Luis Alposta

he was born in the neighborhood of Chacarita in the city of Buenos Aires. Her father, Ricardo Ernesto Ambrosio, was pianist and singer in the orchestra led by Tito Cosentino.

Graciela and her sister Cristina, when still children, teamed up as the folk duo Las Hermanitas Ambrosio that was patronized by Margarita Palacios. They appeared successfully in TV programs and made tours of different places in the country. They were always accompanied by their mother Angélica or their grandmother Felisa.

Time later, when teenagers, the sisters dismembered their duo and Cristina Ambrosio and Hugo López teamed up as the folk duo Cristina y Hugo which became the revelation at the Festival de Baradero in 1969.

As soloist (late 60s), Graciela Susana began to sing tango pieces and was especially interested in new compositions. Accompanying herself on guitar, she appeared nightly at venues and coteries of Buenos Aires like Sur, Barrio de Tango and others.

By that time she studied with notable teachers such as Angel Kelo Palacios, Alba Vellón, Germán Kúmok and Roberto Lara who polished and furthered her professional training.

In 1970 she appeared at the Tango Festival of La Falda and sang the numbers “Barrio de tango” and “Balada para un loco”, arranged by José Libertella, and was consecrated as the Revelation of the Year. On her comeback she was invited to the Pipo Mancera’s program Sábados Circulares. The following day she was phoned by Edmundo Rivero who invited her for an audition at the El Viejo Almacén with the orchestra conducted by Carlos García. There she would share the bill with the tango greats: Aníbal Troilo, Horacio Salgán, Alberto Marino and many others. It was a five-year tenure. She also appeared at the El Mesón Español.

In her wide repertoire, that includes the greatest tango composers, always was present the Homero Manzi’s oeuvre with numbers like “Sur”, “Barrio de tango”, “Fuimos”, and “Milonga triste”, in a very personal rendition, among others.

Graciela studied harmony with maestro Sebastián Piana and song approach with the Expósito brothers (Virgilio Expósito and Homero Expósito) in courses that, then, were given in SADAIC.

That same year (1970) she recorded her first record accompanied by the guitar group headed by Bartolomé Palermo, and her second record, with Carlos García. She frequently appeared in Uruguay at shows in venues and on the television of that country where she premiered the tango “Poema número dos (El jubilado)”. She customarily appeared on the radio and on television in programs like Sábados Circulares (Canal 13), Nosotros los del Tango (Canal 2), Música Nueva (Radio Belgrano).

In one of her appearances at the El Viejo Almacén, the famous Japanese singer Yoichi Sugawara and his manager were among the audience. They were touched by that little girl with a privileged voice range, of deep low and fresh treble notes, that interpreted with so much intensity and sweetness and who, furthermore, accompanied herself on guitar.

Only three months after the visit of the Japanese (it was still 1970) Graciela Susana was offered a contract to appear in Japan to sing tangos in the Sugawara’s recitals. There she would also begin to include Japanese songs in her songbook. The wide popular acclaim that immediately followed favored the release in Japan of tango and folk music records that Graciela had published in Argentina and the daring venture of recording one in Japanese. It was in 1971.

On her comeback to Argentina she appeared on television, radio and at important auditoriums in Buenos Aires; she as well made tours of Uruguay and Brazil.

Because her record including Japanese ballads sold over a million copies, Toshiba-EMI gave her a Gold Disc in 1972. Thereafter she made long tours of Japan accompanied, on more than one occasion, by the composer and guitarist Osvaldo Avena. Later there were more international awards and more gold discs.

TV Channel 13 hired her in 1971 and she appeared in programs like Charlando con Tita and Telenoche, emceed by Mónica Cahen D'Anvers and Andrés Percivalle. As consequence of the program Charlando con Tita a close friendship with Tita Merello was born that lasted till the latter died. On the anniversary of Channel 13 Graciela Susana, teaming up as trio with Edmundo Rivero and Roberto Goyeneche, sang “El día que me quieras”. She made an important tour of Brazil along with the Atilio Stampone orchestra.

In 1975 Graciela Susana appeared in the first places of the Japan ranking; That year she was awarded six gold discs. This gave rise to a very outstanding phenomenon: her Japanese fans created the Club de Admiradores de Graciela Susana.

Due to her «brilliant vocal and human capabilities» she was consecrated by the Japanese critics as the «Foreign Art Revelation of the Year», an award that previously was received by figures like Tom Jones, John Lennon and Joan Baez.

Among us, in 1975, she started to sing at the Caño 14, sharing the bill with Stampone, Goyeneche, Omar Valente, Néstor Marconi, Enrique Francini, María Graña and José Basso. And she also continued with tours and recordings in Japan.

In 1980 one of the main guitar brands in the world, Takamine, gave her a guitar and since then she has been included in its catalog of prestigious artists that play this instrument. Her voice attracted the attention of the genial filmmaker Akira Kurosawa who, in 1981, asked Graciela to sing a number for a TV special about the Russian-Japonese war which starred Toshiro Mifune.

In 1982 she was awarded the prize «Foreign Artistic Revelation» (Japan) for her appearance on the NHK TV network with the song by a Japanese composer, “Hitorigoto”.

The need of keeping her roots strong and to establish a closer contact with our music and those faraway lands she produced and conducted in 1990, ‘91 and ‘92 a radio program to spread the Spanish American music on the Japanese State Broadcasting NHK. She interviewed important artists such as Paco de Lucía, Armando Manzanero, Quilapayún and Consuelo Velásquez. In 1992 she appeared as soloist in Brazil for a season at the Teatro Elis Regina of Rio de Janeiro.

Due to her interpretations of Argentine folk music and tango, including some numbers translated into Japanese like, for example, the tango “Caminito”, in 1996 the Argentine embassy to Japan gave her the «Diploma for spreading Argentine music for 25 consecutive years».

One of the features that always identified her was the impeccable accompaniment she played with her guitar. Logically, at this time Graciela Susana perfectly speaks and writes Japanese and is regarded as one of the great singers of Japan.

On a large number of occasions with her expressive, subtle voice blessed with a good intonation she sang accompanied by great bandleaders and musicians: Aníbal Troilo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Atilio Stampone, Enrique Francini, Luis Stazo, José Libertella, Carlos García, José Colángelo, Néstor Marconi, Roberto Grela, Domingo Cura, Kelo Palacios, Chango Farías Gómez, Sebastián Piana, Osvaldo Avena, Domingo Moles and Hugo Díaz, among others.

Over sixty albums of her were published and in Japan she reached twenty gold discs. Nowadays her show business career is carried out, mainly, between Japan and Argentina.