Childhood and influences

Tireless traveler and seeker, Ana Rita Simonka currently lives in Portugal where she breaths the air of her Portuguese ancestors and dives into her Iberic origins to discover new possibilities to inspire her life and her art. She was raised in Brasil and grew up surrounded by music and dance and since childhood she has been involved in the arts: her father is a renowned traditional dancer, the "Old Pietro", and for several years she worked teaching and performing Latin dances with him. Her taste for dance took her a long way that introduced Yoga and Belly Dance into her life, arousing her interest in meditation through the arts and starting her interest in world music. Her father was the one who took her to study music with internationally renowned Brazilian names such as Maestro Benedito Costa, the percussionist Papete, the Trio Mocotó (João Parayba) and the guitarist Carioca among many others. From this eclectic lineup, Ana Rita highlights the classic study of Choro Brasileiro and Bossa Nova harmonies having as her main inspirations to develop her guitar style the influence of artists such as João Gilberto, Baden Powell, João Bosco and Toninho Horta. Milton Nascimento and Clube da Esquina are her main influence as singer and songwriter, certainly inspired by her mother´s land heritage from Minas Gerais, where more than 300 years ago the Brazilian cultural identity emerged from the unusual blend of Christian Chants of the Portuguese and Spanish Baroque Churches plus African drums and local indigenous “rattles and prayers”. This early begining reveals the essence of fusion that defines the Brazilian soul: through music, the boundaries between people of such different backgrounds have been broken, thus creating a nation who are famous for their contagious joy, spontaneous fraternity, and powerful intuitive spirituality.

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