Basia was born in Poland six days before I was born in Berkeley.
Her full name is Barbara Trzetrzelewska.
She listened to many different music styles as she grew up, and came to love Brazilian music in the early 1980s, as I did. She wrote and performed many songs in the style of Brazilian jazz.
I was aware of her because she had some hit songs in the US. But I didn’t know who she was until a fellow volunteer in Portland (Ken) clued me in. I had thought that she was younger than me and probably Brazilian. She isn’t. She’s white and almost the exact same age as I am.
What the biographies don’t mention is her approach to life and music. I only know a bit of this from an interview and her lyrics. She’s an optimist. So am I. She prefers a celebratory declarative style in music. So do I. She is a bit cynical and suspicious of popular culture and the entertainment industry. So am I. She likes running her life according to her own preferences, hopes, and dreams. So do I.
In addition to the above, she also lost her mother in the 1990s, and so did I. The loss led her to change her focus temporarily, as mine led me to do.
But now she is back and I hope we will hear much more from her before she leaves us.