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      Marco Calliari’s new album celebrates QC

      Sep. 24, 2013

      Montreal singer/songwriter Marco Calliari’s new album celebrates the essence of growing up with a dual Italian-Quebec cultural identity.

      Mi Ricordo (I Remember in Italian) features 11 tracks from the classic Quebec music repertoire translated and sung in Italian. The song selection is a who’s who of the Quebec francophonie scene and an homage to the artists who influenced Calliari’s love for the genre.

      His fourth solo album, and ninth career album, Mi Ricordo was a project that Calliari had been mulling over for many years. The concept would all come together two years ago while touring across Quebec. When he started discussing the idea with his musical collaborators, they all thought he was nuts.

      But then again, he got the same reaction more than a decade ago when he decided to leave the Quebec heavy metal scene – as a member of Anonymus – to sing Italian-language world beat songs. With three successful albums under his belt, over 70,000 albums sold, and a internationally-renowned dance mix of his remake of the iconic Italian pop song L’Americano, Calliari has proven that his musical instinct is right on the mark.

      “I grew up listening to CHOM FM. They were the only station playing rock. And they also played the music of Quebec bands. I loved listening to these songs. And then when I started playing with Anonymus, we covered Quebec songs and made them harder. So these songs have always been a part of me,” Calliari explains.

      “For me St-Jean-Baptiste Day is the greatest day of the year. There’s so much great music to celebrate. I’m always disappointed that stations don’t play more Quebec classics on St-Jean. You can say that this album is a gift I did for myself,” he muses.

      “For the album, I chose those artists and songs that were closest to my heart.”

      The new album includes covers of Stephen Faulkner’s Si J’avais un char and La bienséance, and Luc Plamondon’s J’ai rencontré l’homme de ma vie, to name a few.

      Calliari collaborated with Italian artists I matti della Giuncaie, Peppe Voltarelli and Musica Nuda on three tracks. For his take of Robert Charlebois’ Lindberg, Calliari collaborated with Quebec pop icon Louise Forestier to create a bilingual Franco-Italian version.

      Calliari took some liberties with the Italian translation to give the songs an Italian twist, as he explains it. The Italian cover of Si J’avais un char, for example, translates as Se avessi una vespa. The arrangements also reflect the musical tempo that is now synonymous with Calliari.

      Calliari is acutely aware of the poetic timing of his album release. Just as Quebec politicians, media outlets, and the public at large weigh in on the Parti Québécois’ controversial Charter of Quebec Values, Calliari comes out with an album that celebrates his dual cultural upbringing, as a child of Italian immigrants, born and raised in Quebec, and proud of both of his cultural heritages.

      “Music is the greatest language on earth, regardless of cultural background, of religion, etcetera. It brings everyone together. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, who created it,” Calliari notes.

      If Calliari has proven one thing in his decade-long career as a Quebec artist singing in Italian, it’s that his music transcends culture and language – inevitable everyone in the audience will be on their feet dancing along. And Calliari wouldn’t have it any other way.

      Mi Ricordo is available at your favorite record store or online shop. The Mi Ricordo tour is scheduled to start in early 2014.

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