“This is really why we listen to music: to be surprised and lifted up, stripped of our preconceptions and left breathless” - Bill Bentley
— Sonic Boomer
Michael Occhipinti’s SICILIAN JAZZ PROJECT has been dazzling audiences world-wide with its unique 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 detours to Mali, Jamaica, and Toronto.
The Sicilian Jazz Project features some of the best musicians from Toronto's vibrant music scene as well as a variety of international guests, and in August 2023 welcomes Sicilian vocalists and composers Daniela Spalletta and Giuseppe Di Bella to Canada for the first time.
Daniela Spalletta has been called “a silken voice, with remarkable fluidity and range” by the prestigious American Jazz magazine Downbeat, and she finished Second in the prestigious 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. She is considering one of the top contemporary jazz singers in Europe, and is also a gifted composer and arranger working in many styles, including her own explorations of Sicilian music.
Giuseppe Di Bella is gifted singer-songwriter, performer, poet, and guitarist with a stunning voice, who sees his work as a synthesis of contemporary song, art music, and alternative genre music, but which feeds on the great popular songwriting of the 20th Century. He has been a finalist twice for the Parodi Prize in Sardinia, and for the Botteghe D'autore prize.