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BIOGRAPHY

Rita Figueiredo's musical vein started pulsating at an early age. At the age of 13, she used to sing in rodas de choro organized by her mother and older sister at their family home in Alto da Lapa, São Paulo. The rodas were open and always featured great musicians such as Isaias e seus chorões, Chico Araújo, Arnaldinho do Cavaco and Maricene Costa, among others. At the age of 15, she began studying lyrical singing at the Universidade Livre de Música (ULM), now known as EMESP Tom Jobim. 

To further hone her skills as a musician, she went on to study popular singing and the guitar. At the age of 20, Rita met singer-songwriter Vanessa da Mata and, through their friendship, Rita felt the impulse to compose some songs inspired by the songwriting process of her friend, who was more experienced in music. These first songs became demos and Rita went on to perform at various jazz clubs and cultural centers in her hometown of São Paulo. The first opportunity to release her original work came in 2011, when she won the Cultural Action Program Award (ProAC) from the São Paulo Department of Culture, which fully funded the creation of her first album, "Brasilis", produced by Marcelo Jeneci, Milton More and Webster Santos.

In 2015, Rita moved to New York and in 2018 released her second album, entitled "Benji & Rita", with 14 songs in partnership with New York composer, arranger, singer and guitarist Benji Kaplan. The album was very well received by specialized critics in the USA, appearing on the list of the best rated albums in Downbeat magazine, All of Jazz, World Music Central, World Music Report and Jazz World Quest. From 2018 to 2021, Rita performed on various stages in the USA, Brazil and Europe on tour with Benji & Rita.

Rita Figueiredo's visual artist side has created and produced many animated music videos for Benji & Rita songs during the pandemic. These videos have been selected by dozens of festivals around the world and awarded prizes at festivals such as the NYC Indie Film Awards (USA), Calcutta International Cult Film Festival (India), Rome Prisma Film Awards (Italy), Nawada International Film Festival (India), Cinemafest (USA) and Deep Focus Film Festival (USA), as well as having one of the videos awarded the Funarte Respirarte Prize (Brazil).

This year, Rita is releasing her new EP "Meus Labirintos" with her compositions produced by producer and multi-instrumentalist Webster Santos, and producing two new albums: one with children's repertoire, and another by the duo Benji & Rita, to be released in early 2024. 

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