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Maysa Matarazzo

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  • Born: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Died: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Years Active: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Maysa was, together with Dolores Duran, the most popular singer/songwriter in the period immediately before bossa nova. A composer since her teens (at 12 she wrote the samba-canção "Adeus," a hit from her first album), Maysa kept throughout her career her appreciation for the sentimental style known as fossa. Nevertheless, Maysa pioneered in the international style of bossa nova in shows at the Olympia (Paris, France), Blue Angel (U.S.), and the Cassino Estoril (Portugal), having had success with three bossa classics, "Meditação" (Tom Jobim/Newton Mendonça), "Dindi" (Tom Jobim/Aloysio de Oliveira), and "Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você" (Tom Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes). Maysa's everlasting fame as a composer is credited mainly to her bolero-influenced sambas-canções "Ouça" and "Meu Mundo Caiu." She also had success with her "Felicidade Infeliz." As an interpreter, her hits were "Bom dia, Tristeza" (Adoniran Barbosa/Vinicius de Moraes), "Ne Me Quite Pas" (Jacques Brel), "Solidão" (Antônio Bruno), "Bloco da Solidão" (Jair Amorim/Evaldo Gouveia), and "Tristeza" (Haroldo Lobo/Niltinho). Having married the heir of the family of millionaire descendents of the Count Matarazzo at 18, two years later she was already pregnant with her only son, Jayme Monjardim, who would later become a TV director. Maysa Matarazzo impressed producer Roberto Corte-Real with her singing and he invited her to record. Maysa waited for her son to turn a year old and then recorded her first album. The company, RGE, was still then a jingle recording facility and became a phonographic label due to Corte-Real's insistence in launching Maysa. She preferred her album not to be the first one produced by the new company, and it was released as number 13. The 10" LP Convite Para Ouvir Maysa (late 1956) had eight tracks, among them the hits "Adeus," "Resposta," "Rindo de Mim," and "Marcada." The immediate success as a singer and songwriter brought a major situation to her marriage. Her husband, disapproving of her artistic career, decided to divorce her, which led her into a depression and sublimating her highly melancholic production in the fossa style. The fame brought by the first album opened to Maysa the doors of TV (in 1957, she got her own show at TV Record); she also had success in her shows at the Oásis and Cave nightclubs. The other three volumes of Convite Para Ouvir Maysa, released between 1958 and 1959, had the classics "Ouça" and "Meu Mundo Caiu." Having moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1960 by Ronaldo Bôscoli's invitation (with whom she kept an affair), Maysa approached the bossa nova group and started to record the bossa repertory. In Rio, Maysa appeared regularly on a TV show and released the LP O Barquinho, an important album that had the accompaniment of Luís Eça, Hélcio Milito, and Bebeto Castilho, who in 1962 would constitute the Tamba Trio (having Bebeto replace Otávio Bailly). After her European tour, Maysa settled in Spain where she met her second husband. Visiting Brazil from time to time, she participated in the Festival Internacional da Canção/FIC (International Song Festival), with "Dia da Vitória" (Luís Bonfá/M. H. Toledo). In 1969, Maysa returned to Brazil and opened the live-recorded show Canecão Apresenta Maysa, followed by a season in São Paulo. In the early '70s, she also started to work in the cinema and TV, having participated in soap operas and written music for them. In 1976, "Meu Mundo Caiu" was included on the soundtrack of the soap opera Estúpido Cupido, enjoying another wave of popularity, now among the younger generations. In January of the next year, she died instantly in a tragic car crash at the Rio-Niterói bridge.


"Maysa" redirects here. This article is about the Brazilian bossa nova artist. For the American jazz singer who is also often known by the one name "Maysa", see Maysa Leak.

Maysa Figueira Matarazzo (née Monjardim; June 6, 1936 – January 22, 1977), daughter of Alcibíades Guaraná Monjardim and his wife, Inah Figueira, was Brazilian singer, composer, and actress. She is also associated with Bossa nova music but is widely known as a torch song (fossa) interpreter.

^ Lira Neto (2007), p. 36, p. 332. "Maysa: Só numa multidão de amores", Editora Globo, São Paulo, ISBN 978-85-250-4303-0


Maysa showed talent at a young age and by twelve had written a samba song, which later became a hit from her first album. She married André Matarazzo Filho, a member of a wealthy and traditional São Paulo family, and descendant of Count Francesco Matarazzo in 1954 at the age of 18 and two years later had a son, Jayme, who later would become a television director. In the late 1950s she formed a successful bossa nova group.

Her tour to Buenos Aires was a great success, and extended to Chile and Uruguay, but Maysa had an affair with the show's producer, Ronaldo Bôscoli, a journalist and composer linked romantically to bossa nova's muse Nara Leão. This led to a break between Nara and Ronaldo, as well as a fracture in the bossa nova movement. Maysa became "persona non grata" both to the bossa-novistas and the protest singers and her career faltered. She reacted by marrying Spaniard music producer Miguel Anzana, with whom she moved to Spain and began a series of presentations not only in Spain, but also Portugal, Italy and France.

Her personal life, already tumultuous, became even more chaotic leading to her being called "the Janis Joplin of Bossa Nova". But she later made a come back with one of the first notable shows in Rio's "Canecão" venue, the equivalent of Carnegie Hall in NYC. Maysa also played the Olympia in Paris to a full house twice and enjoyed considerable success in Europe. Upon her return to Brazil, Maysa continued to blend her old unique "broken love affair" trademarks with the more current festival style and occasional bossa nova hits. In the 1970s Maysa tapped her actress side and acted on a few telenovelas in Brazil. She also composed the soundtrack for a Rede Globo telenova just as the TV network became the powerhouse of Brazilian soap operas. She appeared more in peace with herself in latter years but died in a car crash in 1977, on the Rio-Niterói bridge, which connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói over the Guanabara Bay.

In January 2009, 32 years after her death, a miniseries about her life was broadcast on Brazilian television and spanned two new books about one of Brazil's most charismatic divas. Maysa's style influenced the following generations of Brazilian female singers and composers, with great ascendancy in the works of Simone, Cazuza, Leila Pinheiro, Fafá de Belém and Ângela Rô Rô.

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