Franca Masu (born 1962 in Alghero, Sardinia) is the best known singer songwriter working in the Catalan Algherese dialect.
One of the most talented singers in the Mediterranean today, Franca Masu's thrilling voice first graced the jazz scene in the mid-'90's, during a concert appearance with American clarinet legend Tony Scott; Scott - who played extensively with Billie Holiday - immediately declared her "one of Italy's top vocal talents".
Self-taught, Franca went on to collaborate with the crème de la crème of jazz players and the ‘Orchestra Jazz’ in her native Sardinia. An enchanting improviser of all the shades of the vocal instrument, her profound love and understanding of Mediterranean musical traditions has enriched her jazz stylings, and she has chosen to sing in the Catalan dialect of her hometown, the Sardinian seaport of Alghero.
Franca Masu's first recording reveals an artist already fully formed and mature. Her CD, 'El Meu Viatge' - published by Saint Rock, produced and arranged by Mark Harris - is a brilliant fresco portraying the restless dreams, the passion, the melancholy and most secret longings of an artist who, from her beloved isle of Sardinia, shares with the world her coastal song of life, love, death... dedicated to the vast sea that pulls and pushes her along on her boundless, borderless "voyage".
In 2003 she publishes “Alguímia” with the collaboration of mandolin player Mauro Palmas and double bassist Salvatore Maltana. Franca Masu consolidates the use of the Catalan language as a language of artistic expression on this album and achieves a considerable success with not only audiences, but also with critics, participating in numerous festivals and international events. For this album, she also received the “Maria Carta” award in 2004, reassuring a career which, although still young, is on the verge of bursting on to the international scene.
“Aquamare” (2006) is her third and latest album with which she presents herself to the public, this time, as the author of nearly each song. Masu reveals immense versatility, bringing together an array of musical pieces which vary in style, genre, and even language. “Aquamare” is a unique interpretation, defined by a musical selection which gives in to the tempting sounds of various influences, compositions that explore new territories in sounds, preserving the pressing sense of tradition all the while.
Her passionate temperament naturally led her to the Argentine tango. In 2003 she met Fausto Beccalossi, one of the most dynamic accordion players on the Italian scene; encouraging her to join Oscar del Barba’s Trio Nuevo Tango as a performer, with whom she sang on various prestigious occasions. In 2008, they have recorded an album entirely dedicated to Argentine tango entitled “Hoy Como Ayer”, along with the grand violinist Carlo Cantini of the Arké String Quartet.
In 2011 she publishes “10 anys”, a special live compilation recorded on various stages of the entire world that celebrates her more than ten years of career. '10 Anys' obtained 5 stars in the prestigious German magazine Jazzthetik, and reached, on January 2012, the 11th place of the WMCE’s Top 20.
After this success, Franca Masu is working again at a new cd with her own compositions. With the title of "Almablava" and with the prestigious label "Harmonia Mundi / World Village", will be ready at the end of 2012.
The journey alongside Franca Masu’s voice is intimate and powerfully reveals the consciousness of the artist delivering a clear interpretation of her own identity as a Sardinian, Catalan and undoubtedly Italian woman; the pure vital energy of a true “Mediterranean mother” with a seductive voice capable of charming listeners with the light and cultural Pandora’s box of the Mare Nostrum.