Everywhere she goes, Luca Mundaca seems to attract a devoted following of fans. Whether she’s playing a concert in Sao Paulo, Brazil, headlining a night of world music at New York City’s famous The Living Room club, or touring clubs in the United States, Luca’s combination of personal warmth and musical virtuosity captivates everyone who watches her perform.
“Her abilities are unlimited,” says Seth Rothstein, vice president of marketing at Sony Legacy records. “She has a stunning voice of great intimacy and emotion, and her songwriting is first-rate.”
Luca’s music began at age 15 in Brazil, when her mother bought her the only guitar the family could afford: a clunky and cheap guitar that cost $30 new. With no money for sheet music, Luca taught herself to play, and wrote all her own songs. She locked herself in the bedroom of her family’s house south of Sao Paulo and practiced for 10 hours a day. The guitar’s cheap strings sliced her fingers, so she learned to stick her hands in the freezer to numb the pain before returning to play.
She became the lead singer in a Brazilian pop fusion band, but soon discovered the music that spoke to her soul: Brazil’s own samba and bossa nova.
“I loved the swinging rhythm, the intimacy of the music,” Luca says.
Luca played her first solo gig in 1997. She earned as much money in one night as she made in a month working the hot ovens of a soap factory. That’s when she decided to become a full-time musician. After building an underground following in the bars and jazz clubs of Brazil, she sold all her equipment for a one-way ticket to New York City. Within months, she was playing at The Living Room, auditioning for jazz labels and major record studios, and catching the attention of fans and music industry veterans.
“Luca Mundaca is a classic example of a talent deserving wider recognition,” says Don Heckman, music critic for the Los Angeles Times. She is “(b)lessed with a sweetly engaging sound, impressive musicality and the rhythmic passion of her Brazilian roots.”
In addition to her own albums, Luca’s work has been featured on two Putumayo World Music compilations, “Women of the World Acoustic” and “Brazilian Lounge,” in which she appears alongside Brazilian music legends Bebel Gilberto , Adriana Calcanhoto and Marcos Vale. Her song “Ha Dias” was featured on the soundtrack for the movie “The Visitor,” and licensed for the TV show californiacation on Showtime.
Luca was also named Best World Fusion musician in 2008 by the Independent Music Awards.
Through all of her travels and successes, Luca maintains those rare qualities that set her music apart. Intimacy. Playfulness. Soul. Hearing her play reminds us that life is a fun and romantic gift to be shared with the people we love. And like all things worth doing, good music comes when years of hard work evolve into an effortless expression of joy.