Artist Profile: Louis Simão

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Louis Simão

Toronto-based musician, Louis Simão has been composing, performing and recording as a multi-instrumentalist in a variety of genres for twenty years. 2016 marked the release of his much-anticipated solo album, A Luz (The Light) – a collection of Simão’s own compositions and arrangements. Joined by the best cross-genre musicians Toronto has to offer, Simão takes the listener on a journey through the sounds of the Portuguese-speaking world as experienced through the life of this first-generation Canadian son of Portuguese immigrants.

Louis Simão’s cultural background combined with his jazz sensibility and chamber music compositional style come together to create a voice that is at once universal while remaining deeply personal

A Luz was co-produced by Luis (Luisito) Orbegoso and recorded by John Bailey at The Drive Shed, Simão’s tunes easily shift from samba to folkloric to funk to lush string and woodwind arrangements. Accompanying Simão on stage for this new solo project will be Luis (Luisito) Orbegoso, David French, Rich Brown, Bill McBirnie & Marito Marques.

As a sideman, Louis Simão has performed and/or recorded with Nelly Furtado, Dominic Mancuso (2010 JUNO winner), Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Jazz Project (2009 JUNO nominee), Kiran Ahluwalia, Luis Mario Ochoa, Justin Rutledge, Guinga, Henrique Cazes, Patricia Cano, Daniela Nardi’s Espresso Manifesto, Sophie Milman, Bill McBirnie, “MARIA SEVERA” at The Shaw Festival, Tapestry New Opera Works, Eliana Cuevas, Aline Morales and Luanda Jones. Described as “utterly unique” (CBC Radio One), he was the winner of the 2007 USA Songwriting Competition in the World Music category with his song, “Fado Torto”. Simão has opened for Cesaria Evora and Celso Machado, shared a night with Brazilian reggae stars Chico Cesar and Rita Ribeiro, toured Portugal (2006); and in 2008, was the invited artist of the Portuguese Consulate and the Instituto Camões at the Festival de Printemps in Azzemour, Morocco. Most recently, he has been nominated in 3 separate categories for the 2017 International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA). Simão’s diverse skills also have him in demand as a music educator and clinician as well as a panel juror for the Canada Council for the Arts and FACTOR.

“It is not often that you come across a recording that is so ineffably brilliant that attempts to describe it, you feel, might only diminish its beauty. The fact that it is a debut recording is even more astounding. But A Luz from Louis Simão is one such recording.” — Raul da Gama

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