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Mesmerized by Mafalda Minnozzi's Voice

Letizia Airos Soria (February 05, 2019)
Let yourself get pulled in by the dancing words of a truly special performer, through Italy, Brazil… America.

In lingua italiana >>

She owns the stage. With all the sweetness and strength that only a woman, who understands the meaning of fragility, can grasp. 

She hypnotizes your entire body, inviting it not only to listen to her, but also to dance, follow the rhythm, even sing along. I don’t have a great voice and have the reserve to withhold it when she invites the audience to follow along. I regret this later, however. I didn’t let myself go, I told her “no”. I’m sorry. I may have missed out on something, a part of her.

Crowned by her red hair, two experienced eyes observe the audience without losing focus. Mafalda Minnozzi appears to traverse you when she sings, giving herself to the public each time, no matter where she is singing her songs: a theatre, home, studio, park…

I heard her sing recently at my friend Patrizia di Carrobio’s home. Thanks to her I enjoyed yet another unforgettable evening of 1960s musical hits: precious gems recast by her voice.

As she sings, Mafalda Minnozzi gives herself but also receives from those who listen. You find yourself engaging in a cycle of mutual generosity. Few artists can accomplish such a feat, which comes from her profound humility. 

Mafalda’s story is important, difficult, unconventional, and brave. It’s the story of a true interpreter. Her voice is her instrument. She conveys emotions. Each text is given a new life as it passes through her vocal chords. Sometimes it is reborn. She conveys passion and pulls you into a complete sensorial experience. 

She has not lost her Italianness, but Brazil has gotten into her veins, influencing not only her musical repertoire, but also the way in which her words move through the air, treading their own path alongside the music.

This is how I see her. This is how I see Mafalda Minnozzi, a singer who, in my opinion, should become much more popular in Italy, where nowadays musical interpreters are given little importance. This certainly wasn’t the case in the time of famous  Italian singer Mina. And one can’t help but wonder whether even the “Tiger of Cremona” (as public also labeled her)  herself would have a hard time emerging in the current system.

Mafalda Minnozzi also boasts a strong personality. And this too could be a problem in the current Italian musical landscape, which likes to groom its artists.  

Her roots are between Pavia, where she was born, and San Severino Marche, where she grew up. She then spent her long career between Italy and Brazil and it’s in this Latin American nation that she found true fame.

She conquered Brazil but the Country also conquered her.

In Brazil music easily becomes dance. Mafalda does the same with her voice. And sometimes she reworks Italian pieces this way. She plays with different genres, interpreting Italian hits from the ‘60s (by Tenco, Paoli), ‘30s and ‘40s Jazz (Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday), and of course Brazilian songs (by Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso…).

Over the past twenty years, she has been performing with Italian-American guitarist Paul Ricci. With him she recorded eMPathia Jazz Duo, a gem that brings together Samba and Jazz, her two musical pillars.

What else can I say? Go and listen to her. She’s in New York these days. You won’t want to miss it.

You can find all the info on her website: https://mafaldaminnozzi.com.br/home-page/

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