photos by Mike Horseman, motion by Edward Delemere
Abbamonte" aka Lupa, Italian-born/raised now resident in the UK, begun
her artistic career at the age of three with classical piano lessons and modeling
for the House of 'Vogue Children' in Milan. She studied the Dramatic Arts in Italy
(training with popular and controversial theatrical duo Franca Rame and
winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature
Dario Fo') and in England where she obtained LAMDA acting qualifications.
Antima pursued the acting vocation on the British stages and screens. In
1994 she translated, adapted and performed the
acclaimed Italian One Woman Show at the Carsholton Studio Theatre in south London,
an 80 mins-2 acts political farce written by Franca Rame and Dario Fo'.
Her musical calling came in 1996 when,
during a trip to Los Angeles, at a party held at Drejss (West Hollywood) by the
Artist formerly known as ‘Prince', she met Italo-American musicians Jules
Buccieri and Chris Mancini (son of the composer Henry Mancini), who were
to become her friends and musical mentors, and British writer Dick Hebdige
(former MD at the Californian Institute of Arts now Professor of Film Studies
and Art Studio Director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB Santa
Barbara CA) who named her Lupa, like the savage and maternal legendary
she-wolf which raised the two infants Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome.
has since been writing, arranging, producing recordings, collaborating and performing
with a number of local and international talents including: Pavel Jakub Ryba
(CZ), Bryan Corbett, Sandro & Alfonso Deidda (Italy),
Roger Inniss (Barbados), The Birmingham Ronnie Scott's House Trio,
Tj Rehmi, Dj Pippi (Ibiza), Jon Cotton, Andrew Griffiths
(Barbados), Tom Hill (USA), Paul Sawtell, Edgar Macias Piquero
(Venezuela), Alvin Davis (Jamaica), Andy and Graham Hamilton
(Jamaica), Miles Levin, Zoltan Dekany (USA) and Soweto Kinch.
She has recently released her debut album
House Of Blue, a collection
of recordings of original compositions including the re-working of 'Goodbye
Pork Pie Hat' (a tribute to her favourite artists Charlie Mingus and
Joni Mitchell) and of Brucia
La Terra (the love theme from the Godfather written by Nino Rota and
Giuseppe Rinaldi).Lupa recorded 'Brucia La Terra' during the pre-production
of Francis Ford Coppola "The Godfather 4" and then met F.F.Coppola in San Francisco
to discuss the inclusion of the track in the film sound track. The film ultimately
never entered production.
Lupa has returned from the Czech Republic where she was guesting on their
local jazz hero (bassist) Pavel Jakub Ryba's trio on their ‘Mind The Step'
national tour. She is scheduled to play in Rome later this year with Sandro
& Alfonso Deidda's trio and has just completed a national tour of the
UK in February 2006 which presented Alfonso
Deidda to the British audience. The tour also featured Roger Inniss,
Miles Levin and Bryan Corbett.
Reviews of Lupa
18/02/2006 Roger Trapp
This Italian-born singer treads a
path that takes its cue from Jazz and Asian underground, as well as left-field pop.
This tour sees her introduce the pianist and saxophonist Alfonso Deidda. Joining
them is British trumpeter Bryan Corbett.
Roger Trapp 'Jazz & Blues' THE FIVE BEST GIGS (n.4 Lupa) –
The Independent Feb 18th, 2006
15/02/2006 Peter Bacon
are not many jazz performers who go "on tour" these days, but Birmingham-based singer
Lupa is one of them.
Aside from gigs further afield during February, she has fitted in a clutch of them
in the Midlands, and they are all within the next week. She fronts a very classy
band which has Alfonso Deidda on piano and saxophones, Roger Inniss on bass, Bryan
Corbett on trumpet, and Miles Levin on drums.
Birmingham Post, Feb 2006
18/08/2005 Peter Bacon
Lupa, meaning she wolf, is the stage name of Birmingham-based, Italian-born Antima
Abbamonte and reflects her desire to project a dangerous and slightly otherwordly
image. That is certainly there in the music too...
