Michael Occhipinti & The Sicilian Jazz Project featuring Pilar
Doors open at 7 pm. Concert starts at 7:30 pm.
Tickets are $15 and available at Otter Books and at the door.
“Occhipinti has crafted this music with uncommon perfection.” Raul d’Gama Rose, All About Jazz
“The players deeply feel this music, bringing it to joyous highs and sub-strata lows, positioned in a hopeful and richly rendered framework... a triumphant recording on many levels” Michael G. Nastos Billboard
“This is really why we listen to music: to be surprised and lifted up, stripped of our preconceptions and left breathless by hearing something brand new. Big props to Michael Occhipinti and all the players for taking jazz into a new room.” Bill Bentley - Sonic Boomer
Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Project has been dazzling audiences world-wide with its intriguing mix of rare Old World Sicilian folk material and a New World mix of adventurous electric guitar, chamber music, modern jazz, global rhythms, and modern grooves. Using music sung by Sicilian fishermen, sulphur miners, and folk musicians as a starting point, the group takes the audience on a journey that reveals the drama and passion of Sicily’s past and showcases the global sound and great musicianship of modern day Canada.
Michael Occhipinti’s work has been called “a masterpiece of cultural fusion” and his album The Sicilian Jazz Project received a 2009 JUNO Award nomination. The recording also resulted in the prestigious Ragusani nel Mondo Award being presented to Michael and his producer brother Roberto Occhipinti in Ragusa, Sicily in 2009. In 2010 Michael Occhipinti received a Chalmers Fellowship to live in Sicily and explore the folk culture further. The fruits of that trip form the basis of the group’s new album Muorica featuring special guests Pilar and Don Byron.
Italian singer Pilar is an absolutely stunning vocalist, able to move between art song, Sicilian folk, and world pop (she sings in 5 languages), and she is a highly creative improvisor. Her most recent album Sartoria fuoro catalogo received great acclaim, and her next album (due in autumn 2015) will feature a collection of songs contributed by some of Italy’s best songwriters. Pilar made her debut with the Sicilian at the 2014 Ottawa Chamberfest, and is touring across North America for the first time this summer. Audiences at venues across Canada are all leaving the concerts saying the same thing: Pilar throws herself into a song completely. She is fearless.
The Sicilian Project connects with audiences across genres, and the group has brought its captivating and infectious live show to a range of music festivals across Canada, Italy, the USA, and Mexico, including performances at the Festival Cultural de Zacatecas (Mexico), The Rochester Jazz Festival (Rochester NY), and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. Mixing a unique repertoire, great story-telling, and a collection of great jazz, world, and chamber musicians, the band is not to be missed live.
An eight-time JUNO Award nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, Michael Occhipinti is a modern guitarist with a broad sonic palette, and a composer/bandleader interested in creative music of all kinds. Michael is one of few guitarists anywhere leading a 16-piece jazz orchestra (NOJO), and his other groups include Shine On: The Universe of John Lennon, instrumental funk group The Triodes, and Creation Dream: The Songs of Bruce Cockburn. Michael has performed with such notable musicians as Sam Rivers, Bruce Cockburn, Joe Lovano, Ray Anderson, Jeff Coffin, and Don Byron, who has appeared on four of Michael’s albums.
Michael Occhipinti, guitarist, producer
Doug Stephenson, bassist
Tony Ferraro, drummer
Contact Melody Diachun for more information.