Dona Onete

‘The grande dame of Amazonian song’ brings the soulful sounds of northern Brazil to east London.

It took Dona Onete over seven decades to find her calling in life. Before she released her debut album aged 73, the singer-songwriter from Belém in the Amazon delta of north-east Brazil worked as a teacher and union campaigner. But how she has made up for it since, music fans from Rio to Rome have fallen for her feisty Amazonian compositions.

Afro-Brazilian and Caribean rhythms act as the backdrop to her stunning voice, seemingly unaffected by age. And despite lyrical content that is deeply personal, her songs retain a strong feeling of optimism and joy.