Hailed as "the new voice of Brazil," São Paulo native Luísa Maita in fact is the latest in a long, impressive line of sultry female Brazilian singers honing samba, bossa nova, and rootsier traditions on the international cutting edge. Like Ceu and Bebel Gilberto (among recent stand-outs), Maita whips up a sophisticated blend of indigenous Brazilian sounds, jazz, Euro alt-pop, and sinuous electronica, at least in part reflecting the teeming, contemporary metropolis that is her hometown. Named after a Tom Jobim song, Maita was singing in advertisements as early as age seven, and lately was featured in a pair of videos promoting Brazil's bid for the 2016 Olympics. She arrives with a quartet for her first North American tour following the release of her debut album, Lero-Lero, a thoroughly alluring charmer that ranges from lilting bossa nova "Amor e Paz" to the sensual "Desencabulada" and the slyly electrifying "Fulaninha," the last mixing simmering baião rhythms with sleek hints of dancehall. The songs, mostly written by Maita, talk about São Paulo's vibrancy in and outside the favelas, the unique Brazilian character, love, and other crossroads in life. The unifying factor is Maita's voice, a tropical, mercurial flow that slips and slides over cunning melodies and sidles among intoxicating rhythms.
Sun., Nov. 14, 7 p.m., 2010