'Kissed By Nature'

Eliane Elias was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but now the jazz sensation calls New York her home.

The pianist/vocalist/composer performs a few of the recordings on her new CD, "Kissed by Nature," for The Saturday Early Show's Second Cup Café.

Throughout her 16-year recording career, the Grammy-nominated Elias has been heralded as one of jazz's finest pianists. She played the piano at an early age, and was able to study the works of jazz icons with the classical piano literature for her training. She performed in local jazz and bossa nova clubs, taught piano and master classes while simultaneously continuing her music studies. Her introduction to the international music world came when, at the age of 17, she started working with two of the most respected artists in Brazil, Toquinho and Vinicius de Moraes.

But the jazz scene in the U.S. was her calling and she moved to New York City in 1981. In 1983, she became a member of the jazz-fusion group Steps Ahead and then launched her solo recording career in 1986.

Recently Elias was a featured performer in the critically acclaimed documentary on Latin jazz, "Calle 54." The soundtrack album was nominated for a 2001 Grammy in the Best Latin Jazz Album category. In the same year, Elias was also nominated for a Grammy in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category for her album "Impulsive!"

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