Margareth Menezes

“Brazilian Aretha Franklin” - Los Angeles Times

“A household name in contemporary Black music in Brazil, Menezes is known for her stunning take on Bahia’s axé hits.” - Rolling Stone

Artist information

The Minister of Culture of Brazil

34 years of a supreme musical career
23 international tours on 4 continents & in 30 countries
Performance on Top Festivals like Montreux Jazz, Umbria Jazz
One of the most powerful voices in brazilian Music
One of the voices of contemporary Afro Brazilian Music
Recognized in Brazil and worldwide
17 CDs/LPs and DVDs

MARGARETH MENEZES is one of the greatest representatives of Bahian Music. Best known for her infectious music & thunderous voice, her carnival performances and raw talent as an accomplished actress on TV and on the big screen, she hails from a black family on the outskirts of Salvador.

It has been a long way since her humble beginnings in the vibrant capital of Bahia state until her recent stunning appointment by current president of Brazil Lula da Silva as Cultural Minister in his cabinet. 

"President Lula believes in culture. For six years, culture in Brazil was absolutely abandoned by the government. The cultural sector was completely undermined and that was very harmful to the cultural sector, to the artists. [...] Culture bothers because it is the expression of democracy and its rights." - Margareth Menezes Brazil's Culture Minister

Since the 80s she was among the first to bring the high-decibel excitement associated with Bahia’s trio electricos - the truck-driven bands of Carnaval - to the concert stage and since then her name is tied to other renowned Brazilian artist of Bahian descent like Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethânia, Caetano Veloso and Daniela Mercury.
Her Elegibô album, produced by Talking Head's David Byrne, brought Menezes global fame before her music even caught on in the rest of Brazil outside of Bahia. Reaching and staying at the number one spot on Billboard Magazine’s World Music chart. 

On stage Margareth Menezes is a pyrotechnic ball of energy. Her voice, a rich, dark-toned instrument, screams and crackles in the fast-paced songs, and purres with wild sensuality in the slower numbers.

"Divindade do Egito,” for instance, has been a chart-topping carnival anthem since the late-Eighties; it’s virtually impossible to find a Brazilian who has never sung along to the chorus of “Eu falei faraó.” With Menezes at the helm of the Ministry of Culture, the song has made a comeback, playing on stages, at bars, and across clubs all over the country. " - Rollig Stone

Besides international tours, she has performed at world cups, festivals such as Montreux Jazz, Umbria Jazz, Rock in Rio, Brazilian Day, in NY and has received awards and honors from around the world.

Watch Margareth Menezes - Macaco Sessions (Ao Vivo) on Youtube