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Recycled Orchestra to Perform at This Year’s Sanremo Festival

Joelle Grosso (February 02, 2017)
This year the 67th edition of the popular Sanremo Music Festival will feature the “Orchestra Reciclados de Cateura” (“Cateura’s Recycled Orchestra”) who come all the way from Paraguay to perform on Italy’s biggest stage.

The largest televised singing competition in Italy is, without a doubt, the Sanremo Music Festival, which will be putting on their 67th edition of the show from February 7th to the 11th. The huge event is a special occasion for all Italians because it has become a fundamental part of their culture and tradition throughout the years. The highly regarded contest has even launched the careers of Italy’s most successful contemporary artists including the likes of Zucchero, Andrea Bocelli, Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini, and Giorgia. The show is hosted by Carlo Conti, who is also the artistic director of the competition, along with Maria De Filippi and every night a satirical sketch will be performed by none other than Maurizio Crozza. As always, the event is split up into two categories: singers that are already well known and new singers that use this platform as an opportunity to showcase their talents to the entire country.

2017 is a special year at the Teatro Ariston located in the north-western Italian city of Sanremo because they will be welcoming a 24-member orchestra from Paraguay called “Orchestra Reciclados de Cateura.” The whole band comes from Cateura, which is the name of a poor neighborhood in Paraguay’s capital, Asunción. The orchestra creates a wide variety of instruments made completely out of discarded materials. “The world gives us rubbish, and we transform it into music,” says conductor Fabio Chavez. 

The orchestra includes people from all ages ranging from 10 years old to 30 years old and together they work to turn rope, cardboard and tin into violins, guitars, and trumpets. The band excites their crowds with a diverse repertoire that ranges from classical music to pop to rock, even including the sounds of legendary artists like the Beatles and Frank Sinatra. It really is true when they say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Another special part about their debut at Sanremo is the fact that the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is sponsoring their performance. For those who don’t know, UNICEF is an international program that works to provide humanitarian and development assistance to children in developing countries. Their mission has always been to protect and defend the rights of every single child. UNICEF also sponsors a program in Paraguay called “Abrazo” which serves to combat the increasing numbers of children working on the street. 

In many ways it’s as if the Orchestra Reciclados de Cateura personifies UNICEF’s strong commitments, proving that the arts can get children off the street and change the course of their lives forever. UNICEF Italy’s spokesperson, Andrea Iacomini, comments that, “like the children of Cateura, many other children have a dream and to make it happen they need opportunities.”

UNICEF is working hard to provide children all over the world with these opportunities, and an example of this is the upcoming show at Sanremo. The Paraguayan orchestra’s live performance at the music festival next week will be televised, so be sure to tune in or direct stream it from your computer!

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