an over-the-telephone audition in the early 90s, that Maysa become a member of the acclaimed British jazz/funk/R&B band Incognito and in 1992 she relocated to London and recorded Tribes, Vibes & Scribes, featuring the hit single "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing." Since then, Maysa has appeared on over seven Incognito recordings.
Maysa recorded her self-titled debut in 1995, followed by her second album All My Life in 2000, Out of The Blue in 2002, Smooth Sailing in 2004, Sweet Classic Soul in 2006, and now Feel The Fire, 2007. In 2008, Metamorphosis peaked at No.1 on Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz top 100 chart and no.13 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. In 2010, "A Woman in Love", Maysa 8th Solo cd debuted at No.1 on the Contemporary Jazz Charts. Maysa's 9th solo album,Motions of Love, released in November 2011, debuted at No. 1 on Billboards Contemporary Jazz Charts and Number 7 on the R&B charts.
Maysa has also collaborated with well-known jazz performers like Gerald Veasley, Rick Braun, Will Downing, Jason Miles' Soul Summit, Rhythm Logic, Jonathan Butler and Pieces of a Dream.
In 2009, Maysa won the very first new Soul Train Award named for the brand's new owners, CENTRIC. The Cenric Award : Soul Approved /Underground.
Maysa Leak was a spokesperson for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a disease that can be fatal to premature babies. She appears in RSV PSA commercials, with her son Jazz, sponsored for the March of Dimes.
In 2013, Maysa received her first Grammy nomination in the "Best Traditional R&B Performance" award category for the song "Quiet Fire" from her album Blue Velvet Soul.
2. Maysa Figueira Monjardim (June 6, 1936, São Paulo, Brazil – January 22, 1977, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), better known as Maysa Matarazzo or simply Maysa, was a Brazilian singer, composer, and actress. She is also associated with Bossa nova music but is widely known as a torch song (fossa) interpreter.
Maysa's grandfather was Alfeu Adolfo Monjardim de Andrade e Almeida, the 1st Baron of Monjardim, and wife Laurinda Luísa Pinto Pereira. Maysa showed talent at a young age and by twelve had written a samba song, which later became a hit from her first album. She married André Matarazzo Filho, a member of a wealthy and traditional São Paulo family in 1954 at the age of 18 and two years later had a son, Jayme Monjardim. Jayme would later be known as a television director. In the late 1950s she formed a successful bossa nova group and also did television work relying on her magnificent pair of gorgeous green eyes.
Her tour to Buenos Aires first projected bossa nova beyond Brazil's borders but was not without controversy. The tour was a great success and extended to Chile and Uruguay, but Maysa had an affair with the show's producer, Ronaldo Bôscoli, a journalist and composer linked romantically to bossa nova's muse Nara Leão. This led not only to a break between Nara and Ronaldo, but also to a fracture in the bossa nova movement. Nara supported Carlos Lyra's nationalist vertent of the bossa nova movement, to the detriment of Boscoli's more orthodox approach, emphasizing form rather than content in bossa nova compositions. Nara also began courting older composers of traditional sambas, such as morro composers Zé Kéti and Cartola. She also became an idol of the protest song genre against the military dictatorship in Brazil. Nara's pocket show "Opinião" marked the start of a series of protest musical shows, which both in Rio and São Paulo distracted the public from the main themes of "the love, the smile and the flower", typical of the bossa nova years. So Maysa became "persona non grata" both to the bossa-novistas and the protest singers and her career faltered. She reacted by marrying Spaniard music producer Miguel Anzana, with whom she moved to Spain and began a series of presentations not only in Spain, but also Portugal, Italy and France.
Her personal life, already tumultuous, became even more chaotic leading to her being called "the Janis Joplin of Bossa Nova". But she later made a come back with one of the first notable shows in Rio's "Canecão" venue, the equivalent of Carnegie Hall in NYC. Maysa also played the Olympia in Paris to a full house twice and enjoyed considerable success in Europe. She is still considered the best Brazilian "torch song" (fossa) musician, rivaled only perhaps by Nora Ney as interpreter and Dolores Duran as composer. Upon her return to Brazil, Maysa continued to blend her old unique "broken love affair" trademarks with the more current festival style and occasional bossa nova hits. In the 1970s Maysa tapped her actress side and acted on a few telenovelas in Brazil. She also composed the soundtrack for a Rede Globo telenova just as the TV network became the powerhouse of Brazilian soap operas. She appeared more in peace with herself in latter years but died in a car crash in 1977, on the Rio-Niterói bridge, which connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói over the Guanabara Bay.
In January 2009, 32 years after her death, a miniseries about her life was broadcast on Brazilian television and spanned two new books about one of Brazil's most charismatic divas. Maysa's style influenced the following generations of Brazilian female singers and composers, with great ascendancy in the works of Simone, Cazuza, Leila Pinheiro, Fafá de Belém and Ângela Rô Rô.
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