Described by critics as a “masterpiece of cultural fusion,” dynamic Toronto-based group reimagines the beautiful old folk songs & poetry of Sicily through the New World sounds of electric guitars, chamber music, funk & reggae grooves, and modern jazz for a remarkable live concert experience in BLU debut!
Michael Occhipinti and The Sicilian Project have 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.
Michael Occhipinti’s work has been called “a masterpiece of cultural fusion” and his album The Sicilian Jazz Project received a 2009 JUNO Award nomination. The recording also resulted in the prestigious Ragusani nel Mondo Award being presented to Michael and his co-producer bassist brother Roberto Occhipinti in Ragusa, Sicily in 2009. In 2010 Michael Occhipinti received a Chalmers Fellowship to live in Sicily and explore the folk culture further. The fruits of that trip form the basis of the group’s new album Muorica, featuring a large cast of Canada’s best musicians fronted by long-time vocalist Dominic Mancuso, and special guests that include the astonishing Rome-based vocalist Pilar, brilliant American clarinetist Don Byron, and the acclaimed Cecilia String Quartet.
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 Sam Rivers, Bruce Cockburn, Joe Lovano, Jeff Coffin, and long-time colleague Don Byron.
Join us for a very special musical journey as Michael Occhipinti & The Sicilian Project explore a beautiful world of "Old World" folk with "New World" influences in an unforgettable live concert experience at BLU - get your tickets today!