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LETIZIA GAMBI - Introducing Letizia Gambi

Location: Camo, , Italy
On Introducing Letizia Gambi, the classy Italian songstress artfully blends her own Neapolitan roots with White’s penchant for injecting a swing factor into any proceedings.
Press Release:
Lenny White Introduces New Discovery Letizia Gambi Italian songstress blends Neapolitan songbook and jazz on auspicious debut from Jando Music.
"...It was soooo nice to play with/for a singer that can really sing." –Ron Carter
"Lenny White and Letizia Gambi have created the hippest musical address in Naples; at the intersection of Neapolitan music and jazz."- Gil Goldstein
“I’m always looking for new artists who have knowledge and respect of tradition but free spirited enough not to look at me crazy when I ask them to change it...Letizia is an old soul in a new body...It wasn't a situation where it was just her singing, she's a great singer...excellent lyricist...She's really a dynamo and the best student I ever had." –Lenny White
"Letizia Gambi is one of those dramatic arrivals that challenges categories and assumptions." –Ashley Khan

Her gorgeous voice on the opening refrain to “Secret Tears” (“Una Furtiva Lagrima,” an aria from the Italian opera L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti), the leadoff track from Introducing Letizia Gambi, heralds the arrival of a poised and polished young songstress from Naples making her stateside splash.
With visionary drummer-producer Lenny White at the helm, Gambi is surrounded by American jazz heavyweights Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Gato Barbieri, Wallace Roney, Gil Goldstein and Patrice Rushen on her auspicious debut.
“It is her first record but she’s been around and doing things in Italy,” says White, whose track record as a producer has been prolific since his heyday with Return To Forever in the ‘70s. “She’s been in musical theater, she’s done West Side Story, she was a dancer and she’s done some tv shows as an actress. She was also part of swing orchestra in Italy. So she’s certainly done things, but this is her first effort as a solo recording artist.”
On Introducing Letizia Gambi, the classy Italian songstress artfully blends her own Neapolitan roots with White’s penchant for injecting a swing factor into any proceedings. “The challenge for me, because I had never approached doing any Neopolitan music at all, was to try and take her music and her culture and get it exposed to a wider audience through a different kind of music. And so that’s where we got this cultural hybrid of Neopolitan and Italian music through my culture, which is jazz music. So ultimately it was like Norah Jones meets Sade for the Michael Buble crowd.”
Gambi’s Neapolitan side manifests in her Italian lyrics on Pino Danielle’s “Appocundria,” Bruno Canfora’s breezy “Soli” and the dramatic “Passione,” which opens with a home recording of her uncle Gennaro Sica, a professional opera singer, at a casual Sunday afternoon family gathering. “My Town” is a nostalgic piece arranged by White and with string orchestrations from Carlos Franzetti that focuses on Gambi’s beloved Napoli. Elsewhere on Introducing Letizia Gambi, White arranges a tango-flavored rendition of Prince’s “The Question of U,” featuring a passionate tenor sax solo from Argentine jazz icon Gato Barbieri (who briefly quotes his own “Theme from Last Tango in Paris”) and also reinvents Bjork’s “Bachelorette,” rendered here as an alluring ballad with Hector del Curto on bandoneon (with a subtle reference to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the tag).
“I wanted to try some different things,” says White of this first recording by Ms. Gambi. “When I’m given a free reign, I have no boundaries. Usually what happens is record companies put boundaries on artists because they want to market them a certain way. I understand that. But this is the 21st century and how people listen to music has changed. Now people listen to all kinds of music in different ways for different reasons, and I really wanted this record to appeal to those people.”
One clever mashup on Introducing Letizia Gambi is her juxtaposition of the nostalgic ode to Naples, “Munasterio ‘e Santachiara,” with the Duke Ellington staple “In a Sentimental Mood.” “That was strictly her idea,” says White of his talented young colleague deserving of wider recognition. “She had done that before when she was in jazz school. And listening to some Italian musicians I had met over the years, they all talked about the symmetry or similarity between those tunes. The composer of ‘Munasterio’ either was influenced by ‘In a Sentimental Mood,’ or just the opposite. There’s still some debate about that in Italian circles to this day.”
The album also marks the first-ever recording of “You Are So Special” (“Tu Si ‘Na Cosa Grande”) sung in English along with three new tunes co-written by White and Gambi – “A Time,” “The Love of Your Life” and the dramatic, tangofied closer, “Yo Soy El Sur.” And no collection of Neopolitan music would be complete without a rendition of the classic “’O Sole Mio.” As White explains, “That is easily the most famous Neapolitan song but Letizia was hesitant to do it because she said, “No Italian would do that song. That’s like you American guys doing a recording of your national anthem.’ But I came up with an arrangement for her that, to me, went back to old doo-wop love songs from the ‘50s. And I wanted it to be really stark at the beginning with just bass and her, just Ron Carter and her. Then it goes into that waltz section and at the end I went to another key where there’s some improvisation. So this is all part of this true cultural fusion that we hit on with this album.”
As liner note writer Ashley Kahn states of the organic cross-fertilization heard on Introducing Letizia Gambi: “It’s a novel idea…It speaks to the triumph of the marriage of eras and styles that defines this album and promises much more to come.”
For More Information, Bio and Tour Dates on Letizia Gambi go to: www.letiziagambi.com
Press Contact: Two for the Show Media/Chris DiGirolamo Phone: (631) 298 -7823/ Email: Chris@Twofortheshowmedia.com www.twofortheshowmedia.com
About Letizia
Born in Naples, south Italy, Letizia grew up in an artistic family.
Opera singers, musicians, actors, writers.
Her mother started also as singer, her uncle is an Opera's Tenore and her father, an artist and a Jazz lover. Also her brother Gianpaolo has become an appreciated and talented actor and anchorman. As every big old style Italian family, they spent together all the occasions and holidays performing and singing together, the traditional Neapolitan-Italian repertoire, playing music, dancing, acting and changing what usually would be a normal family gathering into some extraordinary theatre shows with a lot of fun and a professional mood... This is where Letizia's passion for arts and talents started to materialize...and soon, everybody realized she was not a regular kid. Even when she was 4, she never played with a rag doll, she spent time painting and creating things with her hands. Early on, her family moved from Naples to Como in the north of Italy and her life started to change.
They carried their traditions and all their musical wealth with them... But she learned the meaning of NOSTALGIA. She was forced to exchange the large brightness of the sea for the dark shadows of the lake. The warm and passionate people of the south with a cold, distant, unfriendly new world. This was one of the reasons she bonded more and more with her culture (going whenever she could back to Naples) and why she needed to put her culture into everything she did.
Letizia started as dancer, and went to study also musical theatre in London. She graduated art school as a designer, won some painting awards, showcasing her art when she was just 14. She started working very young as dancer, dance teacher, choreographer while continuing to study singing and acting. She needed to follow her heart and express herself in different ways, searching for the right path. She attended the acting school "Quelli di Grock"in Milano, worked as an actress, and ?nally, because of her great love of music, she decided to audition for the International Jazz Academy in Milano. Of the 60 people who auditioned, she was one of the 7they accepted. She got four years and became an assistant to the singing professor in a "Master Year". So she started working as professional singer and writing her lyrics.
Before meeting her producer Lenny White she experienced theatre and musicals roles, like in "West side story" where she was Anita, dancing, acting in TV shows and singing with many great Italian Jazz musicians. Working as lead in a Jazz Big Band, in a Gospel Choir, teaching singing and working for different projects. She used to listen to any kind of music, from Opera to soundtracks, from Jazz to Neapolitans songs, Broadway shows, rock, classical, folk, fusion, soul and whatever is interesting and moves her heart.
The legendary drummer and producer Lenny White recognized her talents, invested on her and the project is done. Letizia Moved to New York where she studied, wrote and recorded the album with the incredible "all star band" who was very happy to support her and the project. She already performed at the BlueNote in Milan with Lenny White and his band during his last European Tour. They also played concerts in Rome at "Casa del Jazz" and "Centrale Montemartini Bluenote Festival" introducing the project having always sold out. Letizia opened the TV "Premio Biagio Agnes" Media Awards 2011 singing "a cappella" an old Neapolitan song on the ?rst Channel Raiuno.
Whatever will happen with this record Letizia's life changed totally and she had priceless experiences and the honour to have some of the greatest musicians in the world playing on her ?rst album. She's happy and grateful to her life and to her maestro Lenny White.

