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Teca Calazans

Birth Date:

singer, songwriter

Teca Calazans

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 17/03/2022

By: Cláudia Verardi - Librarian at Fundação Joaquim Nabuco - PhD in Librarianship and Documentation

The singer and songwriter Teresinha (Teca) João Calazans, although her parents were from Recife, was born in the city of Vitória, state of Espírito Santo on October 20, 1940. After a few years she lived in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais and later in Salvador, state of Bahia.


She spent part of her youth in Recife, where she learned to play the guitar and became interested in the local music (cirandas, cocos, xangôs and Banda de Pífaros de Caruaru).


In fact, Teca became interested in music early on, because, as she herself declared, in her mother’s family everyone played an instrument, When she was eleven, she received a guitar as a gift from her parents and her mother taught her the first chords.


She grew up listening to Caymmi, Noel Rosa sung by Aracy and Marília Batista and the Trio de Ouro. She also listened on Rádio Nacional to: Ângela Maria, Orlando Silva, Luiz Gonzaga, Marlene & Emilinha.


It was at school that I sang in public for the first time. I was seven years old, it was the Mother's Day party. The teacher asked who could sing a song to honor our mothers, I raised my hand and sang “Marina” by Caymmi. The teacher told me: “You have a beautiful voice, but this song is not for Mother's Day”… After that I never stopped singing (TECA, 2006, p. 1).


Teca began studying dramatic art and started her career as an actress in the Popular Culture Movement. In 1964, she founded the “Grupo Construção” (which presented music and theater) with Geraldo Azevedo, Naná Vasconcelos, and other actors and musicians.


In 1967, she recorded her first 45 rpm compact for Rozenblit record label (Mocambo label) with a selection of “Cirandas” (research with adaptation by Teca Calazans, which made popular the ciranda singer Lia de Itamaracá), and “Aquela rosa” (Geraldo Azevedo & Carlos Fernando).


The following year, in 1968, she went to Rio de Janeiro and worked there as an actress at the Opinião Theater Group and in TV Globo programs.


In the 1970s, she traveled to France, where she met Ricardo Villas, and formed the duo Teca & Ricardo. The partnership generated good results, and the duo recorded five LPs:
1- Musiques et chantes du Brésil (1974)
2- Caminho das águas (1975)
3- Cadê o povo? (1976)
4- Teca e Ricardo - desafio de viola (1978)
5- Jardin exotique (1979).

In 1979, back in Brazil, the duo recorded two LPs for EMI: “Povo daqui” (1980) and “Eu não sou dois” (1981).


A four-week concert at the Olympia theater made the duo known and successful both in France and Brazil, and resulted in two LPs recorded by EMI/ODEOM.


Teca resumed her “solo career” after the duo’s dissolution and had some of her songs recorded by Gal Costa, Nara Leão, Milton Nascimento, and other artists.


In 1982 she recorded the LP “Teca Calazans” and the following year, according to TECA (2017) she participated in the project conceived by Funarte, in memory of the 80th anniversary of Mário de Andrade, which resulted in the LP “Mário 300, 350,” interpreting folkloric repertoire.


The LP “Mina do mar” was released in 1984.


In 1988, Teca participated in the project “100 years of Heitor Villa-Lobos,” which released in the North American and European markets the record: “Villa-Lobos – Serestas e Canções – Performer: Teca Calazans.”


The independent record “Intuição,” with musical direction by Maurício Carrilho, was released in 1988 in Brazil and in Europe in 1993.


During her time in Brazil, Teca recorded a total of five albums, and for two years presented a program called “Forró” on TV Educativa.


In 1989 she returned to permanently live in France.


According to TECA ([201-?], p. 1) Teca Calazans wanted, in parallel with her artistic career, to show the European public, so used to associate samba to Brazil, another face of Brazilian music: that of the popular culture of the Northeast.


She produced records about the Northeastern music for the label Buda Musique: “Musique du Nordeste” (Mention to Choc du Monde de la Musique), “Cantadores Repentistas”—with the poets Oliveira de Panelas and Daudeth Bandeira—, “Cavalo Marinho - fête de rue du Nordeste,” and “Aboio & Embolada do Nordeste.”


