ZONA SUL is a band dedicated to playing bossa nova, the music “invented” in the late 1950s by Brazilians João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. It has its roots in Brazilian samba and jazz, the lyrics and melodies are often quite melancholy while the rhythms are lively and joyful. “Samba é chorar de alegria – samba is crying for joy“. Inspired by the legendary Zimbo Trio and singer Elis Regina, the band ZONA SUL remains authentic and true to the Brazilian tradition, while having developed an original style. Like the music, its band members have been influenced by jazz and Brazilian music.
In 2003 the band recorded their critically acclaimed first CD: “PURE LOVE – um amor tão puro“. With the title “Dans mon île“ by Henri Salvador they made it onto the compilation “The finest in female vocal jazz“ alongside Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson and Sade. The same title was also played nationwide in Germany on “Klassik Radio“.
While most compositions on PURE LOVE were by Tom Jobim, the origin of the titles on ZONA SUL‘s second album BEIRA is more diverse, taking the idea of playing bossa nova one step further and turning pop songs into bossa novas. On BEIRA, you can find classics by Jobim, Baden Powell and Milton Nascimento and contemporary compositions by Bebel Gilberto as well as new arrangements of songs by Françoise Hardy or The Beatles. Furthermore there are two original compositions on BEIRA – “Vai e vem“ by Brazilian singer Giana Viscardi and “Mães e filhas“ by Pedro Tagliani, the band‘s guitarist.
With BEIRA the band ZONA SUL succeeds in becoming more unique, creating an even more distinctive style. Sophie Wegeners naturally beautiful voice, the virtuosity of her band members, the selection of songs and the outstanding quality of the recording make BEIRA an album that is one-of-a-kind. Upon its release in Germany in May 2006, BEIRA made it to the top 20 in the German jazz charts.
Sophie Wegener (vocals): born to a French mother and a German father. Bilingual education. Piano lessons at age 10, singing lessons at age 17. Attended freshman year at Beloit College, Wisconsin, studied in France, England and Germany. Started out as a jazz singer but fell in love with the Bossa nova and Brazil. Founded ZONA SUL in 1999. Sings in English, French and Portuguese. “Germany‘s number one bossa nova singer.“ (Welt am Sonntag)
Pedro Tagliani (guitar & vocals): guitarrist, arranger and composer. Born in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Attended the conservatory in Porto Alegre, where he later taught guitar. Guitarrist and composer of the band “Raiz de Pedra“, with whom he recorded four albums, among which “Diário de Bordo“ (Enja). He has worked with Egberto Gismonti, Dave Samuels, Wolfgang Lackerschmidt and Thomas Kugi, with whom he recorded “Arvoredo“.
Tizian Jost (piano): one of Germany‘s best jazz pianists. He worked with, among others: Mark Murphy, Tony Lakatos, Brazilian singer Leny Andrade, Dusko Goykovich. He studied Brazilian music intensely and founded the band DOMUNDO with Brazilian singer and pianist Lygia Campos. With his Trio he recently recorded “Our reflections“ (Atelier Sawano) with Klaus Weiss (drums) and Thomas Stabenow (bass).
Matthias Engelhardt (bass): impresses listeners with his enthusiastic and very “Brazilian“ bass-playing. In 1996, he won first prize at “Jugend jazzt“, a jazz competition for young musicians. Then he was granted a scholarship for the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he intensely studied jazz and world-music. He is a free lance musician in Munich since 2000. Worked with Bobby Shew, Wolfgang Haffner, Peter Herbolzheimer, George Garzone, Zoe and many others.
Hajo v. Hadeln (drums): an experienced, creative and sensitive accompanist, he intensely studied Brazilian rhythms and did “further training“ with Rosa Passos‘ drummer Celso Almeida. Hajo can be seen live on TV every Sunday on DSF‘s talkshow “Doppelpass“ with his Trio LaHaze. He is also involved in numerous musicals, opera and theatre productions. “With his technical brilliance, v. Hadeln needs not fear the comparision with world-class jazz drummers like Art Blakey.“ (Sueddeutsche Zeitung)