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The festival of Sanremo
Music is very important for Italians and we know that singing is part of a rich and old tradition passed on from generation to generation. The prestige of Italian music has always been celebrated by a famous event followed by millions of people: the festival of Sanremo.
The festival of Sanremo is also known as il festival della canzone Italiana, the festival of Italian music: it celebrates it by performing new, original songs, sung by well known artists as well as up and coming, young singers. It takes place at the famous theatre Ariston in Sanremo.
What a wonderful way to wake up, I thought! I had switched on the radio to hear the clear, silky voice of a female singer singing ̎Easy to Love. ̎ The only problem was that I didn't know who was singing. I soon found out that it was the Italian jazz singer, Roberta Gambarini.
It was probably always Gambarini's destiny to be a singer. Her parents even called her, Roberta, after their favourite movie, Roberta, which starred Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and featured Jerome Kern songs. These included one of Gambarini's parent's favourite songs, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes."
At the end of the Second World War, Allied troupes occupied Italy and American and English soldiers stormed through the country bringing all those things Italian people hadn't been allowed to have for twenty solid years. Italy enjoyed its freedom, and even if money was tight and the war had left terrible scars, people, finally free from twenty long years of dictatorship, wanted to sing, dance, and have fun. And, they wanted to do it to the rhythm of the musical trends from across the Atlantic Ocean.
Italian music abroad is often reduced to old Neapolitan songs and the great lyrical tradition embodied by famous singers such as Luciano Pavarotti and more recently Andrea Bocelli. What many don't know is the richness to be found in modern Italian music, which has been influenced by a variety of factors. Italy also has a long history of creative singer-songwriters who have shaped the country's music industry and continue to do so.
Italy has always been considered a "third world country" from the point of view of the music industry, but it seems that this way of thinking is about to change. Brand new Italian indie acts have started to be noticed in England and are now ready for the global stage.
The Italian music industry has always been closed-off and even if the market was open to import new music genres, the major record labels are only interested in signing traditional Italian acts to gain a secure income. As a consequence acts which don't follow the strict rules of the mainstream market don't have many chances to appear to the greater public. This is a real disadvantage in terms of international success and visibility of the new Italian music scene.
Announces North American Tour (CHI, NYC, BOS, MTL, TOR)
Concert dates in support of June 15 2010 US album release of "Elettra" (Electra) on Wrasse Records
..... Beyond 'O Sole Mio'
Italian singers / Italian music in brief
Some Americans seem to equate Italian music with O Sole Mio and Funiculi Funicula.Meaning no disrespect to these great songs, Italy has a popular music tradition that provides strong competition to popular and rock music from other countries such as the United States and England.
I would divide Italian popular music into four different categories (that overlap to some extent).
More on Eros Ramazzotti here
Eros Ramazzotti : La piu' bella cosa
2. Eros Ramazzotti with Luciano Pavaraotti singing "Se Bastasse una bella Canzone" live!
Eros Ramazzotti: Parla con me