Photo credit: ©Adrien Quevauviller
Ana Milena da Rocha Gaspar, born in 1987 in Berlin, is a Luso-German singer, composer and lyricist. As a child, while singing with her teacher during her piano lessons, she realized that she could make her passion for music her profession. She studied jazz singing at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels from 2005 to 2009. At the same time, she sung in various projects in classical music, jazz, pop, fado, salsa and bossa-nova. She started teaching singing privately in 2007.
In 2009, she moved to Berlin and started composing her own music. She deepened her love of literature and wrote her own texts during her master's degree in General and Comparative Literature at the Free University of Berlin (2013-2018). With German and Portuguese roots, her texts, the central point of her work, tell a life story, full of varied landscapes from the different places from which they draw their sources, a search for answers and truth, love and the saudade of past times.
One of her first projects has been the result of encounters dating back to his teenage years, friendships with Pierre Gillet (guitar), Thibault Dille (accordion, piano) and Miguel Rosal Martins (double bass), who were guided by the singer Cristina Rosal, with tours in Brazil and Belgium around Portuguese and Brazilian ballads. The resulted is a first album, Espelhos - Canções Portuguesas in 2011, followed by a second CD produced by Swami Jr, Encontros d'Agua, in 2015.
Ana is active on the Berlin world music and jazz scene. She sings and writes for numerous groups and projects of different musical genres: Ana & the Duorkestra with Thibault Dille and Pierre Gillet, in duo with guitarist Filipe Duarte, as a guest with Bossa Flor, as the leader of her solo project ANA and with Belgian jazz pianist Diederik Wissels. Her personal compositions, written in collaboration with guitarist Thomas Maillet, are influenced by different styles, ranging from jazz to pop, rock and folk, reflecting various musical references and moving from energetic to warm or melancholic atmospheres.
She also works as a singing teacher in several music schools in Berlin and the joy of singing with children and adults led her to train as a choir conductor in 2017.
Ana joined the programme led by Philippe Quevauviller (Bossa Flor) with the group Espelhos in 2014 and 2015. She was invited to a French-speaking bossa nova concert in March 2016 by the Sextet Bossa Flor, and sung in duo with Pierre Barouh, one of whose recordings (La nuit des masques) was included in the album "Rencontres en bossa - De Jobim à Barouh" (2018). In the same year (2016) she took part in the show "Une petite histoire de la bossa nova", in 2017 in a tribute to Pierre Barouh and in 2018 in a concert about the links between French chanson and bossa nova. The same year, she recorded two tracks from the EP "Feminino" (2019) which was released live in October 2019.
Her latest news are the success of her Crowdfunding campaign (finished in February 2020) which allowed her to produce her EP of her compositions with Thomas Maillet (guitar), Boris Schmidt (bass) and Toine Cnockaert (drums), and the release of her new album on Igloo Records with pianist Diederik Wissels which is scheduled for the end of 2020.