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      Cabaret Calliari brings Italian music to Quebec

      Sep. 29, 2012

      Montreal world beat artist Marco Calliari is bringing Italian folk music to Quebec. With nine shows in Montreal, Nicolet, Lachine, Rivières-des-Prairies, St-Élie-de-Caxton, Verdun, Outremont, and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in just under two weeks time, Cabaret Calliari features the music of Marco Calliari and Italian band, I Matti Delle Giuncaie, along with other local artists.

      The tour include five different Maison de la culture venues, something Calliari is extremely proud of. The collaboration between Calliari and Maison de la culture started soon after Calliari happened to attend a concert at one of the many venues under the Maison de la culture banner. He approached the organizers, who agreed to host a series that would see Italian artists play in the space. The goal is to make Cabaret Calliari an annual touring showcase.

      “It’s a way to get people to discover new music. Hopefully using my name will get people in the seats,” Calliari explains.

      Based in Pisa, Italy, I Matti Delle Giuncaie are Lapo Marliani, Francesco Ceri, Andrea Gozzi, and Mirko Rosi. With over 250 shows under their belt, I Matti describe their sound as divertirsi suonando, translated as “having fun playing.” Their sound – which is mostly instrumental – mixes traditional folk with various world beat and rock influences. Their first album, Iappappà, was released in 2010 and this summer the band released Il Bagno Nella Canapa.

      This month’s tour is the band’s second visit to Quebec. Calliari has toured with the band in Italy numerous times as well, a musical alliance that started back in 2008 when Calliari and Gozzi met in Italy. At the time both artists were playing with other bands, and when Calliari went solo and I Matti was formed, their complementary sound warranted collaboration.

      “You can say that all our roots are traditional Italian folk music,” Marliani explains.

      “Actually we have the same background in rock and metal, even though we don’t play it now,” Calliari muses.

      “We call it ‘hard folk’,” Marliani adds with a smile.

      Calliari himself started his musical career as a member of the popular Quebec metal group, Anonymus. A decade ago he began focusing on a solo career that has made him the star he is today. His Italian-language music calls on the influences of Italian folk music, jazz, and world beat. Over the years he has toured extensively to promote his three solo albums, Che La Vita (2004), Mia Dolce Vita (2006) and Al Far Est (2010).

      His cover of the popular Italian song, L’Americano, became an international hit when it was remixed as “We No Speak Americano” by M.H.M.

      I Matti band mates are quick to praise the audiences – both Italian and non Italian – that have come to their Quebec shows. They describe the folks they have met as open to and eager to hear diverse music, something they admit is sometimes lacking in Italy.

      “It’s nice to meet the Italians living here. They are very congenial. The hospitality here is wonderful,” Marliani comments.

      “I think that Italians here are more Italian than those in Italy. Italians in Italy are obsessed with being modern, being more ‘American’. Here, Italians have held on to the more traditional values. It’s refreshing to see,” Gozzi adds.

      Cabaret Calliari will be at the Maison de la culture L’Entrepôt in Lachine tonight (September 29), at Maison de la culture Rivières-des-Prairies on September 30, at Rond Coin in St-Élie-de-Caxon on October 4, Maison de la culture in Verdun on October 5, at Théâtre Outremont on October 6, Cabaret Théâtre du Vieux-St-Jean in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu on October 7, and finally at Maison de la culture Frontenac in Montreal on October 10.

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