Biography

Born Eunice Quipuco Piedade José, on August 8, 1974, in Angola, Afrikkanitha manifested her artistry at 4. She was born to dance and sing. Influenced by american musicians, like Whitney Houston, and other artists from 80’s, she danced the choreography of Michael Jackson with dance groups she led as choreographer, during adolescence.

At only 5 years old, an accident on a swing at home resulted in an overall atrophy in the right eye, and a noticeable strabismus. Afrikkanitha was different from other children. Constant insults from adults and children made wary of people and closed to many. Music and dance were her refuge. She has skills. At 14, she was dedicated to writing poems. The lack of resources and opportunities to manifest as an artist made her more dedicated to studies, a priority for her father.

At 15, a musician and friend Maninho Teixeira, introduced Afrikkanitha to the music world. He taught her a little of guitar and had her listen to Karin White’s songs. Then, she returned to guitar and singing lessons with M'Baxi. The guitar made blisters on her fingers and Afrikkanitha not bear the pain. In 1991, during a Portuguese ­ Brazilian conference with composer Sérgio Ricardo, who composes for Elis Regina, invited her to share the stage with him. Afrikkanitha was 19, and took the stage like a professional, dancing and singing samba. At the same event, pianist Joao Oliveira (Jamjão) played and later become Afrikkanitha’s driving force. They dedicated some time doing rehearsed on themes of Tom Jobim, Djavan and other international classics. They delight the audience and continue to make music together.

Afrikkanitha performs with other groups including Vozes Negras (Black Voices) where she learned the Massemba and Semba from Angola and other African rhytms from Congo and Nigeria. She was part of N’Sex Love, a young zouk group that explored R&B, Soul, and other genres. Her vocal teacher was Master Mateus, who placed her in the Methodist Church choir, until she moved to South Africa to continue her studies. There, she became a professional chorister and made jingles with Tony Nguxy and South African musicians.

In 2000, she immigrated to France where she performed with jazz pianist Ray Lema and took part of Frank Akoa’s choir in Grenoble. She moved to Paris and worked with several bands that played 70s hits from Tina Turner and James Brown. Jazz was her passion. It speaks louder into Afrikkanitha’s heart.

After 5 years in France, she returned to her family in Angola. She traveled between France and Angola for 3 more years, until decided to remain in Angola. In 2007, she recorded her first single Kebrando o Silencio (Breaking the Silence) followed by her debut solo album Weza (Arrived), jazz fused to African rhythms. The years in France taught her that the world respects and values genuine artists, who come from their roots and carry their culture abroad. Weza resulted in an African jazz style that was accepted, internationally. It was co­produced with husband Simmons Massini.

In August 9, a day after her birthday, Afrikkanitha sings for Senator Hillary Clinton in the garden of the presidential palace in Angola. In May 2010, Afrikkanitha shared the stage with Holland/American pianist Mike del Ferro, this colaboration was also an invitation of the US Embassy. The American Embassy invited Afrikkanitha to sing the American National Anthem at the farewell of the departing ambassador. With the help of the American Embassy, she traveled to the USA to visit universities and meet jazz musicians. She, now, studies and resides in Florida.

Still in 2010 she released her second album Ainda Sonho (Still Dreaming) in France. "Ainda Sonho" is an album with other colors produced by Afrikkanitha with French pianist Julien Agazar, the sax mozambican sax player Moreira Chonguiça, Cameroon bassist Etienne Mbappé, and Malian pianist/producer Cheick Tidiane Seck. The album brings the rhythms of Massemba and Semba (Angola traditional rhythms), the marrabenta from Mozambique, mixed with gospel, bossa nova, and fused with jazz. The vocals are in Portuguese. The album is considered the best album of that year in Angola.

Afrikkanitha is passionate about writing. She launched Kanitha Magazine with generalized topics like world music, health, literature, politics and special attention to jazz. She hosts a radio program in Radio Mais were she realize and presents Jazz em Casa, every Sunday and Monday. Known as the Lady of Jazz in Angola, Afrikkanitha opened at Luanda International Jazz Festival on mainstream day, where the same night other guests were McCoy Tyner, Lira from South Africa, and others, in 2009.

In 2011 she sang with Carlos do Carmo and Friends, and in April 2011 she went to America as a guest of the American Embassy representing jazz and to survey jazz in Universities. She was welcomed by musicians like Kirk Whalum and Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. In May, performed with saxophonist Tia Fuller on the theme summertime and on July 8, she performed in Cascais Cool Jazz Festival in Lisbon, preceding Brazilian singer Ceu. Afri was featured in Cuba with Maestro Joaquin Betancourt’s orchestra, in February 2012. Still in 2012 she sang with Cassandra Wilson at Luanda International Jazz Festival and in 2013 before coming to studies in USA she performed at SESC Pompeia Jazz Festival in S. Paulo Brasil with husband Simmons Massini and Cliff Korman and his band.

Afrikkanitha confessed that a one­hour conversation with Jazz guitarist George Benson assured her that she was doing the right thing. She's mother of beautifl children, O'nnely Simone, Wesley Emmanuel and Jazzlyn Maiara. Currently, she is pursuing Jazz Studies, at Florida Memorial University, in Miami.

“NGA MADIA Single”

NGA MADIA Single

Join My E-mail List