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Her first recording, as a member of a vocal group, was in 1964 on the LP Conjunto Sambacana. Her first solo album, titled Joyce (Philips), was released in 1968. The album wasn't successful because it already had Joyce's pioneering trademark: a female subject singing in the first person, which was a difficult thing to swallow back then. She recorded two albums for that label (the next being Encontro Marcado in 1969), with extremely competent arrangers Dori Caymmi, Gaya, and Luiz Eça, but the consolidation of her musical style would only come later. In 1970, she joined the group A Tribo, which had important musicians like Nelson Ângelo, Toninho Horta, Novelli, and Naná Vasconcelos (later replaced by drummer Nenê). Backed by them, she recorded a four-track record for EMI, with "Caqui," "Adeus Maria Fulô," "Nada Será Como Antes," and "The Man from the Avenue" (1971). After signing with Odeon in 1972, she teamed up with Nelson Ângelo to record Nelson Ângelo & Joyce .
After taking a break from performing, she returned in 1975 after an invitation from Vinícius de Moraes to accompany him on an international tour both as a singer and as a guitar player. On one of the tour stops, Rome, Joyce met the Italian producer Sergio Bardotti, who produced an album with her for the Italian label Fonit-Cetra, Urban Bird (released in Brazil by Continental as Passarinho Urbano two years later). In 1977 she moved to New York, where she committed herself to record an album produced by Claus Ogerman featuring Michael Brecker and other brilliant musicians, but it was never released. However, that short stint with American jazz musicians confirmed her own style. In 1980, her song "Clareana" (with Mauricio Maestro), a lullaby dedicated to her daughters Clara and Ana, was successful at that year's MPB festival, becoming a national hit, a fact that put her career in perspective. Her songs became successfully recorded by such stars as Milton Nascimento, Elis Regina, Maria Bethânia, and many others.
Signing a new contract with EMI, Joyce recorded Feminina (1980), her first self-created solo work. The next LP, Água e Luz, featured virtuoso accordionist Sivuca. Her own independent production of Tardes Cariocas (1984) was fruitful, as the album was awarded Best Independent Album of the Year. Saudade do Futuro (Pointer, 1985) earned her an invitation from the Yamaha festival in Japan. This was followed by an album with limited distribution on the Funarte label in conjuction with Continental, which was devoted to the important sambista Wilson Batista (Wilson Batista, Samba Foi Sua Glória, 1986).
With her international career at full speed, Joyce recorded albums in Brazil, the U.S. (Verve), Japan, and Germany. During the '90s, in the heat of the dance-oriented "new bossa" or "drum'n'bossa" movement, her music had additional impetus in Europe, more specifically in England. In 1997 she released a book chronicling the behind-the-scenes world of MPB, Fotografei Você na Minha Rolleyflex (MultiMais Editorial). Moreno finished out the decade with two acclaimed albums, 1998's Astronauta: Cancões de Elis on Blue Jackel and 1999's Hard Bossa, her first recording for the U.K's Far Out label. Her relationship with Far Out fostered a true renaissance for the singer. The 21st century saw Joyce immersed in a whirlwind of activity. In 2000 she issued Tudo Bonito on Sony, followed a year later by Gafieira Moderna on Far Out in the U.K. and Biscoito Fino in Brazil. Joyce and husband Tutty Moreno -- her producer and drummer -- toured behind both recordings, which prevented her from recording again until late 2002. The splendid Bossa Duets album was issued by Sony in 2003. In 2004 Joyce issued a global hit record that has become a classic entry in her catalog: Just a Little Bit Crazy, backed by Banda Maluca (led by pianist Bugge Wesseltoft). It was released by Far Out everywhere but Brazil, where it was issued by Biscoito Fino. The album was so widely celebrated that it was followed by a live DVD documenting its supporting tour.
Moreno didn't rest on her laurels, however: she recorded an album with Dori Caymmi entitled Rio Bahia for Far Out in 2005. She and Tutty shared billing on the excellent Samba-Jazz & Outras Bossas in 2007, again for Far Out. She issued a live CD/DVD combo package, Ao Vivo, in 2008. In 2009 Far Out released Visions of Dawn, a gorgeous lost album recorded with Naná Vasconcelos (percussion) and Mauricio Maestro (bass, electric bass, producer) in Paris in 1976. The year 2009 also saw Celebrating Jobim with the WDR Big Band released exclusively in Japan, and the Brazil-only Slow Music on Biscoito Fino. Moreno toured almost incessantly during 2010 before returning to the studio. These sessions -- also for Far Out -- became the completely solo Rio de Janeiro, which saw release at the end of 2011. It was followed by Tudo, a collection of bossas, sambas, and jazzy ballads with her trio -- husband Tutty Moreno on percussion and pianist Hélio Alves. To celebrate her 50th anniversary as a recording artist, she released Raiz (translated Roots) in January of 2015, a collection of iconic bossa standards with her trio and bassist Rodolfo Stroeter. ~ Alvaro Neder & Thom Jurek