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Eliane Elias

At the age of 11, Eliane Elias already knew what she was going to be doing for the rest of her life. When she was ready, among other things transcribing Bill Evans, she would have to leave her hometown of São Paulo, and the homeland of Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, and the Bossa Nova, and go to New York to become a jazz pianist!

“My influence in jazz was really instrumental. I was taken completely by Art Tatum, by Bud Powell. I transcribed all of the greats like them [Art Tatum, Bud Powell] and like Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Herbie [Hancock]. You know I used to transcribe all of those things and play with those records and develop the vocabulary. So there are different influences. The Brazilean was more into the vocal, the harmony, the rhythm, the jazz was really into the instrumental, and then I did the classical which was a way of learning piano litterature, and a way of developing my technique, and my skills, so I would not have barriers between the ideas and the instrument, the piano could become a continuation of my expression.” –Eliane Elias, interview on the 30th Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (2009)

In 1981 she was ready. She moved to New York, determined to find bassist Eddie Gomez, that was with Bill Evans for 11 years and now was part of the “supergroup” Steps Ahead.

  • 1983: Steps Ahead by Steps Ahead with Mike Mainieri (vibes, synthivibe, marimba), Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone), Eliane Elias (piano), Eddie Gomez (bass), Peter Erskine (drums)
  • 1984: Amanda by Eliane Elias & Randy Brecker. Composed by Elane Elias: Para Nada, Pandamandium, Samba de Bamba, Amandamada
  • 1986: Illusions by Eliane Elias. With Toots Thielemans (harmonica), Al Foster, Steve Gadd, Lenny White (drums), Eddie Gomez, Stanley Clarke (bass). Composed by Eliane Elias: Illusions, Moments, Iberia and Loco Motif.
  • Trio with Jack DeJohnette (drums) and Gomez.
  • 1987: Trio Peter Erskine (drums) and Marc Johnson (bass). Marc Johnson was the last bassist with Bill Evans, (mention with high esteem by Bill Evans, on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz 11/6/78).
  • 1991: A Long Story. Compositions:

Interviews: Eliane Elias on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz (NPR, AUDIO) | JazzTimes Eliane Elias | Eliane Elias featured in the June 2011 issue of Jazz Inside Magazine | Eliane Elias in interview on Bloomberg, MUSE with Patrick Cole(Video)