b. Ivan Guimarães Lins, 16th June 1945, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, the son of a Naval engineer, Ivan (pronounced E-von) spent several formative years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while his father completed graduate studies at M.I.T.
Relocating to his native Brazil, Ivan earned a degree and had a career in professional sports in mind before discovering his passion and natural talent for music.
Among his earliest compositions, 'Madalena,' was recorded by the legendary Brazilian artist Elis Regina and was an enormous hit in that country and throughout Europe.
In the early 1980's, the enduring love affair between American and Brazilian musicians took a new turn when it was announced that super-producer Quincy Jones was looking for a special Brazilian touch on an upcoming album for jazz guitar great George Benson.
It was percussionist Paulinho da Costa who introduced Quincy to Ivan's music.
The result was 'Dinorah, Dinorah', a Lins original that was included on Benson's million-selling 'Give Me the Night'.
Knowing a good thing when he heard it, Quincy tapped Ivan for his ground breaking album, 'The Dude'.
The tune this time around was 'Velas', which gathered a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.
While the two cuts served as an introduction for American audiences, they were only a sign of things to come.
Lins' material began appearing on a number of albums by top recording artists, among them Manhattan Transfer whose aptly titled 'Brazil', featuring two Lins originals, earned a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, while Quincy's own multi-Grammy-winning 'Back on the Block' highlighted yet another Lins composition, "Setembro".
More recently, trumpet player Terence Blanchard devoted the bulk of his new 'The Heart Speaks' to Lins compositions with Lins sitting in on piano and vocals.
In 1987, Lins was recruited by producer Stewart Levine to work with crossover giants The Crusaders.
The album, 'Life in the Modern World,' contained two Lins originals and set the stage for Lins' US debut.
The tracks featured were the title track and 'Some People Never Learn'.
Working closely with producer Levine, Lins began writing with American audiences in mind, collaborating with lyricists Brock Walsh and Brenda Russell, among others.
The result was 1989's 'Love Dance,' featuring Lins singing in English for the first time.
That album was followed in 1991 by another Levine-produced recording, 'Awa Yio' (roughly 'we go'), on which he returned to his native Portuguese.
A superstar in his native Brazil, Lins' kind of music -- romantic pop, mostly -- has not typically been associated with the radical politics of many of his Latin compatriots.
He has appeared on Toots Thielemans' recordings of 'Brazil 1 and 2' and has appeared live with him. 'Anjo de Mim', his 1995 release in Brazil, has been repackaged for his American tour as 'I'm Not Alone' with the addition of the three new songs in English: 'I'm Not Alone (Who loves you?)', 'Remember Me' and 'You Came' with English lyrics by songwriters Will Jennings, Brenda Russell and Norma Winstone respectively.
Still earning tremendous international respect, Lins has been recorded by many American stars, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Patti Austin, Take Six, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin and Sergio Mendes.
Like most Brazilian artists, Lins has had to deal with pressures from the Brazilian military regime of the last two decades.
Yet luck has been on his side, for he has never had a song cut out or censored. However, he admits that 'when you are suffering, your art takes on greater density.'
Quem Sou Eu (Philips Records 1972)
Deixa O Trem Seguir (Polygram Records 1972)
Ivan Lins / Abre Alas (RCA Records 1974)
Chama Acesa (RCA Records 1975)
Nos Dias De Hoje (EMI / Odeon Records 1978)
Somos Todos Iguais Esta Noite (EMI / Odeon Records 1979)
A Noite (EMI / Odeon Records 1979)
Novo Tempo (EMI / Odeon Records 1980)
Daquilo Que Eu Sei (Polygram Records 1981)
Depois Dos Temporais (Polygram Records 1983)
Juntos (Polygram Records 1984)
Ivan Lins (Som Livre Records 1986)
Maos (Polygram Records 1987)
Amar Assim (Polygram Records 1989)
20 Anos (Som Livre Records 1990)
Awa Yio (Velas Records 1992)
Anjo De Mim (Velas Records 1995)
I'm Not Alone (Velas Records 1997)
Ivan Lins sings Noel Rosa (Velas Records 1997)
Live At MCG (Heads Up Records 1999)