If a musician sings what he/she is and plays what he/she lives, feeling the first notes of Cibele Codonho is almost as reading her biography. A girl from Mooca – a traditional Italian neighborhood in São Paulo – and daughter of the guitarist and singer Odecio, from Trio Tambatajá, she carries to both stage and studio a whole house of talent in her back: the joy of a childhood in the 70's hearing her father opening voices in his trio’s rehearsals, an adolescence in the 80's levitating around Ivan Lins’ and Os Cariocas’ harmonies, and a youth in the 90’s putting the Japanese in a position of reverence at the performances of her vocal group A Três. All of that has helped shape Cibele’s innate talent.

Always safe by that backround of hers, she can record in a nest of snakes, exchanging impros with Mark Kibble – the giant from Take 6 who made a guest appearance on her latest album – or being guided by her producer’s piano bases, the amazing Pichu Borrelli, or the unpredictable guitar chords of the incredible revolutionary Filó Machado. She flies all those little girl dreams in every song. She climbs mountains hitting all the right stones and she inevitably returns safely to the ground. That is the path of her emotion.
A music album, unlike biographies, is a chapter in history. And Afinidade is a good part of Cibele’ baggage, accumulated throughout all her years on the road. Looking backwards it becomes clear how she came to be side by side with the likes of Roberto Sion (saxophonist and conductor), Jane Duboc (singer) and Antonio Ferragutti (accordionist), touring Japan. How a song of hers was later chosen to be arranged by the great Severino Filho. How enthralled with her was Djavan when he had her oppening his own concert in São Paulo with A Três. Cibele has even attained artistic and personal trust from the notoriously suspicious Johnny Alf. She breathes on the same stage and notes as Leny Andrade, Os Cariocas, Rosa Passos, Milton Nascimento and Alaíde Costa had. Serving as a music producer on Filó Machado’s album Porto Seguro (2002), she knew just what do do: to contain his indomitable torrent of ideas. And it worked out so well that soon after she

was recording with him Tom Brasileiro (2005), this time as a singer. Dedicated to Tom Jobim, this album is amongst the few that do not come with the agenda of making a crutch or a trampoline out of the master's work.Their artistic partnership had such good chemistry that Cibele followed Filó to the Jazz Festival Sotto le Stelle in Pescara, Italy, and also to London and Madrid.
Back home in 2009, she realized it was time to pay homage to the other influential men in her artistic form and musical essence. And so with collaborators Miéle, Filó and Zuza Homem de Mello, she created Genialf, a tribute to Johnny Alf’s 80 Years, which ran in Rio and São Paulo. There is a musical wave to which Cibele comes in tune very easily. A deeper layer well explored by the textures molded by Pichu throughout the journeys within Afinidade. Her history, once again, explains her music. It was under the direction of young prodigy pianist and composer Felipe Senna and guest appearances of Proveta (saxofone/clarinet) that Cibele presented the show Vento Bravo, in 2010. It was by the hands of Cuban saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera that she performed at the 15th International Jazz Festival of Punta del Este, Uruguay, alongside artists such as Claudio Roditi, George Cables, Johhn Lee, Cyrus Chestnut and Lewis Nash.

"Last Thursday there was a luxury music menu. They were, literally speaking, three musicians: Pichu Borrelli on the piano, Sidiel Viera on bass and Fabio Canella on drums, and a singer who is also an instrumentalist, given her familiarity with the piano and guitar. But what stands out in this particularly beautiful Brazilian is her voice. She is called Cibele Codonho and sings like no one else ", wrote the Uruguayan newspaper La Republica on January 9, 2011.
Her voice was also lent to the recordings of project Canteiro - Músicas para Brincar, by art educator Margareth Darezzo; theatrical play Chocolate Amargo, directed by Pedro Vieira as well as Falsa Baiana, a tribute commemorating Gal Costa’s 70 Anniversary, where Cibele collaborated with Filó Machado once again. Her flights around the world, the friends with whom she climbed mountains with and her solitary returns to Odecio's house may all be there, in just every song. That's all that makes Cibele pulsate.


Julio Maria

Journalist and Elis Regina biographer

        Radamés Gnattali, known for his crude and wonderful bluntness, once said singer Zezé Gonzaga: ‘Zezé, you and this impecable tuning of yours can just go to hell!” Radamés is already dead, but if he’d met Cibele Codonho, he would most certainly have said “Cibele, you and this wonderful singing of yours can just go to hell!’He hasn’t said it. But I do.”

Ruy Castro
Music Critic and Writer



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