Cecy Santana’s influence on the Brazilian music and entertainment scene in Chicago is mistakable, driven by the musical legacy of her famous father and a genuine joy of life.
By Sean Chaffin
Big horns, cool bass grooves, sultry piano, and her amazing voice out in front bringing it all together. That’s what listeners can expect from a Cecy Santana musical experience. And what about a live show?
“Being elevated into a world of celebration, exuberance, and purpose,” she says.
Brazilian music fans will find plenty to celebrate when it comes to Cecy, who also mixes in pop vibes as well as lyrics in Portuguese and English in her songs.
Music runs deep for this young songstress originally from Sao Paulo. Her father is Afro-Brazilian trumpeter Carlos Santana, who collaborated with legends Roberto Carlos and Gal Costa. He also played first trumpet for the Sao Paulo and Rio symphony orchestras. Cecy played flute and sang growing up, performing often in church concerts and ministries.
After moving to the U.S. about 10 years ago, Cecy now brings her own Santana sound to American audiences. Costa, Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Sade, and Lady Gaga are some of her musical inspirations. How would she describe her own Brazilian flavor?
“The true epitome of the intricate influences of my native land, combined with the banging beats of America,” says Cecy, who is based in Chicago.
2020: Album Debut
Her debut solo album “Skyline” is set for release in January and is currently in post production. Watch for it on ConnectBrazil.com and to be heard on its streaming channel network.
“Mixing and mastering is taking a little bit longer than expected, but I am totally okay with that,” she says. “To me it’s best to have a product that will represent my work very well, than having a product out there just to have it.”
Brazilian may be her main sound, but Cecy takes pride in being able to cross over and perform in other genres including house, dance, R&B, and even jam band. She’s gaining a following and her music has been featured in several conventions, commercials, and other advertising platforms.
Currently writing songs for her second album, she also performs with Steven Kikoen and the The Lotus Kings with several other projects in the works. Bringing joy to others through music is what drives this young Brazilian artist to continue working on her craft. That has a personal effect as well.
“I don’t do what I do to seek fame,” she says. “I do what I do to uplift others. It’s priceless to me when after a show when someone tells me they were having a bad day and my music made them feel better. That’s what I live for.
“It is my passion and it is what keeps me alive too. I have a chronic lung disease and the fact that I sing has helped me manage it. I am very happy I get to do what I love – and help others and myself in the process.”