Daniela Spielmann is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator and researcher who has that rare gift of being able to inspire her students to fall in love with Choro. Through her warm and joyous approach to teaching, Daniela has developed a loyal following of students worldwide. During the pandemic, Daniela conceived of and presented Facebook live ‘Choro na Janela’ concerts (Choro by the Window), where audiences from all over could tune in every day at 6pm eastern time to watch her play a mix of Choro, Bossa, Samba and jazz. Her regular audience included her neighbors in Rio, in the apartment building across the street, as well as her fans in the United States and Europe. She stayed committed to these concerts for over six months, and inspired a worldwide movement of concerts by the window during Covid.
Daniela’s other accomplishments are many, and include the release of 12 solos CDs. In 1998, she released her first CD with the group Rabo de Lagartixa, (Gecko’s tail) which was nominated as best instrumental CD of the year by the newspaper O Globo. Her 2002 recording, entitled Brazilian Breath, was nominated for a Latin Grammy. This album was a collaboration with the renowned guitarist Romero Lubambo. In 2009 she released O Papagaio do Moleque, which featured works by Villa Lobos. Her group Rabo de Lagartixa was nominated as the best instrumental music group in 2010.
Since 1998, Daniela has been a guest soloist in the Clube do Choro de
Brasilia and has appeared in festivals as a leader worldwide. For 15 years, Daniela performed and arranged for the Brazilian television show Atlas Horas. In 2005, she toured Europe, with the group Trio Madeira Brasil to launch Brasileirinho, a film in which she is featured alongside Paulo Moura, Zé da Velha and Silvério Pontes. In 2017 she was invited to teach at Centrum’s Choro Camp in Port Townsend, Washington, and has been invited to return every year since.
Her current projects include her duo with pianist Sheila Zagury, Projeto Gafieirando and Choro na Rua. She has performed and recorded with Hamilton da Holanda, Sivuca, Zé da Velha, Silvério Pontes, Anat Cohen and Moyseis Marques.
As an educator, she has worked with the Second Shift Cultural Project, promoted by the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro. This project focused on bringing Choro and popular Brazilian music education to children from underprivileged communities. She is currently a music teacher at Cefet-RJ Maracanã, where she directs their Bandão ensemble. Daniela received her Masters in 2008, and her Masters thesis was entitled: “Paulo Moura’s Interpretive Contribution to Samba-Choro and the Gafieira in Rio de Janeiro from the 1970s Onwards”. She received her Doctorate in 2017, and this time her research focused on the relationships between Gafiera music, groove and dance.
Speaking of Gafieira…