“Music is the art of thinking with sounds’’.
Bárbara Fonseca Silva was born on July 16th, 1991 in Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Sao Paulo, Brazil and since early age music infused her daily life. At age 12 she took piano lessons with a brasilian teacher who praised her ability.
At age 5 she already knew it what she was going to do of her life. At age 13, Barbara started a professional technique vocal with Jonas Ferreira, who is a famous singer and conductor at her city. At age 15 she did the Institute of Music and Arts Bizet where she was doing a lot of performances, also was the place where she grew up on stage.
At age 16 she moved to Blue Note Institute for Music and Audio where she was doing class with the great musician, Roberto Prieto. After a few months studying there, Barbara played with the Institute at the most popular theater at her city. She did performer to more then a thousand people. Roberto Prieto was also the teacher who told her about the college “Souza Lima”, http://www.souzalima.com.br/faculdade..., and the alliance with “Berklee College of music”. Barbara thought this could be the door to then she could follow her dreams. Her parents at the beginning were thinking but they knew about her passion with music so they let her do it.
Barbara’s grandfather was a famous jazz musician at her city in Brazil. He was always playing with everyone at clubs, weddings, with orchestra. He also gave class to his son and daughters for a long time teaching them to have a music ear. Her uncle was a conductor for a long time also in her city. Her mom and aunt’s dream was always to be a singer. My grandfather being a jazz musician at that time told them: ‘Music don’t play your bills’. Today they are successful in their careers but always with that feeling.. ‘I wish I could be a singer’.. also they have children and they NEED to pay bills.. so they are trusting a lot in me to do their dreams.
‘’I just wish wherever my grandfather is now he is praying for me because .. I will follow my heart and I wanna pay my bills’’.
Before moving to Boston, Barbara was invited to make part of the DVD of the famous Brazilian writer and composer Arnaldo Antunes. She also received the callback to do the theater Color Purple which will be soon starting in Brazil. She could not do it because at that time she was moving to Boston.
At age 17, Barbara moved to Sao Paulo, the capital. Her first experience living alone. She was studying at the college ‘Souza Lima’, Sao Paulo, Brazil – where she learned a lot about Jazz, Blues and Brazilian music. She graduated from Souza Lima on November, 2011. In Souza Lima she finished some matters; Harmony, Counterpoint, Arrange, Ear training. At her fourth semester she was invited from her private instructor to teach at the college. She gave techniques classes per more than a year. Her last year living in brazil she was teaching at two schools ‘’Souza Lima’’ and ‘’Oxford’’ in Sao Paulo, Brazil. At the same time she was performing a lot, she was working beside in the schools with two different bands, doing shows more than one in a week.
The alliance between the colleges ‘’Souza Lima’’ and ‘’Berklee College of Music’’ was about doing two years in each school. In the fall 2011, Barbara moved to Boston MA to do the college ‘’Berklee College of Music’’ giving her the opportunity to fulfill his lifetime dream.
These are some of my accomplishments while at Berklee: ( 1th and 2th semester)
-Performed a solo for the Gospel night at the BPC.
-Being part of the African Club.
-Sang in the recording of Vivian Aguiar-Buff’s Film Scoring project.
-Performed at the Carnival at the Cafeteria.
-Performed at a B33 for the Take 6 ensemble by Jetro Silva
-Performed at David Friend the African Cuba Ensemble by Jetro da Silva
-Will be performing on March 28 with the Traditional Folklore Night at the BPC.
-Will be performing on March 28 with Mr. Larry Watson and his class at Harvard.
- Will be performing with American Negro Spirituals at the David Friend Hall on April 19th.
- Will be preforming a solo for the Gospel Night at the BPC on April 30th.
- Will be performing for ‘Tribute of Beyonce’ at House of Blues.
- Made the Dean’s List for an excellent academic performance.
In this year Barbara also played in a open mic at the famous jazz club at New York, called Birdland. After that performance she received a text from the co-producer of Christina Aguilera congratulating her and telling her to keep on touch.
Bárbara has Jetro da Silva, the Brazilian teacher at Berklee being her Mentor. Here is some thoughts about him:
Jetro is my mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. He’s a smart guy who followed his heart coming to the US, and is an excellent musician. Everyone knows Jetro for his talent and being a great teacher; his students respect him a lot. He is a living example that inspires to take the challenge to do what you want. When he was just a little boy, one of his dreams was to be a piano player for Whitney Houston, and today, he is a legendary musician who played and was a good friend of our beloved Whitney. Jetro also played with another bands, such as the one for Gladys Knight, Take 6, and others. People respect him because he knows a lot, not just about music, but he is also an intellectual. His mentality about Africans, African Americans, and Afro-Brazillians and making the connection for the diaspora is really interesting. Since I met him, he has been helping me to open my eyes and to make the connection between my life and my singing. I believe that since he studied with the people of the eagles, he can say that he is an eagle today. He is passing this onto his students the elements: to be an eagle in a musical world. However, as he says:“If you want to be an eagle, you have to be born being a eagle because eagles don’t mix with chickens.”