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Nana Caymmi

Biography

Born into one of Brazil's most musical families, Nana Caymmi had almost no choice but to become a singer. (Her father was noted samba composer Dorival Caymmi.) To many, she's one of the country's most sophisticated vocalists, a singer's singer, as demonstrated in her grave delivery and deep voice. Coming of age in the 1960s, however, meant that Caymmi never quite found her niche. She was a bit too square for tropicalia -- though she was married for a time to Gilberto Gil -- and not interested in singing protest music. She has a penchant for torch songs and jazz balladry, and these styles often show off her vocal talents but can tend to suffer from bland or overwrought instrumentation. Still, she has recorded steadily through the decades, and was twice named Brazil's Best Female Singer of the Year in the 1990s.
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