Anne Simoni is the winner...
Philadelphia, December 27, 2009.
Anne Simoni is the winner of 14th USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION!
Anne Simoni won the FIRST PRIZE - WORLD CATEGORY and THIRD PRIZE - OVERALL of the 14th USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION. Her winning song "Pagagaio" will be on the USA Songwriting Competition's compilation CD next year. The USA Songwriting Competition is the world's leading international songwriting event honoring songwriters, composers, bands, recording artists everywhere. Winners are selected by a Blue Ribbon committee of music industry judges including record label publishers, producers from SONY Music, Warner/Reprise Records, etc. For more information, go to http://www.songwriting.net/winners/
Anne Simoni's CD Minas Terra
Philadelphia - Brazilian singer and songwriter Anne Simoni's exquisite debut CDdisplays a mastery of complex Brazilian rhythms including samba, bossa nova and baiao, reflecting the influence of musical greats Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, and Gilberto Gil whose rhythms permeated her youth. Evoking a serene sense of place, Simoni's songs are both biographical and inspirational, tracking the twists and turns of her life defined by love, loss, hope and renewal.
Many songs reflect the artist's longing for her ancestral homeland, including the bewitching melody, "Minas Terra," the album's title song. Recalling her province, Minas Gerais (Land of the precious stone and gold mines), the song is a moving and tender anthem to the home she left behind, a sentiment echoed in the bossa nova "Back to Brazil" (sung in English), in which she muses upon her return. The gentle samba "Áquas de Cambuquira," conjures the natural fountains of mineral water found in the city of Cambuquira, the artist's birthplace.
Powerful and haunting romantic ballads like "Este Sentimento" (This feeling) and "Longe de Mim" (Far from me) sung in Simoni's signature seductive, sultry tone, express a yearning for emotional connection. These are counterpoised by infectious, upbeat danceable rhythms like the baiao tune "Papagaio," about a Brazilian parrot locked in a cage, destined to learn English rather than its native Portuguese, and "Unidos da Lavra," a samba evocative of the authentic carnival parade.
Featuring Sergio Mendes musicians Carlos Yutaka on keyboards, Kleber Jorge on guitar and Mike Shapiro on drums, and arrangements by Brazilian guitarist Edgar de Almeida, Philadelphians Dan Kleiman and Joe Mass, Minas Terra , offers a rich blend of tropical rhythms infused by lyrics that deftly traverse emotional terrains of exuberance and desire.
Anne Simoni's Bio
Brazilian singer and songwriter Anne Simoni displays a mastery of complex Brazilian rhythms in her music and a facility for romantic ballads that evoke a serene sense of place. Her performances are a seductive blend of samba, bossa nova, baião and originals, making tropical beats accessible to a broader audience.
Born in Cambuquira, a small town in the mountainous state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, she grew up in a country environment, the daughter of a coffee farmer and a housewife. Her musical talents began to develop at the age of 8 when she started taking piano lessons. At age 12, she was the first woman snare soloist in her elementary school marching band. Always an avid listener of Brazilian music, the albums of Caetano Veloso, Tom Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil and Maria Bethania, among others, were spinning incessantly in her record player.
Against her father's will, but with her mother's support, Anne's 15th birthday gift was the classical guitar she had long dreamed about. As soon as she learned a couple of major chords, she started writing her first songs. She taught herself how to play the guitar and later took private lessons in Belo Horizonte, the state capital, where she had moved for her high-school years. Her studies in the capital were interrupted by the sudden death of her father, at age 16, which prompted her to move back home. Still, she never gave up her music and started performing in festivals in the region, winning recognition and awards for her songs.
Searching to expand her network, after traveling to other parts of the country, in 1982 she moved to São Paulo where she performed in night clubs, bars and hotels, taking side jobs to help pay for her studies.
Anne had the opportunity to study at the acclaimed Zimbo Trio's school of music - CLAM, and to take voice lessons with vocal technician icon, Madalena de Paula.
In 1993, the need for a slower-paced life brought her back to Minas where she continued to perform and compose. She taught music privately, while pursuing a second career in Law, acquiring a degree in 1997.
Arriving in the United States in 1998, she spent her first two years in the country writing new songs about her experiences, simultaneously mastering the English language and perfecting her songwriting skills. Her goal of obtaining a Master's degree in international law was put aside when she started to perform regularly. Initially, with Amor Tropical Band and later with her own band, she has performed in the Philadelphia area since 2001, in large and intimate venues including The Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts, Penn Presents at Annenberg Theater, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Music Festivals at Penn's Landing and at Villanova University. In addition, Ms. Simoni has recently performed as a percussionist with the samba schools "Unidos da Philadelphia," and "Philasamba".
Her debut CD, titled Minas Terra, offers a mix of Brazilian rhythms and pop songs with broad appeal, sung in Portuguese and English. These songs are both biographical and inspirational, tracking the twists and turns of her life defined by loss, love, hope and renewal.