Paula Maya is a Brazilian singer, songwriter, keyboardist and an international recording and performing artist. Her songs are strongly influenced by Brazilian music, jazz and world-pop.
Paula has released six CDs of mostly original music, including the latest Iluminar - 2015, which garnered wonderful reviews from both press and the public alike. Paula is from Rio de Janeiro,
the birthplace of bossa nova and songs such as Girl from Ipanema. Rio is also where choro, a Brazilian be-bop-like music, was born a century before bossa nova. Both music styles, as well as Brazilian dance music like samba and baião, are heard in Paula's songs. Another strong influence is the eclectic community of musicians from different parts of the world that Paula is a part of, in Austin TX and in Seattle, where she used to live. Different genres such as jazz, country, reggae and soukous inspire fresh music blends.
Paula studied Classical Piano with the renown pianist Luiz Medalha and at the Brazilian Federal University of Music. She was certified in Music Theory at the Conservatory of Music in Rio de Janeiro, studied Composition with Maestro Leonardo Sá, and Jazz piano, Improvisation, Harmony and bossa nova with the great pianist and arranger Luizinho Eça, who used to call her, affectionately, 'geniozinho' (petite genius). Maya studied voice with Maestro David Kyle in Seattle and Mady Kaye in Austin, TX.
Prior to leading her own groups, Paula performed with dozens of bands in a variety of music styles, including the legendary jazz /swing /MPB Orquestra Tabajara in Brazil. She has shared the stage with artists such as Caetano Veloso, Leila Pinheiro, Djavan, Vinicius Cantuaria, Teo Lima and Batacoto, Cyril Neville, Tab Benoit, Mitch Watkins and The Presidents of the United States of America. Paula has songs in several compilations, including Delicacy,
, featuring songs with artists such as Jimmy Cliff.
For 12 years Maya co-hosted the Brazilian radio show Raizes, on KBCS 91.3FM in Seattle/ Bellevue.