“I see a promising shining future for this young talented singer,” said Quincy Jones, on the eve of the career of Rotterdam-based Maria Mendes. And he was right. Mendes’ debut Along The Road from 2012 was received to wide acclaim. The singer with Portuguese roots commands respect with her crystal clear singing and flexible vocal chords. Sometimes she almost whispers, at other times she is more prominent in her singing, but always controlled and very precise, both in Portuguese and in English. Along The Road paved the way for tours of the United States, Brazil, Portugal and Switzerland. In 2015 it was followed by Innocentia, a wonderful album filled to the brim with links between jazz and Brazil, beautiful arrangements and perfect vocals, on which she collaborated with Israeli clarinetist Anat Cohen. Following shows at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York and the Montreux Jazz Festival, Maria Mendes will impress us with her singing for the first time at North Sea Jazz.