She also made some anthologies for Frémeaux & Associés record label: “Brésil, le chant du Nordeste, 1928-1950,” “La guitare brés brésiliensis - fête de rue du Nordeste,” and “Aboio & Embolada do Nordeste.” “La guitare brésilienne contemporaine Label Kuarup 1977-2004,” “De Bahia aux sertões, Brésil - les chants de la mer et de la terre 1939-1955.”


The artist released several CDs interpreting both her own works and those of classical composers:
• 1990: released the CDs “Pizindim - 100 Anos de Pixinguinha” in which the artist interpreted the work of Pixinguinha and “O Samba dos Bambas” with O Trio  (interpreting works by classic samba composers);
• 1996: released  “Firoliu” (predominantly with works of her own authorship);
• 1998: released the CD “Intuição”;
• 1999: released the CD “De Cara Nova”;
• 2000: released the CD “Alma de Tupi”;
• 2002: released the record “Cantoria Brasileira” with Elomar, Xangai, Pena Branca, and Renato Teixeira;
• 2003: Released the record “Teca Calazans & Heraldo do Monte - voz e viola,” produced by Kuarup (nominated in 2005 for the award “TIM da Música Brasileira” in the category “Best MPB record”);
• 2007: released the CD “Impressões Sobre Maurício Carrilho & Meira.”

Teca, with her expressive voice and fine repertoire has conquered an important space in music both in Brazil and Europe by participating in important shows such as: Festival da “Música Tradicional Brasileira” in Geneva, Switzerland (2000); Festival of “Avante” in Lisbon, Portugal (2000); Tournée in Japan (2000); “Show Alma de Tupi” Santa Isabel theatre, Recife, Brazil (2003); “Salão de Música,” La Comédie de Reims, France (2005) and Show at the Teatro Teodoro de Maceió and at the Teatro de Santa Isabel in Recife (2007), among others. 


In some of her songs, Teca demonstrates her enormous sensitivity and longing for Brazil. In “Côco Verde” and in “Minha saudade” the longing is mixed with the memory of the sun, the sea, and the beauty of nature.

Côco Verde (Green coconut)
Coco verde, melancia, Catolé da Barra Grande
Eu vou me embora da Ilha com uma saudade tão grande
Meu amor não fique triste
Pegue as coisas e vamos embora
A mesma barca que leva é a mesma barca que volta
Senhor dono da casa
Dê licença para dançar um baião neste salão
Peço a todos presentes paciência
E à platéia muita compreensão
A saudade, ela queima como o sol
A saudade ela é grande como o mar
A saudade, ela é forte como o vento
Ela abre um caminho pra voltar
Se eu falei foi somente por falar
mas é fácil dançar este baião
Quem souber, tira um verso para ajudar
e puder nem entrar na confusão
A saudade, ela queima como o sol
A saudade, ela é grande como o mar
A saudade, ela é forte como o vento
Ela abre um caminho pra voltar.

Minha Saudade
Sinto uma saudade de você,
E do rancho de sapê.
Minha viola não mais geme,
Que maldade!
Choro tristemente esta saudade.
Meu Deus, quero a minha liberdade,
Estou farta da cidade,
Quero a lua e o meu sapê.
Quero conviver com a natureza,
Quero frente tal beleza,
Ser menor que não sei que...
Quero rever minha jangada,
Meu cavalo pela estrada,
Meu sonoro violão.
E o caboclo que eu amo,
E não esqueço,
Então darei descanso ao coração.


[Green coconut, watermelon, Catolé da Barra Grande

I'm leaving the island and so big is my yearning

My love, don't be blue

Get your things and let's move

The same boat that carries is the one that returns

Mr. owner of the house

Give me permission to dance a baião in this saloon

I ask everyone here for patience

And the audience a lot of understanding

Longing, it burns like the sun

Longing, it's as big as the sea

Longing, i's as strong as the wind

It opens a way to come back

If I've spoken, it's just for speaking

but it's easy to dance this baião

The one who knows, take a verse to help

Longing, it burns like the sun

Longing, it's as big as the sea

Longing, i's as strong as the wind

It opens a way to come back.


Minha Saudade (My longing)

I really miss you

And the thatched ranch.

