Silvana Delugi was born in Buenos Aires where she grew up surrounded by traditional tango. Maybe this is the reason why for several years she kept distance to the Argentinean cultural heritage and preferred to study classical voice as mezzo-soprano. In 1979 she premiered in the musical West Side Story at the Teatro Presidente Alvar, singing the part of Maria, followed in 1981 by Romeo y Julieta at the Teatro Coliseo.
After moving to Paris in the mid-Eighties, she started exploring the darker, unkown sides of tango in shows as Blue Tango. Her first CD Tanguera in 1989 continued her very personal research, where she performed not only with such tango celebrities as Juan Jose Mosalini, but also renowned jazz musicians like Tomás Gubitsch or Jean-Paul Celea. The soundtrack of her homonymous film Tanguera for TV channel ARTE pushes the musical limits of tango even further, concentrating at the same time on one single leitmotif: the longtime neglected role of women in a musical tradition which is commonly known as the reign of machismo.
For Silvana tango has never been a mere museum piece. Immense was her pleasure to work with Luis Di Matteo, not only a great master of bandoneon, but of the rare ones to free himself from the rigidity of written notes. His compositions are a constant attempt to renew what the bandoneon stands for. Working with Silvana, he accepted the challenge to seek the same freedom of interpretation in performing classic tangos, thus establishing a new intensity in the dialogue of bandoneon and voice. Their record, simply named Tangos, was completed by duos of Silvana with pianist Osvaldo Calo, Ulrich Lask on the saxophon or Jean-Paul Celea on bass.
In 1999 followed the CD Loca, to date one of the most successful records of recent tango, which confirmed Silvana’s reputation as «the best tango singer of her generation» (Kip Hanrahan). Combining well-known traditional tangos in new, jazzy arrangements and including some surprises, for instance a tango version of Surabaya Johnny by Brecht/Weill, Loca lines up musicians such as Juan Jose Mosalini, Renaud Garcia Fons, Jean Louis Matinier or Marcelo Nisinman, among others. It was followed by international tours and special concerts, for example in the Frankfurt Alte Oper or the Cologne Philharmonie.
In 2001 Silvana recorded Live in Salzau with the quintet of violin virtuoso Daniel Zisman. The same year, she sang the title role in the Piazzolla opera Maria de Buenos Aires at the Opera House in Bern, Switzerland, followed by some tours of Live and the first recordings in Paris, New York and Buenos Aires of the CD Yo - produced by Kip Hanrahan, the legendary producer of Astor Piazzolla’s last records.
Silvana had already worked on several records with Hanrahan, such as A Thousand Nights and a Night, singing Hanrahan’s own compositions. For Yo, both decided that Silvana should make a very personal choice of songs, including examples from Brazil and more recent compositions, but also some classical tangos, which they tried to refresh by «deconstructing» them. Most of the arrangements were written by bass legend Steve Swallow who performed on Yo along with Renaud Garcia Fons, Alfredo Triff, Andy Gonzalez, Gustavo Beytelmann or Robby Ameen, among others. The record is completed by some of the last Piazzolla compositions, Silvana being accompanied by some of Piazzolla’s historical musicians, such as Horacio Malvicino, Fernando Suarez Paz or Pablo Ziegler.
The record was published in 2004, with Enja as European distributor. Several tours and some jazz festivals followed, such as Copenhagen or «Banlieues Bleues» in Paris. In 2006, together with Fado star Cristina Branco, Silvana shot the French TV production Latinas and performed in the San Francisco show «Leading Ladies of Tango». Besides her regular concerts with different groups, 2009 saw her first tour to Japan. In May 2010, she performed with the Züricher Kammer Orchester and was invited for a concert version of Maria de Buenos Aires to the Festival Saint-Prex near Lausanne.