Nossa Senhora Suite

AUDIO: “Oração da Viajante (The Traveler’s Prayer)” by Deanna Witkowski.

Thank you for checking out my new (2018-19) project, the Nossa Senhora Suite. The seeds of the idea to research, compose, and ultimately record and tour this new suite began in 2006, when I visited Brazil for the first time. I subsequently visited and performed in Brazil in 2007 and 2010- and I also learned Brazilian Portuguese!

One of the places I visited on my first trip was the city of Salvador in the state of Bahia. Bahia is the most African part of the country, and has its own distinct musics and religious practices (candomblé). It is also where I recently lived during an eight week fellowship at the Sacatar Institute in Itaparica, Bahia from April-June 2018 to begin research related to the Nossa Senhora Suite.

The Nossa Senhora Aparecida image at the National Basilica of NS Aparecida.

Each movement of NSS explores a different Brazilian version of the Virgin Mary, including Nossa Senhora Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil. I’m composing the piece for my jazz quartet plus four vocalists, and plan on recording the work in the fall of 2019.

The choral piece above, “Oração da Viajante,” will be adapted as the final movement of the suite. I wrote the piece- both the original Portuguese text and the music- during my residency in Bahia. You can read the English translation of the text HERE, or view the score HERE.

NSS is a New York Foundation for the Arts fiscally sponsored project. This means that any contribution you make towards the project budget is tax-deductible. Any amount is welcome here at my NYFA page. For specific perks, see the buttons below.

Click any of the links for more information on the project.

WHERE is the title from? WHAT does “Nossa Senhora” mean?

WHAT is the Nossa Senhora Suite?

WHY are you doing this project now?

WHY do you need to go to Brazil?

WHAT kind of support are you receiving from NYFA and the Sacatar Institute?

WHAT support do you still need? How can I contribute?


$12: Digital download of the Nossa Senhora Suite

$25: Signed Nossa Senhora Suite CD

$50: Two signed CDs (one NSS CD; one earlier CD)

$75: Three signed CDs

$100: One copy of Deanna’s out-of-print debut CD, Having to Ask

$250: Listing in the CD liner notes

$500: Deanna writes a new song specifically for you!

$1000: House concert