My guitar no longer groans,

How mean!

I sadly cry this longing.

My God, I want my freedom,

I'm sick of the city,

I want the moon and my tratch.

I want to live with nature,

I want to face such beauty,

And be smaller than I don't know what...

I want to see my raft again,

My horse on the road,

My sonorous guitar.

And the caboclo I love,

And I don't forget,

Then I'll give my heart a rest.]

To conclude, we register that Teca Calazans is an artist of great importance in the history of Brazilian music, whose work has already obtained several praiseworthy reviews and continues to influence many artists in the music scene.

1. In France, Teca Calazans has released a CD of nursery rhymes for children entitled: “Écoute le Brésil, chants et comptines pour enfants”;
2. Discography of the artist:
• Impressões sobre Mauricio Carrilho & Meira, CPC-UMES, 2007, Brazil.

• Écoute le Brésil, chants et comptines pour enfant, (Nursery rhymes for children) Frémeaux & Associés, 2003, France.

• Teca Calazans & Heraldo Do Monte, Kuarup Discos, 2003, Brazil e Buda Musique, 2005, France.
Nominated for the award “TIM da Música Brasileira” in 2003, in the category “Best MPB record.”

• Cantoria Brasileira, Kuarup Discos, 2002, Brasil.CD live of the show  “Cantoria Brasileira” which was nominated for the “Latin Grammy” in 2003.

• Alma de Tupi, Buda Musique, 1999, France.

• Forró de Cara Nova, Ingazeira Discos, 1998, Brazil.

• Firoliu, Buda Musique, 1996, France. Baden Powell himself accompanied the singer in “Santa Voz,” one of his compositions with lyricist Paulo César Pinheiro.

• Best of Teca & Ricardo, Declic, 1996, France.

• Collection of the first two albums by Teca and Ricardo in France.

• O Samba dos Bambas, Buda Musique, 1994, France, Kuarup Discos, Brazil..

• Intuição, Iris Musique, 1993, France.

• Pizindim, Buda Musique, 1991, France. Atração Produções Artísticas, Brazil (tribute to Pixinguinha, the great genius of the choro musical style).

• Teca Calazans chante Villa-Lobos, Kuarup Discos, 1990, Brasil. For the first time, Villa-Lobos' melodies appear in the voice of a popular singer.

• Mina Do Mar, Eldorado, 1985, Brazil.

•  Jardin Exotique
a & Ricardo with Barney Willen. Recorded in 1978, release Musidisque in 1983, France.

•  Mário Trezentos, 350, Continental 1983.
Atração Produção Fonográfica, Acervo Funarte, Brasil.

• Teca Calazans, EMI Odeon, 1982, Brasil.
First Teca record after the duo

• Eu Nao Sou Dois, EMI Odeon, 1981, Brasil.
Teca & Ricardo

•  Povo Daqui, EMI Odeon, 1980, Brasil.
Teca & Ricardo

•  Desafio de viola, Sonopresse, 1978, France.
Teca & Ricardo

•  Cade O Povo, RCA, 1975, France.
Teca & Ricardo

• Caminho Das Águas, Moshe Naim, 1975, France.
Teca & Ricardo - reissued in CD (1995).

•  Musiques et chants du Brésil, Moshe Naim, 1974, France.
Teca & Ricardo - reissued on cd (1995).

• Têca, Sêlo Mocambo, Discos Rozemblit, 1967, Brasil.
First Teca record with a selection of cirandas collected and adapted by Teca.


Recife, September 6, 2017.

sources consulted

TECA Calazans (Teresinha João Calazans). [201-?]. Disponível em: Acesso em: 6 set. 2017.

TECA Calazans. In: Diário da Música, 17 nov. 2011. [Foto neste texto]. Disponível em: Acesso em: 6 set. 2017.

TECA Calazans: biographie. 2006. Disponível em: Acesso em: 6 set. 2017.

TECA Calazans: músicas. Disponível em: Acesso em: 6 set. 2017.


how to quote this text

VERARDI, Cláudia Albuquerque. Teca Calazans. In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2017. Available at: Accessed on: mês dia ano. (Ex.: ago. 6 2009.)