FROM JAZZ TO JAZZ
– Bio Mafalda Minnozzi –
Mafalda Minnozzi comes to the “eMPathia Jazz Duo” bringing with her a spectacular and rich solo career that in over 30 years has blossomed and evolved through an artistic adventure, both stylistic and geographic, finally leading her back to the sound that most moved her as a child in Italy via the powerful and expressive voices of Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald and Caterina Valente.
Her travels began at vocal festival competitions much like they did for any aspiring vocal talent in Italy in the 1980`s where her promising voice won many contests. Her dedication and curiosity later called her to Rome where she studied Neapolitan song with maestro Gustavo Palumbo, modern dance with Marco Ierva at the IALS school and drama with noted director, author and actor Roberto Marafante at the Saverio Marconi school.
Her talent and preparation made her feel at home onstage as she launched a career in Rome at that city’s most prestigious and world renowned club privee “La Cabala” while singing on the TV show “Una Mattina” on Italy`s most important TV Network, RAI 1.
In 1996 as she was branching out with an active concert schedule throughout Italy and Europe, her ever exploring musical spirit and impressive power to captivate audiences with her charismatic stage presence conspired in the form of a fateful invitation to perform in Brazil at an exclusive club dedicated to Italian song and so she transplanted her unique interpretations from Rome`s “La Cabala” to club “Paradiso” in Rio De Janeiro.
The musical partnership and love she encountered in Brazil and its culture led to a 20 year career that is still going strong today.
Mafalda`s numerous collaborations that ensued in Brazil grew out of respect for her and out of love for the great Italian composers by Brazilian artists such as Milton Nascimento, Leny Andrade, Paulo Moura, Leila Pinheiro, Filo Machado and Guinga among so many others. An example of one of Mafalda`s many adventurous projects in Brazil was the uniting of Italian legend Lucio Dalla with Rio`s Samba patriarch Martinho Da Vila in a portuguese version of a Dalla song performed in duet by Mafalda and Martinho on his CD and DVD “Brasilatinidade”.
In all, she`s recorded 10 solo albums and 2 solo DVD`s, performed on numerous major TV shows and travelled to countless cities big and small on stages in theaters, clubs and communities throughout Brazil, earning herself the official title of “Ambassador of Italian Music” bestowed upon her by the Italian consulate in Sao Paulo in 1998.
To this day Mafalda continues this tradition in her regular appearances on the Italian radio program “Brasil” on RAI 1 where not only is her music part of the playlist but her role of reporter and correspondent has become a tradition for 13 years.
Her musical travels brought her voice to several major Brazilian films and TV series both as singer and composer and thanks in part to Mafalda, the ever increasing awareness of Italian culture beyond the nostalgic pop hits of the 60`s inspired her to present a new crop of Italian composers to Brazil while also producing shows that went deep into the folkloric and Neapolitan roots of Italian culture. With each project and collaboration, Mafalda`s voice matured and became ever more free of a style most associated with classic Italian song. Brasil gave her new roots and the long lasting collaboration with Paul Ricci, her arranger and guitarist from New York gradually took Mafalda back to where she began, to a time when the interpreter “played” the voice with both rhythmic and harmonic invention. Mafalda found a voice that substituted the limitations of a foreign idiom for the universal sound of colors and emotions so present in Jazz. Over time the association with Ricci brought the Jazz idiom in full force to her already daring vocal explorations that naturally “came home” after all those years to the language where she began with the voices of Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald and Caterina Valente.
In 2015 Mafalda set her sights back to her homeland and successfully completed a multi-city tour of Italy as half of the “eMPathia Jazz Duo” that with guitarist Ricci performed at Jazz festivals and clubs in Italy leading to a nomination for the prestigious “Targa Tenco” award in the best vocal category and several interviews both in Jazz publications and on radio and TV news programs on RAI.
As her fame grew in Brazil and as the duo matured in Italy, it was a natural consequence of her work to perform in New York by special invitation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York University`s “Casa Zerillo-Marimo” and Columbia University`s WKCR radio station in tandem with appearances at the noted jazz clubs Zinc Bar and Birdland where her repertoire evolved to embrace American composers such as Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart. Her New York experiences have led to a new CD with the Grammy award winning Jeff Jones “The Jedi Master” who produced the duo`s latest CD “Inside” at his studio skillfully capturing this artistic evolution on a special afternoon in Harlem.
In this new project of interpreting classics from the last century there is something unique and modern that has happened as a result of Mafalda`s artistic travels and life in song. Her ability to sing alongside giants of Brazilian culture in perfect stride yet with her own sound has set her apart in a field where Italian melody, American swing, Brazilian bossa and French song all blend together to represent a modern day classic voice.