Improviser in residence of mœrs festival 2020

Drummer, composer, producer and singer, Mariá has been active in the Brazilian musical scene for twenty years and has been increasingly strengthening her bonds with European improvised music. Strongly rooted in the Brazilian singing/songwriting tradition and with a great interest in electronic music, she is currently focused on improvisation and its use in song composition and performance. The crossing between songwriting, improvisation and electronica is the base of her first solo album, which she will develop at her artistic residency in Moers in 2020.

Mariá began studying music at the age of nine, with piano classes, moving to drums and orchestral percussion later on. In 2007 she joined the annual composition course by Karlheinz Stockhausen, in Kürten, Germany. In 2011 she received a bachelor degree in Composition at State University (UNESP) in São Paulo, and in 2015 a master degree in Communication and Semiotics at the Catholic University in São Paulo (PUC-SP), where she studied cognitive relations between body and sound in the context of improvised music and dance.

As a drummer and singer, she has been recording, performing and touring throughout South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania with artists like Arrigo Barnabé, Maggie Nicols, ​Charlotte Hug, Caroline Kraabel, Sarah Gail Brand, ​Elza Soares, Metá Metá, Joëlle Leandre, Billy Martin and Paul van Kemenade. 

Among her main projects is the instrumental group Quartabê, which is currently promoting their third album. The band has already performed in festivals such as Festival Jazz & The City, in Salzburg, Austria (2017), Moers Festival, in Moers, Germany (2018), Nijmegen Music Meeting, in Nijmegen, Netherlands (2018), Frue Festival in Japan and Festival Internacional de Jazz de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019). 

Mariá also have been composing soundtracks for dance, theatre, video, cinema and art installations since the beginning of her career. She is nominated alongside Maria Beraldo for Best Soundtrack at this year's Shell Prize (Brazil), for the musical by David Bowie and Enda Walsh, “Lazarus”, directed by Felipe Hirsch. 

In 2017 Mariá composed and performed an improvisation score for the Brazilian silent movie “Limite” (1931), by Mario Peixoto. In the same year, she did a trio album together with the Dutch saxophone player Paul van Kemenade and the pianist Jasper Van T’Hof. A year later, Mariá and Kemenade toured together through Russia with an improvisation duo work. 

Partnering with the researcher Jamille Pinheiro Dias (USP), Mariá has been producing the online radio program “Livrofonia”. This show presents the crossings between music and literature and is a joint venture with Stanford University (EUA). 


Thorsten Töpp

Phone: +49 (0) 176 - 41 97 65 82


The improviser in residence program is made possible with the generous support of Kunststiftung NRW.