Joyce Silveira Palhano de Jesus was born in Rio on 31st January 1948.
At the age of fourteen, she began playing guitar by observing her guitarist brother who was thirteen years her senior. During that period, her home was often visited by well-known musicians, friends of her brothers, giving an adolescent Joyce an introduction to the latest trends of bossa nova and its new harmonies. Her brother would also introduce her to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. At the age of sixteen, Joyce made her first studio recording at the invitation of Roberto Menescal. She began composing, although for fun - a professional career was merely a distant dream.
Joyce's song "Me Disseram" (a finalist in a Rio Festival) provoked controversy for its first-person feminine voice-never before attempted by any of the very few female songwriters in Brazil. Some journalists, criticised the 19-year old composer as "vulgar and immoral," while others, defended her "feminist posture"-something of which she had no notion at that time, wanting only to express herself in her own gender, as she had seen done by artists such as Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf.
Publicly declared ‘one of the greatest singers’ by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joyce began her career as a teenager in the late 60s, recording her first album in 1968, ‘Joyce’. The album included five of her own compositions and six new songs by songwriter friends, all beginners like her including Marcos Valle and Caetano Veloso. Of the many female artists recording at the time, Joyce was one of very few to compose all her own material. Because of this she was one of the few voices to speak from a feminist perspective, which she expressed most famously on her song ‘Feminina.' A sensitive songwriter she also addressed the Brazilian male psyche on ‘Nacional Kid’
In 1969 she recorded her second LP, ‘Encontro Marcado,' and made her first trip abroad as a professional musician, performing with Edu Lobo in Lisbon, Portugal.
In 1970 - 75 Joyce graduated with a degree in journalism, and although she chose music instead of journalism, her journalistic intuitiveness characterises her songwriting. Some of Joyce’s more overtly political tracks were banned by the military dictatorship during the harsh political climate of the 60’s and 70’s. Following her graduation she joined the group Sagrada Família and had a two-month engagement in Mexico City. After the tour, Joyce married the composer Nelson Angelo, also a member of the group.
Between 1970 and 1971 she, Nelson Angelo, Novelli, Toninho Horta, and Naná Vasconcelos joined together to form a vocal group ‘A Tribo’. In 1973, Joyce and Nelson recorded the LP ‘Nelson Angelo e Joyce,' other than this recording, Joyce dedicated herself exclusively to her daughters Clara and Ana, born in 1971 and 1972.
By 1975 she had separated from Nelson and had resumed her career by touring with Vinicius de Moraes throughout Latin America and Europe. This led to an extended stay in Europe; Joyce then returned to Brazil in 1978. Whilst Joyce was in New York she met drummer Tutty Moreno, their daughter Mariana was born in Rio in 1979.
During the 80s the singer released seven discs including the cult classic’s ‘Feminina’ and ‘Água e Luz’ LPs and received the Chiquinha Gonzaga prize for her album ‘Tardes Cariocas’, which was an independent production. By the late 80s her international career was gaining new force with her recordings ‘Feminina’, ‘Água e Luz’ and ‘Tardes Cariocas.’ However, in Brazil it was relatively short-lived as bossa nova’s popularity waned after the mid 80s.
In the 90s, her music gathered new breath in leftfield European clubs, where the likes of Gilles Peterson and Joe Davis helped instigate a new coming of Brazilian music resulting in her albums from the 70s and 80s being reissued. Originally produced in 1983 ‘Tardes Cariocas’ was one of these albums, reissued in 1996 by Far Out Recordings. This begun Joyce’s relationship with the London based Brazilian label which has resulted in Joyce bringing out ten further albums, one of these being the 2007 ‘Samba Jazz & Outras Bossa’ which was recorded along side her husband Tutty Moreno.
In 2013, she went back on tour to release her much anticipated new album “Tudo”, the first one in ten years with her original compositions and in 2015 Joyce released "Raiz", an album celebrating fifty years since she first stepped into a recording studio.
With her 2016 album 'Cool' she takes on the North American jazz standard canon for the very first time in her career. Comprising classics by Bernstein, Cole Porter and Thelonious Monk, performed with her definitive 'Joycean' style.