Peter Bacon 'Great depth and manifold pleasures' (jazz cd reviews) - Birmingham
Post, Aug 2005
19/08/2004 Mike Butler
An extraordinary life produces astonishing music. The Milan born Lupa (Antima Abbamonte)
comes from a family of artists. From child model in Vogue to actress in the troupe
of anarchic playwright Dario Fo', she seemed destined for unique distinction. Since
1996, Lupa has operated out of Birmingham, forging links with creative musicians,
songwriters, producers and technicians
the city and the wider international scene. Her name Lupa (the she-wolf) is apt
as sexiness and scariness co-exist in her breathy voice... Lupa's band is to performe
tonight... jazz musicians and wolves have one thing in common: they come out at
night and strike with ruthless efficiency. Pure lycanthropic pleasure.
Mike Butler, Metro - Jazz/Life, August 2004
06/10/2003 Mr. Simpson
After the impact of her appearance at this year's Birmingham International Jazz
Festival, Italian singer Lupa is increasingly busy on the city jazz scene…..with
influences from classical to Reggae via Latin songs and French chansons, Lupa takes
a fresh approach to Jazz singing…
The Jazz Rag - Autumn 2003
Charismatic Lupa is a sensational Italian singer with a new fresh and fascinating
approach to Jazz singing that never loses sight of the roots. Warm, enticing, intimate,
always rhythmic, she draws on surprising but always appropriate influences. Goodbye
Pork Pie Hat, Lush Life, Twisted, Parker's Mood, Moody's Mood4Love, Invitation...
are Lupa's staple diet, but French chanson, Reggae and Latin have their place as
well. Lupa is delightful and charming. She is a prolific songwriter and producer
and has an uncanny knack to rearranging jazz standards to make them sound totally
new. Lupa has a unique and unusual talent.
The 19th HMV Birmingham International Jazz Festival - 2003
30/07/2003 Roland Zwikker
Born and bred in Milan, the rich capital of northern Italy, Antima Abbamonte has
roots well imbedded in the arts. Her father was a talented painter and her mother
a young stage actress. Antima started playing the piano at three and sang folk songs
with her grandmother. Even her brother wrote songs. At the age of 19 her love for
music drove her to England, mainly because of the rich history of pop music, but
also because of the language.
She describes herself as a jazz fanatic, but her musical taste is eclectic.. Her
ideal seems to be a mixture of the performer, artiste and songwriter. An all-rounder
like Tori Amos we reckon. Although Lupa was always on the verge of breaking free,
she took a long road across a lot of different spheres in the universe of the arts.
She started modeling at young age and when she was older she moved on to the stage.
Performing in front of a crowd energized her and got the creative juices flowing.
Through translations from Italian into English for her theatre group, she started
writing for herself. And why not, producing an original work of art gives a buzz
like nothing else…
She had come to a key point in her journey, the moment where Lupa She-Wolf comes
out of the undergrowth. As Antima says: 'Lupa is in me. Lupa is me.' This extraordinary
name comes from the English writer Dick Hebdige. He describes a beast both maternal
and savage; a creator and nurturer of life, but also a destroyer of life. The she-wolf
being the mother of Rome, the beast that nurtured Romulus and Remus the founders
of the city; ushering in the glory days of Rome. The constant longing in Italy for
the reliving of these days led to Italy's downfall in World War II, when the ideal
of Rome was destroyed once and for all. The state of affairs in the country after
the War ultimately led Lupa away from her home country. All these contradictions
are captured in the name and the music of Lupa She-Wolf. The end of one life and
the beginning of a new one.
Vito, 'I Could Have Loved You More' the sound track to her promo video is a talking
biography. A weird combination of dreamy, dark pop, interwoven with bits of interviews.
She has basically created the soundtrack for her own life-story. Over a background
with melodic pop psychedelica, Lupa is heard in the form of a mist-like melody and
as a clear storyteller. The vocals lure you away from reality, while the spoken
words describe the present of an era goneby. It's a weird experience listening to
an interview mixed into a song, you can't help listening to the story and being
intrigued by Lupa's off-kilter artistic vision.
