Maria Rosa Canelas (July 30, 1941 - June 10, 2004), better known as Rosinha de Valença, was a Brazilian composer, arranger and musician. She was considered one of the best acoustic guitarists in Brazilian music and played with many famous artists, such as Baden Powell, Sérgio Mendes and Sivuca.
Maria Rosa Canelas was born in 1941, in Valença, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her artistic name was created by Sérgio Porto, a journalist from Rio de Janeiro, who used to say Canelas plays for her whole city. So, he called her Rosinha de Valença.
When she was a child, she became interested in playing acoustic guitar as she saw her brother playing it. She learned on her own, listening to music on the radio. At 12 years old, she played along with many artists of her town, in bars and on the Radio Valença. In 1960, she stopped studying to devote herself to a musical career.However, the first years were difficult for the musician. As she was a woman, her family did not like the idea of her playing guitar. In fact, when she started her career, only a few people paid attention to her.
In 1963, Valença moved to Rio de Janeiro. There, she met Sérgio Porto, who created her artistic name and present her to Baden Powell and Aloísio Oliveira, a producer with Gravadora Elenco. Powell started playing with her – in the new way of playing guitar in Brazilian music.Oliveira liked her work and invited her to record an album. It was named Apresentando Rosinha de Valença and was released in that same year.After it, she was invited to play for eight months in Bottle nightclub and to perform in TV shows and on the radio. One year later, she performed in the big show O Fino da Bossa, at Paramount Theater, São Paulo.She also played with Nara Leão and Quarteto em Cy.
In that same year, 1964, she travelled to the United States to play with Sérgio Mendes and Brasil 65.During this 8-month tour, Valença recorded two albums with Mendes and his band.In 1965, she travelled to Europe as soloist with a Brazilian group. This band visited and performed in 24 countries in Europe and Japan. In 1968, Valença travelled again for a long tour which ended in 1971, when she came back to Brazil. During these years, Maria Rosa Canelas visited USSR, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal and some African countries. She also played, in that period, with Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan and Henry Mancini.
Back in Brazil, she played with Martinho da Vila, contributing to four of his albums. In 1974, after another tour abroad, Valença organized her own band, which was composed of famous artists, such as João Donato, Copinha, Ivone Lara and Miúcha.In 1977, she performed with Sivuca, recording a live album with him, name Sivuca e Rosinha de Valença ao vivo. Another notable album was with Waltel Blanco, Violões em dois estilos, released in 1980. Rosinha de Valença ended her musical career prematurely due to health problems: she had had brain damage due to a heart attack.She died in 2004, in her hometown, after 12 years in a vegetative state, of respiratory failure.