The Italian “King of the Blues” Warms Up the US
USA- Famous Italian Superstar Zucchero “Sugar” Fornaciari opens the New Year with a bang. In occasion of the new release of his latest album, La Sesión Cubana, on February 18th via Manhattan Records, the Italian “King of the Blues” and one of Europe’s best-selling artists, will be on tour in the US and Canada beginning at the end of March.
The new album, which represents the blues-rock singer’s dream of recording in Cuba with the best native musicians in Havana, was produced by Zucchero and Don Was, and mixed by Michael Brauer.
La Sesión Cubana includes seven new songs, as well as six newly arranged versions of Zucchero's European hits such as "Baila," "Un Kilo," "Così Celeste," "Cuba Libre," "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime," and "L'Urlo."
The new recordings feature "Guantanamera (Guajira), original compositions "Love Is All Around" and "Sabor a ti," and the covers "Never Is a Moment," "Nena," "Pana"(a duet with Spanish singer Bebe), and "Ave Maria No Morro" — a duet with Brazilian star Djavan.
With these songs, recorded virtually live in the studio, Zucchero explores the roots of American music with a special “flavor latino.”
"My music comes from blues, from soul, and from gospel," Zucchero says. "This project is a trip from New Orleans to Cuba via Mexicali. Latin, Cuban, and Tex-Mex sounds and rhythms melt together dancing. Hasta l'asta siempre."
Furthermore, Manhattan Records is releasing a deluxe CD/DVD version with the La Sesión Cubana studio CD with a two hour "Live in Havana DVD. Next March, 2014, there will also be a one hour version of The Live in Havana concert program by Public Television stations as part of their pledge programs and presented by WLIW.
"Zucchero called and said that he wanted to go to Havana and record new versions of his songs with 'Cuban rhythms and Tex-Mex guitars,'" says Don Was. "I had no idea what he was talking about but it sounded like high adventure. After recording two other albums with him over the last decade [2006's Fly and 2010's Chocabeck], I'd learned that Zu is a magnificent and visionary artist and that his instincts are golden. So we headed to Havana on blind faith and, sure enough, his unique brand of Popular Italian Soul Music blended seamlessly with the incredible band of Cuban All-Stars who'd gathered in the studio to cut tracks with us. In the end, great music always transcends cultural boundaries and the record turned out brilliantly. Zu's cover of Malo's hit, 'Nena,' is one of my favorites. I've loaded it into my alarm clock because it makes me wake up feeling good every morning."
During his career, Zucchero sold over 50 million albums all over the world, becoming one of the most acclaimed Italian voices of the blues genre. A life of successes that brought him to win many awards including two World Music Awards and six IFPI Europe Platinum Awards, and a nomination, 2007, for a Grammy Award in the Traditional R&B Vocal category for "You Are So Beautiful" the song he performed on alongside Sam Moore, Billy Preston, Eric Clapton and Robert Randolph. He has also performed at The Royal Albert Hall in London, the Kremlin in Moscow, and Carnegie Hall in New York, and he has recorded and toured with artists like Eric Clapton, Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Sting, and Solomon Burke.
For more information about the upcoming tour in the US and Canada, visit the official webpage