Célia Mara is a Brazilian singer-songwriter and producer who has lived since the 1990s in Vienna, Austria and since 2003 also partly in Salvador, Bahia.
She defines herself as "bastardista": violating race, gender and class structures; a hybrid; mostly women made, mestizo mixed, out of rules, illegitimate, from an impure race...; or "nu Brazilian flavor", presenting a Latinized worldbeat - multicultural world music with strong Brazilian roots, singing in Portuguese, English, German, French and Spanish. Célia Mara is part of the femous movement - .
Célia Mara was born in Pedra Azul, Minas Gerais, a small town in the Vale do Jequitinhonha, one of today's poorest regions of the world. Politically, she grew up under a military regime. She began her musical career as a 14-year-old girl, as an autodidact on the guitar. Highly influenced by the revolutionary Tropicalismo, she started early to play songs from Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque but also from Mercedes Sosa and her own compositions on local events. In 1979 she was the first girl (and Female composer) of the Vale de Jequintinhonha participating to a regional event: "Los procurados" - "festivale", organized by Tadeu Martins. Later she lived in Belo Horizonte, (had shows at cabare mineiro, performing as well in Rio de Janeiro teatro Vila Lobos and Sao paulo, presenting already a fusion between rural and urban songs. TV appearances such as in in Rede Globo gave a push to her career.
In the early 1990s, her first European tour brought her to small clubs and minor festivals in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy. In 1993, she moved to Austria, having a solo and duo-career, performing at important regional jazz festivals (f.e Jazzfestival–Burghausen, Jazzfest–Jena. In 1997, she founded the Austria-based Latin-band potênciaX - with Herwig Gradischnig, Ingrid Oberkanins and others. Using of sound-programs, she was influenced by bastardpop and the art of remixing.
Célia Mara's "bastardsound" is a central-European - Brazilian mix, connected with the Spanish mestiço-movement - Manu Chao, Amparo Sanchez, Ojos de Brujo, viennese fusion Joe Zawinul and Brazilian music Tom Zé, Vanessa da mata, Seu Jorge, Lenine, Carlinhos Brown.
Célia Mara is managed and produced since 1996 by . They run the label: .
In 2011, on march 8th, Célia Mara got the Austrian Citizenship by honor.
- Santa Rebeldia (2008; globaCD_SR08 distribution: , , Germany
- Bastardista (2005; globa_CD05 ),distribution:
- Necessàrio - live at ORF Radiokulturhaus (2000; art libre/ORF) globa_CD00 ),distribution:
- Hot Couture do samba (1998; art libre) globa_CD98 ),distribution:
- 2000: : best world music artist Austria
- 2003: for the event: culture is our weapon
- 2006: , Bastardista