Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bossa Nova Queen Sitti Navarro visits Los Angeles for 'A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC': A Late Summer Night's Dream Concert

Photo & article by Jay Fermin (PinoyWired)

Los Angeles: For the first time, the girl from Ipanema or rather the girl from the Philippines Sitti Navarro, who have been creating waves these past few years with her sultry and cool rendition of Bossa Nova songs, and with her CDs hitting the charts, is currently visiting Los Angeles and other US cities for a series of shows.

We sat down for a relaxing and fun dinner with the young and beautiful Sitti Navarro at the newest Max's Restaurant in Puente Hills to talk with her about her music, her aspirations, and just about anything under the sun. She will be singing at the US Philippine Expo in Fairplex Pomona this weekend of August 9-10, 2008 put together by R-Page's CEO Ruben Panopio under the direction of Jet Montelibano (Creative Concepts).

Taking lounge singing as a hobby while she was in College, now she is excited that Bossa Nova, a genre of music which originated in Brazil from samba and made famous by her idol Astrud Gilberto and brought to the Philippines in the 70's by Bong Penera (of the Batucada band;I still have the cassette tape somewhere)has turned into a promising career for her. Singing since the age of 17, the now 23 year old confided that Bossa Nova which was once popular with the 40's crowd has now been embraced by the younger generation of Filipinos. She added that it is now common to hear 21 year olds hum the tune "Mas Que Nada, thanks to the lovely voice of Sitti Navarro and her beautiful face and personality.

Over dinner with Los Angeles media including Pinoywired's Ver Penaranda, FilAmNation's Manny Legaspi, and Peryodiko's Val Abelgas just to name a few, Sitti engaged us in her jovial, relaxed and fun way on a myriad of topics ranging from serious political stuff, and then back to her unique kind of music (bossa nova means 'something new' in Portuguese), and to trivial small talk of her plan of going to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and of course Hollywood 'just to walk where the stars walk', unknowingly becoming apparent to us that, indeed we are in the presence of a rising star ourselves!

Sitti Navarro's Myspace page says it all: "Pretty and talented Katrina "Sitti" Navarro is a former UP student whose passion is singing. She recently launched Cafe Bossa album with the following songs: Girl from ipanema, Tattooed on my Mind, At 17, Hey Look at the Sun... under Warner Music.

Sitti, whose name means princess in the Muslim dialect, is truly worthy to be Bossa-Manila's new "IT" girl. Her relaxed singing style and soothing voice lingers above the complex harmonies of jazz and samba influenced Brazilian genre, effortlessly gelling lyrics and music together. Her eyes light up when she talks about Bossa Nova. "What I really like best about bossa nova is that the lyrics, message and music is profound. Even if its melancholic at times, it's still easy on the ears.

She is part of a rare and unique breed of people who have both the brains and the looks to back her pleasing personality. Her High School days seem to be a breeze as she was both the editor - in chief of their school's paper and Valedictorian winning of numerous awards most notably the Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo Award, The Gerry A. Roxas Leadership Award and the Jose P. Laurel Academic Excellence Award. This twenty - year - old individual, now proudly holds a degree in BS Business Economics from the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Although it is her dream to be a successful TV host or a News Anchor, she has made her name as one of Manila's most promising, young singers. She has successfully sung her way to the audiences' hearts in all of her stints with various Music Lounges in the metro. Since the age 16, she has landed gigs at "Harry's Bar at the Top of the Century", the "Diwata Cocktail Lounge" of the Sulo Hotel, the "Hyatt Calesa Bar" to name a few. Blessed with a smile that can surely melt anyone's heart, her Repetoire is as impressive as her talents. People can't help either sing with her or fall in love during her live performances There is a growing line of fans and followers as she ia acclaimed for her sweet and soothing voice.

Sitti released her CD 'Cafe Bossa' in 2006 (certified double platinum) and followed it with a re-release in 2007 coupled with a bonus VCD. Her next CD, 'Sitti Live' which has become a gold release. 'Sitti in the Mix', a collaboration work with Dense Modesto was release in 2007 and the CD 'My Bossa Nova came out in the same year. The latter CD was re-released in 2008 with a bonus VCD of Sitti Live!2 entitled 'My Bossa Nova Live 2.'

