July 11, 2017
Program Fee: 25.00
Program Fee Member: 21.25
Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Project has been dazzling audiences world-wide with an intriguing mix of rare Old World Sicilian folk material and the New World sounds of electric guitars, chamber music, funk and reggae grooves, and modern jazz. Using music sung by Sicilian fishermen, sulphur miners, and folk musicians as a starting point, the music is like a trip on the Mediterranean that somehow manages to detour to Mali, Jamaica, and Toronto.
Rarely have I seen performers – and particularly singers – who immersed themselves in the music as much as Italian vocalist Pilar and Canadian-Sicilian vocalist Dominic Mancuso did in this show. In almost every song, their voices, their faces, their hands, and their entire bodies were communicating the intense emotion in the lyrics and music. It was an emphatically ‘hot’ concert.
- Alayne McGregor, Ottawajazzscene.ca (Ottawa Chamber Festival review)
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 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 SamRivers, Bruce Cockburn, Joe Lovano, Jeff Coffin, and long-time colleague Don Byron.
Pilar (Ilaria Patassini)
An Italian singer, lyricist, and actress, born and currently living in Rome. She is a versatile artist who blends Italian singer-songwriter tradition with jazz, folk, pop, and theatrical elements, and she performs in French, Spanish, English, and Portuguese. She holds Conservatory degrees both in singing and chamber music, and her artistic and musical influences run from Mozart to Homer, Nina Simone, Caravaggio, Paolo Conte, Giacomo Puccini, Edith Piaf, Demien Rice, and southern Italian folk music. To date, Pilar has released four albums and works with RSI, Italian Swiss Radio, and as an author and a speaker.