Azucena Maizani (November 17, 1902 - January 15, 1970) was born in Buenos Aires to poor parents, and she worked as a seamstress before her musical career took off. Since she was a female singer in the early 20th century, she is considered one of the pioneers amongst female tango artists. Maizani recorded more than 270 tracks, she toured in Europe in the early 1930s, and she appeared in several movies as a singer. She also was a composer and a lyricist.
I'm concentrating on female composers of music we dance to, and Maizani deserves to be mentioned because of what probably is her most known tango: Pero yo sé. She composed this tango in 1928, and it was recorded by (amongst others) Francisco Canaro with Charlo and Osvaldo Fresedo with Ernesto Famá. The most known version - still played at milongas today - must be the one recorded by Ángel D'Agostino with Ángel Vargas in 1942. You can listen to it here on YouTube. Translation here.
According to the pages on Todotango and Wikipedia, Azucena Maizani's life seems to have been dramatic. She married, but the couple lost their child and later got divorced. She never married again. Even though she had been a highly popular artist, her career declined during the 1940s, although she continued to work as an artist.
Image credit: Geraldo Bustos Used with permission.
My articles about female composers in tango
Music and sources for this article:
OverJazz playlist of Azucena Maizani's music on YouTube
Biography at todotango.com
Biography at Wikipedia (Spanish)
Overview of career on tango.info