Sitti rendered her original song 'Para Sa Akin' as well as the playful samba 'Mas Que Nada', dancing with the beat, which delighted the very receptive crowd at the U.S. Philippine Expo in Fairplex Pomona last August 9-10, 2008. Her CD's were available for sale and she autographed most of it, which was totally sold out! This Friday August 15, her gig at Max's Puente Hills Mall is already SOLD OUT too! Not bad for the bossa nova queen's first ever tour of the U.S.

It was refreshing to see the young and talented Sitti Navarro up close. One cannot stop to wonder how a petite girl like Sitti can take on bossa nova which has once only belonged to the legends like Astrud Gilberto, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and of course influences from Ella Fitgerald, and do it with a Filipino twist (listen to her original song 'Para Sa Akin', one of my favorites) and lure the younger generation to the music of the early 60s and 70s.

After our pleasant and relaxing dinner, my head was in bossa nova mode: pleasant memories of waking up to the smooth sound of the songs 'Fly Me to the Moon, Lady Wants to Know, Samba Song, With or Without You, One Note Samba, At 17, and Tattooed on My Mind' came flooding back to memory. It is no surprise, the Bossa Nova queen, Sitti Navarro, has brought back the Girl from Ipanema to the United States.

It was through the collaboration of Creative Concepts and R-Page's CEO Mr. Ruben Panopio, Jr. (who brought Sitti to perform at the U.S.-Philippine Expo) that led to Sitti's upcoming and very anticipated 'A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC'at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on August 23 at 7:30 pm. She will be joined by Original Pilipino Music (OPM) legendary singer Ms. Joey Albert who made famous the songs including "Yakapin Mo Ako, I Remember The Boy, and Tell Me (certified Gold).

This will truly be a wonderful evening of beautiful music especially with Mr. David Pomeranz himself also joining the stage. I can still feel his song "Got To Believe in Magic" as well as the love ballad "King and Queen of Hearts" which has been a favorite thru the years.

To open the show is dynamic new artist Lara Avengoza, whose debut CD "Listen" was recently launched in a solo concert before a jampacked crowd at the Celebrity Center in Hollywood, California. Her stunning performance earned rave reviews from the local media. And as one writer put it, she has "convinced the music community's talent watchers that she has what it takes to be a major performer, if not a star."

Sitti's first ever U.S. Concert will be a beautiful mix of her samba and bossa nova, Joey Albert's timeless originals, and David Pomeranz love ballads: a must see summer concert that is not to be missed. For the first time, this summer of 2008, Sitti Navarro, the Philippines’ Bossa Nova Queen, brings her refreshing brand of music closer to her U.S.-based fans and bossa music lovers in an exclusive concert tour of key U.S. cities with “A Little Night Music.” In this one magical summer evening, A Little Night Music will bring to you a unique combination of love songs and musical artistry only Sitti Navarro, Joey Albert and David Pomeranz together could deliver.

Show schedules are:

August 15 at Max's Puente Hills Mall
August 23 at Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles**
August 29 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula**
August 31 at Cashman Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada
September 5 at Rebel Bar in New York

(**with Joey Albert & David Pomeranz)

A Little Night Music is produced by Creative Concepts International and RPJ Productions in association with R-Page, Inc. and the US-Phil Expo 2008. Sponsors are, Onesimus Barong and Suits, Law Offices of Atty. Abraham L. Lim, Cherry’s Salon, Gawad Kalinga, Manila Science High School Batch ’79, LA Builders Lion Club.

Concept and direction is by Jet Montelibano. Music direction by Tateng Katindig.

Media sponsors are Weekend Balita, Asian-American People’s Journal,,, and

For tickets and inquiries, call Creative Concepts at (888) 886-7889 or (323) 788-8911, RPJ Productions at (310) 483-6199 or (310) 320-3014, For additional information, visit or send an email to

Tickets are also available at the Wilshire Ebell Box Office (323) 939-1128, Katz Entertainment at (562) 219-7235 or (562) 787-9030, Marissa (818) 219-2009, Rhea (714) 774-9562 or (714) 319-4870, Zeny Laluna (702) 385-7971, Odina Maningas (702) 873-6828, Lucy or Christine (702) 586-0710, Mildred (702) 372-8552.

For more information, visit