Elza Soares (1930-2022) was a Brazilian samba recording artist born and raised in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. She gained recognition after winning a singing contest presented by renowned musician Ary Barroso. Soares's unique style combined scat à la Louis Armstrong with jazz-infused samba, earning her popularity with her first single "Se Acaso Você Chegasse". Her husky voice became her trademark as she performed at theaters and nightclubs in São Paulo.
In the 1970s, Soares toured the U.S. and Europe, showcasing her talent for over 40 years. In 2000, she was awarded "Best Singer of the Millennium" by the BBC in London, where she performed alongside Gal Costa, Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and Virgínia Rodrigues. Throughout her career, Soares scored several chart hits in Brazil including "Só Danço Samba" and "Aquarela Brasileira".
Soares's albums have been re-released on CD in remastered editions such as A Bossa Negra and Elza Pede Passagem. Her album Do Cóccix Até O Pescoço earned her a Grammy nomination in 2002 and featured collaborations with Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Carlinhos Brown, Jorge Ben Jor among others.