The Young Italian Group in New York City(commissionegiovani.org/newyork) held its first Music Festival at the luxurious Hudson Terrace on W. 46th Street Wednesday night, October 28, 2009. The Festival organizers regret the fact that most young Italian-Americans think of Italian music as the soundtrack to The Godfather. The organizers sought to enlighten and entertain by bringing a handful of current Italian pop music artists to New York to strut their stuff. And strut they did.
Max De Angelis (maxdeangelis.it) debuted his first single, La Soluzione in 2004 and it became one of the most played singles in Italy. It remained in the Top 20 of Italy’s Billboard Chart for 2 months and after that, spent 3 months in the Top 30 for most radio airplay. In 2005 he sang Sono Qui Per Questo at San Remo. A former restaurant owner, he has a risotto recipe to die for and a charismatic on-stage persona. Among the songs he sang for us was Nevica, the perfect choice for a chilly New York night.
Perugia-born Eleonora Bianchini (eleonorabianchini.com) has a clear passion for Latin music. She simultaneously studied opera and jazz in Italy, receiving a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. As lead vocalist of the Peru Mestizo Project, her voice and songwriting created a relaxed, warm vibe. Truly international, she sang a Brazilian song that she had translated into Spanish and played with a Peruvian beat.
Daniele Battaglia (danielebattaglia.it) can’t help what he does; music is in his blood. His father is none other than Dodi Battaglia, guitarist of the iconic Italian band, Pooh. Daniele gave an energetic performance of dance tunes, including Solamusicaitaliana, which ranked 19th in the 2007 FIMI/AC Nielsen chart. Daniele performed in San Remo in 2008 with Voce del Vento. At Hudson Terrace, his self-deprecating, down to earth banter won the crowd over.
Gaetano Fava (ecmusicweb.com/gaetano_fava.htm) was born in New York and raised in Palermo, Sicily. Classically trained, he sings across musical genres, including opera. On Wednesday night, he entertained us with cover songs by famous Italian pop artists, like Eros Ramazzotti. In fact, his rendition of Ramazzotti is uncanny. When I closed my eyes during the performance, I could swear it was Ramazzotti himself on the stage.
Daniele Stefani (danielestefani.com)was admitted to the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory when he was only 10 years old. While at the Conservatory, he performed worldwide throughout his adolescence. At 18, he signed with Columbia Sony Music and released his debut CD, Armanti Ero. He performed at San Remo in 2003 with his song, Chiaraluna. Among his songs at Hudson Terrace, he performed the beautiful Oltre Ogni Senso. His current CD, Punto di Partenza, is enjoying great popularity and frequent airplay in Italy.
The last musical event of the evening was a screening of the celebrated video, Domani 21/4.09, created by artists in the Italian music industry as a fundraiser for the victims of the L’Aquila earthquake. Fifty-six musicians took part in the video, including Zucchero, Laura Pausini, Ligabue, Gianni Nannini, Antonello Venditti and Luca Carboni. Nationally, Young Italian Groups have raised $40,000 toward building Il Villaggio della Gioventu’ , a positively-focused center for the displaced young people of L’Aquila.
By the way, if you haven’t been to Hudson Terrace yet, go. Seriously, go now. Luxurious, spacious, beautifully lit with plenty of room to talk or dance, Hudson Terrace is a show in itself (hudsonterracenyc.com).