The Brazilian Singer, Clementina de Jesus

clementina_de_jesus_-_divulgacaoClementina de Jesus was a Brazilian singer that was not very well known. She was born in Brazil in 1901, south of Rio in the town of Carambita.  She was a very unlikely performer, thanks to her upbringing.  Before being discovered, she worked as a maid for several decades in her native land. In 1963, Herminio Bello de Carvalho, a composer and record producer, discovered her.  Carvalho approached her and persuaded her to participate in the Rosa de Ouro show that took place in some of the Brazilian capitals. He soon led her to make her very first record with Odeon Records.

Several days ago I heard a song playing on the radio that reminded me of Clementina. In Brazil, she was best known as “Mom”.  I learned about her many years ago myself, when she was still alive and putting on performances. She had a stroke in 1986 that sent her to her grave, but performed up until that time.  She was 63 when her career started and performed for 23 years, dying at the age of 86.  Her concerts wee mostly samba, making her famous and loved by many other samba greats including Elizete Cardoso, Paulinho da Viola, Alcione, and João Nogueira. The regular Brazilians also had quite a love for Clementina because of how she was poor growing up and worked cleaning houses for a living before she was discovered. Those poor, regular people who lived in the favelas (the poor, hilltop shanty towns located just above the famous beaches of Rio) felt that they could identify with her.

Clementina had a very distinctive voice that she used in her professional career to record her four solo albums as well as a few other recordings she made alongside some famous samba artists such as João da Bahiana and Pixinguinha.  Despite the fact that she started her career very late in live, Clementina de Jesus was one of the best known singers in the country of Brazil.  She contributed a lot to carnival music and was loved by all because of how she could relate to the poor in the country.




Posted by: Brian Garcia on