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Raphael Gualazzi

Raphael Gualazzi was born on November 11th 1981 in Urbino. Raphael’s music is a blend of early 20th Century Ragtime technique with the yearning lyricism of traditional blues, soul and jazz. Inspiration comes to Raphael not only from the pre-jazz and stride piano styles as embodied by Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Art Tatum and Mary Lou Williams’ music, it is also bred in the more typical blues styles of Ray Charles and Roosevelt Sykes. But Raphael’s music goes even further as it combines tradition and classicism to the influence of some of today’s most original and versatile soul artists such as Jamiroquai and Ben Harper. After studying piano at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, where he was initiated to classical composers, Raphael decided to go further afield and to tread on new musical territories by exploring jazz, blues and fusion. Ever since the early days of his musical career, Raphael has played with accomplished musicians, thus making a name for himself also thanks to his remarkable vocal and instrumental skills. In 2005 Raphael partakes in a series of prestigious festivals among which the Fano Jazz Festival, the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, the Argo Jazz Festival and the International Arts Festival of Ravello. At the beginning of 2008 “Piano Jazz” is released in France, a collection of beautiful tracks by the world’s most famous international artists of the likes of Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Art Tatum, Ray Charles, Jamie Cullum, Michael Petrucciani, Chick Corea, Thelonius Monk, Dave Brubeck, Nina Simone and Duke Ellington. Among these modern stars, Raphael’s own “Georgia On My Mind”, taken from his debut album. In the Winter of 2009, Raphael is invited to perform in “The History and Mystery of Jazz” tour in Vermont and New Hampshire, U.S.A., where he plays with renowned jazz artists of the likes of Michael Ray (Sun Ra Arkestra, Kool & The Gang), Steve Ferraris (Sun Ra Arkestra, Charlie Haden), Jamie McDonald, Nick Cassarino, Bob Gullotti, and John McKenna. In September 2009 Raphael Gualazzi meets Caterina Caselli and it is musical love at first sight! Sugar signs him up instantly. Raphael reaches renown to the larger audience throughout 2010, following his hit cover of “Don’t Stop”, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘70’s smasher, which is chosen by Eni for its Spring/Summer energy and gas television and radio campaign. In the Summer of 2010 Raphael Gualazzi performs at the Heineken Jammin Festival, at the prestigious Pistoia Blues Festival and at the Giffoni Film Festival. In Fall 2010 he debuts in triumph at Milan’s Blue Note presenting his first digital four track EP and reaching the very top of the iTunes charts. In the meantime, Raphael’s hit single “Reality and Fantasy” - Gilles Peterson remix version is included in the worldwide digital chart busters “Nova Tunes 2.2.” and “Hotel Costes vol. 14” and takes French air play by storm as all major national networks feature it in the heavy rotation of their top hits. On December 1st 2010 Raphael makes his wondrous debut at the prestigious Parisian jazz club SunSide where he performs his greatest songs to the enthralled European media. Raphael is currently partaking in Sanremo Giovani 2011 with “Follia d’amore”, self-written, produced and arranged and included in his new album, out in 2011.

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