Roland Zwikker - www.deo.com
'Hypnotic Atmospheric pop songs' - 30/ 07/ 2003
of cd "House Of Blue"
Alessio Bertallot (Radio Dee Jay- Italy)
Dj Pippi & Jose' Maria Ramon (Ibiza Global Radio - Spain)
Ben Turner (WM Radio 'bbc'- West Mids - UK)
John Darvall, Pete Johnson & Tom Clarke-Hill (Saga FM - UK)
Delano Mills (New Style Radio- UK)
House Of Blue is an eclectic mix of melodic pop psychedelica infused with jazz,
trip hop, reggae & folk. A fine balance between electronic and acoustic sounds.
A beautiful selection of original songs together with 3 tribute tracks to her favourite
Artistes. The album features a number of talented international players including
Bryan Corbett, Roger Inniss, Graeme Hamilton, Miles Levin, Alvin Davis...
Lupa's voice will hypnotize you with emotions.
"...House Of Blue arranges elements from jazz, pop and the Asian underground in
unlikely configurations. The jazz influence is hidden behind refined modern beats
but comes across in those imaginative arrangements. Where else could Brucia La Terra
- the love theme from the Godfather-come served with sitar, throbbing synth, plaintive,
Miles Davis-like trumpet and hip-hop beats?
Self-expression is her watchword and her breathy voice blends sexiness and scariness
to an unprecedented degree. It can variously beguile and bite..."
Mike Butler 'The Jazzist' Manchester Life Magazine
18/08/2005 Peter Bacon
"...dreamy on one level but with an underlying urgency too. Bjork and Kate Bush
sound like Lupa's chief vocal influences, though her cover of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
shows her jazz and Joni Mitchell leanings too. There are some inventive touches
on this debut disc, especially in choosing to give Brucia La Terra (The Godfather
Love Theme) a setting of electric sitar from TJ Rehmi and grumbling '70s synth sounds
along with heavy beat and atmospheric trumpet...House Of Blue occupies a pretty
original niche in between pop and jazz..."
Peter Bacon 'Great depth and manifold pleasures'
(jazz cd reviews) - Birmingham Post, Aug 2005
07/06/2003 Roland Zwikker
"...one track: Vito, 'I Could Have Loved You More' is a weird combination of dreamy
dark pop, interwoven with melodic pop psychedelica, you can't help being intrigued
by Lupa's off-kilter artistic vision..."
Roland Zwikker - www.deo.com
'Hypnotic Atmospheric pop songs'
19/08/2004 Mike Butler, Metro - Jazz/Life
Her name Lupa (the she-wolf) is apt as sexiness and scariness co-exist in her breathy
voice, which can variously beguile and bite. Her forthcoming album House Of Blue,
arranges elements from jazz, pop, and the Asian underground in unlikely configurations.
Where else could Brucia La Terra – the love theme from the Godfather - come served
with sitar, throbbing synth, plaintive, Miles Davis-like trumpet and hip-hop beats?
One song, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat combines tributes to Lupa's favourites Joni Mitchell
and Charles Mingus, and the unplugged version of Brucia La Terra benefits from the
concentrated resources of Lupa's septet…jazz musicians and wolves have one thing
in common: they come out at night and strike with ruthless efficiency. Pure lycanthropic
01/01/2004 Alan Cross – Birmingham Evening Mail,
Remarkable jazz songbird Lupa, Italian by birth….her forthcoming debut album is
an eclectic mix of classic and modern jazz styles with her haunting and passionate
voice backed by leading by national and International musicians. Lupa is a name
to watch out for.
An eclectic combination of emotionally hypnotic
vocals, electronic down beats, fine world arrangements and acoustic jazz.
Melodic pop psychedelica infused with trip hop, reggae, folk and jazz. The
album plays a selection of original songs and 3 tribute tracks to Lupa's
favourite Artistes. House Of Blue features some of the finest talents in
the UK. This album is now available on sale.