Music was always present in Barbara Mendes’s life. Raised in Rio de Janeiro, moved to the USA to study voice and performance at The New School for Social Research in NYC , where she lived for 10 years.
In America, she started a solid musical training, drinking in the fountain of Jazz, Blues, Pop and Gospel, adding the influences of American music to her roots. This also involved training with Pat Holley, a professor of jazz greats and Broadway musicals.
Just one year after her arrival in the United States, Barbara already had residencies on the New York City professional music circuit, involving the mythical Café Wha, the Zinc Bar, Cleopatra’s Neddle. At that time, her voice awoke admiration from renowned producer and arranger Eumir Deodato, establishing a strong friendship that resulted in important future musical partnerships and projects.
In 1997, she participated in a concert in tribute to the great Ellis Regina, next to Brazil’s own Nana Caymmi, Bebel Gilberto, Luizão Maia and Paulo Braga. Here Barbara discovered an influence that would permanently impact her future musical career.
The following year, Barbara Mendes was chosen to perform at the Ocean Blue Jazz Festival in Japan, alongside artists such as Herbie Hancok, Wayne Shorter, Milt Jackson and Tito Puente.
In 1999, her musical affinities with Eumir Deodato earned her the invitation to sing the opening theme and three other tracks from the movie “Bossa Nova” directed by Bruno Barreto. Motivated by the impact of his work for the cinema, Barbara participated in the Second Visa Awards in Sao Paulo and went through to the grand final.
Four years after leaving Brazil in pursuit of her musical dream in America, Barbara Mendes began to write a new chapter in her history. The singer made the first tour to Europe, and was acclaimed by audiences and critics in a short season in Greece. The success of presentations resulted in the recording of Live in Greece, her debut CD.
In the same year, Barbara breturned to flirting with the cinema, and was invited to participate on the film’s soundtrack of Indian film “SNIP”, performing with the renowned tabla player Zakir Hussein in a show produced by film producer Merchant & Ivory.
The incessant search for new sounds led Barbara Mendes to collaborating with DJ and producer of dance / house Music, François Kervorkian. Electronic music blended with a Brazilian flavor resulted in the album “Awakening”, with string arrangement by Eumir Deodato, and the album “Got to be in Love”. The album was released in the U.S., Europe and Japan
Between the two albums produced with electronic ambiance, Barbara made a brief incursion through Brazil, participating in the Free Jazz Festival in Rio de Janeiro, upon the invitation of the Red Baron drummer Guto Goffi, and the Skol Beats Festival in Sao Paulo.
In 2005, with the band “Sardinha’s Pagode Jazz Club”, Barbara returned to her samba roots and performed in venues in Lapa, a traditional samba enclave in the heart of Rio’s central district. Her association with the group took Barbara to participating with musicians Sanary Festival in southern France, alongside artists such as Lenine, Milton Nascimento, and Daniela Mercury.
With a decade of career, marked by rich musical experiences, Barbara recorded his first original CD in 2005, with French arranger and pianist Alain Mallet and participation of musicians Mark Suzanno, Lula Galvão, João Vianna, A Parede, Bernardo Bosísio, Eduardo Neves , Paulo Braga, Rodrigo Lessa and Walter Vilaça. To publicize the work, led her to travel through the U.S, Moscow and Portugal.
In 2005, Barbara once again lent her voice to the film, “Be Cool”( Danny De Vito, John Travolta and Uma Thurman) and recorded a soundtrack for the ballet Piloboulus at the invitation of the renowned Julliard School of Classical Music.
The next 4 years were devoted to tours in Greece, where the singer became a benchmark of Brazilian popular music, also recording her second original CD “Nada Pra Depois”. The album included guests Djavan and Ivan Lins, and was produced by Mauricio de Oliveira and André Vasconcellos. The work was released by Flavio Venturini and distributed by popular Brazilian label, Som Livre.
In 2009, Barbara launched her album at the Rio’s grand Teatro Rival, with special participation of Leila Pinheiro.
Between 2010 and 2015, Barbara released more than 20 singles of BOSSA LOUNGE Style Project, spread all over the world through iTunes, Streaming Players, Youtube.
After more than a decade of international career, Barbara Mendes has promoted the roots of Brazilian music and realized the fruits of her artistic expression, and continues to amaze audiences in Brazil and beyond including her recent performance in the program “The Voice”, produced by Rede Globo.
In 2016 she got together with the famous Brazilian guitar player Victor Biglione and put together a project singing the best soundtracks of all times and has been travelling all over Brasil since.
In 2018, Barbara Mendes recorded 2 new records: Barbara Mendes sings Roberto Menescal, singing songs of world famous Bossa Nova singer/songrwriter in English, spread through all digital plattforms and Orgânico ( to be released in March 2019)