Simon Papa is an italo-brazilian female singer. She began her career in 1984 with the guitarist Pino Russo in the showcase “Saudade do Brasil” which was performed in various Italian jazz clubs. From that point she intensified her professional career. This included extending her touring on into Northern Europe and performing various musical genres from Brazilian to jazz, to pop and dance. Between 1990 and 1993 she took part in numerous recording projects in the area of dance music. In 1993 she started to collaborate with Roberto Taufic, a brazilian guitarist considered one of the most interesting brazilian musicians residing in Europe. Together they started to perform in Italy and Brazil and then to write songs, releasing a number of albums between 1997 up to now.
Through time this projects has involved the collaboration with different musicians, both Brazilian and Italian, all sharing different artistic backgrounds, but the same passion for Brazilian music, its thousands of colours, its great rhythmic variety and its incredible melodic-harmonic and poetic richness. Among these musicians you can find Roberto Red Rossi, Ney Portilho and Gilson Silveira. The album “Todas as vozes”, released in 2007, is the latest expression of their collaboration and in this new project two excellent Brazilian musicians as Eduardo Taufic, Roberto’s brother, and Alexandre “Sando” Johnson, join the band. Since 1999 Simon has also dedicated herself to learning to play percussion in the popular traditional Brazilian way. From 1984 through to 1986, Simon worked as an African-jazz dancer participating in various showcases throughout Italy.
Review by Mauro Montalbani (Musibrasil)
"Simon Papa’s new record is also issued from Roberto Taufic’s productive forge. The cover image, elegant and yet essential, is exactly like the music offered, which opens with the refined bossa “Tatuagem”, composed with Gianni di Benedetto. The sound of the record is immediately characterized – as well as by the excellent arrangements – particularly by the wind instruments, by the accurate and precise sound of Maurizio Piancastrelli’s trumpet, by Roberto Taufic’s guitar – the electric guitar is particularly noteworthy – and by Roberto “Red” Rossi’s always impeccable percussions. As for Simon Papa, she signs the pieces on the record, both the original and the cover versions, with a warm and well-tuned, extremely communicative, voice. Some of the original pieces are particularly noteworthy, such as “Cliché”, composed with Federico Foce, and a perfectly successful attempt in the romantic and ironic bossa nova tradition, like a comedy by Neil Simon.
The following “Todas as vozes”, composed together with Roberto Taufic and Roberto Rossi, is a lyric and intense ballad, to which the violin played by Enrico Luxardo and Massimo Barrera’s cello add dramatic depth. The precision and the taste in the arrangements make one think, repeatedly, of Rosa Passos’s records, like in the paradigmatic “Na onda”, a sublime bossa written by Roberto Taufic and characterized by Giancarlo Maurino’s – rightly impertinent – saxophone. The state of grace is repeated, two tracks later, with “Batepapo”, a family duet with Roberto Taufic, on the same latitudes as Djavan’s samba quebrado, and a piece that seems gifted with a particular kind of truthfulness. The standard is also high with the subsequent “Wishing” where – for once in English – Simon offers a sophisticated croonig in bossa nova and sings the praises, in a manner that is in no way cloying, of her fortunate – not only artistic – companionship with mister Taufic Hasbun. “Regaço” on the other hand, composed with Rubinho Jacob, calls to mind Joyce’s legacy from the “Feminina” period and is the perfect closure to a record: elegant and essential like a Zen Haiku"