"Introducing Letizia Gambi" is the title of the debut record of Letizia Gambi and gives a clear idea of the musical project conceived and developed by the Neapolitan artist in collaboration with Lenny White, one of the most acclaimed musicians and producers worldwide.
Lenny White, who has just won his forth Grammy Award in the category "Best contemporary Jazz Album", for playing &; producing the Corea,Clarke,White album "Forever",was so won over by the talent and the project of Letizia, that after twelve months of hard work between Milan, Rome and New York they created "Introducing Letizia Gambi", produced with Jando Music.
"Introducing Letizia Gambi" is the synthesis of two apparently distant worlds and yet able to blend them in perfect harmony, creating a new sound that combines the Black-American heritage with Mediterranean melodies. Lenny and Letizia arranged in a unique and personal way some of the most popular songs of the Italian and Neapolitan repertoire, international covers, and composed original tunes of great musical impact. The refined sensibility of the Italian singer, together with the exceptional experience of the American artist, merged to give birth to a unique musical approach, 21st Century Music, as the two artists like to define it. It is Jazz mingled with Neapolitan passion, Mediterranean music affected by Black-American sounds. The idea of creating something new on the international musical scene, immediately met the interest of some great musicians who accepted the challenge from Lenny and Letizia. Ron Carter, Chick Corea, Wallace Roney, Patrice Rushen, Gil Goldstein and Gato Barbieri, with their extraordinary performances have significantly contributed to the success of the project."Introducing Letizia Gambi" is held together by a common unique style, although made of songs that are different from each other: from "Appocundria", a cover of the famous Italian Pino Daniele, enhanced by the piano performance of Chick Corea, to "The question of U", their cover of a Prince tune, with a solo of extraordinary beauty by Gato Barbieri. Lenny's arrangements, with the use of cello, guitar and bandoneòn, marked by continuous changes of rhythm, percussion and drums, give some tracks a decidedly different sound, changing from one atmosphere to another and then returning to its original identity within a few bars."Introducing Letizia Gambi" was recorded between New York, Rome and New Jersey and mastered in 2011, at the famous Sterling Sound Studios in New York City.

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