Sambuca is Roberto Stimoli (7-string guitar) and Irene Amata (vocals). The duet plays
Brazilian music, and is very active on the Parisian jazz/world music scene.One voice and
one seven-string guitar to reinvent the rhythms of the samba: it is the ambitious goal that
Roberto and Irene share, united in their passion for this music from a faraway land, that is
nonetheless a part of them. In their repertoire, you will find several bossa novas that have
been performed by the greatest artists: thus Sambuca chooses to reinterpret them with a
fresh, yet authentic sound. The Portuguese language is truly a part of these melodies, and
it is Sambuca’s deliberate choice to use the original lyrics, so as to highlight their
importance in the rhythm and feel of the music.
It isn’t necessary to understand the meaning of the words: it is the sweet yet powerful
sound that catches the ear, captures the attention and opens the senses. One voice and
one guitar: yet there is nothing missing. The seven-string guitar carries the bass-line, and
the voice is full of rhythm. Both musicians improvise in a playful mood of mutual
appreciation. One voice and one guitar fill the space, capturing the audience’s attention.
Creating a new way of listening to Brazilian music is Sambuca’s challenge and passion.
Sambuca’s first album was recorded in Italy in 2019, its title is « Luz » (Portuguese for
‘light’); it will be released in mai 2020 (with a launching concert on May 13th. in Paris).
With Luz, Sambuca offers a reinterpretation of 10 songs (8 Brazilian pieces, 1 Italian song
and 1 French song). The arrangements are very personal, new and intriguing. Roberto and
Irene utterly transform bossa nova classics with their unique vision and interpretation, yet
never betray the original harmonies. And when the duet revisits sambas, the dialogue
between voice and guitar enhances their beauty —the voice’s timbre and the audacity of
the guitar creating an ideal combination.
The material in Luz is a mix of world-famous songs (e.g. Garota de Ipanema, Chega de
Saudade de A.C.Jobim/V.Moraes) and tunes by others Brazilian composers that audiences
are less familiar with (e.g. Luz negra by N. Cavaquinho, Vera Cruz by M. Nascimento). A
wide-ranging repertoire, that shows Roberto and Irene’s passion for the rich and vast
Brazilian musical heritage. A repertoire the duet usually performs on stage and have now
chosen to record.
Improvisation is an essential part of this dialogue between voice and guitar, and reflects
Sambuca’s distinctive blend of jazz and Brazilian Popular Music (MPB).
Two songs on Luz are little tributes. La Javanaise is a tribute to France—Roberto and
Irene’s adopted country, where they are building their musical career— and Estate pays
hommage to Italy, their homeland.