1959, Berlin, Germany. When Lettau was aged 14 her family relocated to the USA, settling in San Diego, California, where her father was professor of German Literature at the University of California. Within a few years she was singing and working around her new home town, chiefly with guitarist Peter Sprague and drummer (and later husband) Mike Shapiro. Lettaus repertoire included some jazz and R&B but her forte was for Brazilian music. Her ability in this form was such that caught the attention of Sergio Mendes and thus began an eight-year stint touring and recording with his band.
Lettau began releasing her own-name albums at the start of the 90s, recording for the JVC and Universal/Video Arts labels. She developed an especially strong following in the Philippines. In 2005, Lettau released Bye Bye Blackbird, an elegantly performed set of standards on which she was backed by her constant companion Shapiro, a string section, and...