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Whisper Sounds

Tuesday 2 Of July 2024 - 21:15, Anfiteatro

Mario Biondi voice

Massimo Greco pianist
Massimiliano Laganà basso/double bass
Enrico Santangelo drums
Marco Parlante sound technician

Società Filarmonica di Solomeo
Francesco Verzieri director
Andrea Angeloni director


ALFIE Musica: B. Bacharach, H. David, Testo: H. David

SOMETHING THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL Musica e testo: B. Bacharach,
S. Sater, Arrangiamento: C. Jacob

FOOL FOR YOUR LOVE Musica: S.E. Sater, Testo: M. Biondi

LOVE IS A TEMPLE Musica: M. Biondi, Testo: A. Bertorelli

REBIRTH Musica: N. Poggi, F. Foggia, Testo: M. Biondi, E.B. Barbosa

RIO DE JANEIRO BLUE Musica: J. Haeny, R. Torrance,
Testo: J. Haeny, R. Torrance

SHINE ON Musica: M. Greco, Testo: M. Biondi, J. Kincaid

THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE Musica: A. Magnanini, Testo: M. Biondi


Mario Biondi

When you first heard the hit This is what you are in 2006, you probably imagined a stocky, middle-aged Afro-American singer. Yet Mario Biondi was born in Catania (a city that has always had a special relationship with Italian music), thirty-five at the time and white to boot. His extraordinary, warm and mellow voice, refined in many years of live performances, had us all fooled and we couldn’t help but compare him to the likes of Teddy Pendergrass, Isaac Hayes and Barry White, three of the most beautiful black voices of all time. The track was launched back in 2004, not in the name of Mario Biondi, but under the nom de plume Was-A-Bee. This is what you are became a part of countless dance compilations, but its entry in the top ten most played tracks by Norman Jay in his cult BBC Radio program took it to the next level. The song is a prelude to a Handful of soul, produced with The High Five Quintet, a successful cocktail of rhythm & blues, soul, swing and jazz, in which original tracks and covers of underrated American soul alternate. In 2007 I love you more was released, a double live CD with the songs Handful of soul and others like Just the way you are in the Barry White version and Close to you by Burt Bacharach. A professional harmony developed with the latter, so much so that the legendary American composer wrote Something that was beautiful for Biondi, a marvellous ballad that became a major track of If, his second album, released at the end of 2009. Published by Tattica Records, over 200,000 copies were sold, a remarkable result considering the music genre. Sales aside, the album confirms Biondi as one of the most interesting artists on the national scene and this is not hard to believe: the single Be lonely, is a triumph of rhythm and strings in pure Seventies style, not to mention the sensual ballad Ecstasy. Even Claudio Baglioni in Juke box and Renato Zero in Non smetterei più showcase the Sicilian crooner’s unmistakable baritone in their own works: there is no stopping his success. Due is an innovative “talent album” published in 2011, in which Biondi’s warm voice meets with that of young artists, more or less well-known, whose talent he nurtures. Twenty tracks, thirteen of which unreleased, composed by the same artists involved in the project, and seven covers, including the wonderful My girl by the Temptations, used in the ad for a famous Italian beer. Sun, released in 2013, is the album that marked his definitive consecration, the first to be published by a major label, launching the singer onto the international market. He achieved all this by brining together an all-star line-up, including Al Jarreau, James Taylor Quartet, Omar, Leon Ware and Chaka Khan. Bluey of the Incognito gave the album its unmistakable touch, which translates into a fresh, pulsating, modern, yet pleasantly vintage sound. In the same year, after a triumphant concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, he released Mario Christmas, an original Christmas record with two unreleased tracks and surprising reinterpretations of Last Christmas, Driving home for Christmas and Let it snow. Beyond, 2015, is a declaration of intent already palpable from the title: Mario Biondi’s desire to shake things up and present himself with a whole new sound. All I want is you, written with Dee Dee Bridgewater, is all that remains of the soft jazz ballads of the past; Beyond is an album to be danced to, with numerous funky and a couple of pop-dance tracks: Love is a temple and I chose you, and even a reggae tune, Where does the money go. In 2016 the Catania-born crooner published his very own greatest hits, entitled Best of Soul, with the best of 10 years of his career in two cds, with 7 additional unreleased tracks. Lanui Brazilian sounds are the main theme in Brasil, recorded and produced in 2018, in one year of work in Rio de Janeiro, by Mario Caldato and Kassin. Brasil is a veritable journey through the multifaceted nature of Brazilian music, with unreleased tracks and reinterpretations of classics which Biondi performs without ever shunning his soul and funk essence, effortlessly singing in four languages: Portuguese, English, French and Italian.
The elegant ballad Rivederti stands out in particular in the album, and was presented at the 2018 Sanremo Festival, where once more Mario Biondi showcased his excellent vocal control and technique, always at the service of emotions. The recent I wanna be free with Quintorigo and Sunny Days with Cleveland Jones are two singles that indicate Biondi’s tireless sound research. In 2020, a dark time for the world of music and entertainment, Mario had to cancel many performances in Italy and abroad, rescheduling them for 2021. The emergency didn’t stop him from working on different projects. First and foremost, he finished recording his new album, released in 2021. In June he released the digital EP Paradise Alternative Productions, containing 3 different versions of Paradise, a track from the new album; on occasion of Record Store Day / Black Friday, it was released in a special vinyl edition, with additional remixes, not available in the digital version. On 8 December Mario published the Christmas single This Is Christmas Time, a holiday version of his classic This Is What You Are, with text adapted together with Nick The Nightfly and the re-recording of music in a studio with his band. Cantaloupe Island (DJ Meme Remix), was released on 15 January 2021, a single anticipating the imminent publication of the new album. A reinterpretation of the Herbie Hancock classic published in 1964, in the album Empyrean Isles, in addition to the influence of the Brazilian producer DJ Meme, who Mario met in Rio De Janeiro while recording his album Brasil. On 29 January 2021 Dare was published, celebrating 50 years of Mario, amid early influences and new sounds, characterised by the artist’s unfailing quality. After a summer once again filled with live performances in Italy and abroad, Mario returned to the studio to record a new project. On 14 February 2022, Valentine’s Day, he announced his new album Romantic, released on 18 March, with excerpts of You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine and Romantic Song, with a videoclip directed by Luca Tommassini. On the occasion Mario also announced his new calendar of dates, with a theatre tour covering the entire month of May, including major Italian cities, and a series of concerts abroad from the end of March to autumn 2022, including in the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Austria and Hungary. In 2023 Biondi announced new international performances, including at the Java Jazz Festival, Jakarta, his return to Blue Note, Tokyo, 11 years on, concerts in Ankara, Jurmala, Tangers, and two highly prestigious double bills with Manhattan Transfer (Madrid, Noches del Botanico Festival) and Kurt Elling (Leverkusen, Leverkusener Jazztage). On 18 April 2023 the first summer dates in Italy were announced, as part of the tour Crooning Soon including live previews of brands from the new project which was then released in the autumn. On 26 May 2023 Biondi published the track My Favourite Things, a reinterpretation of the classic by Julie Andrews and preview of the new album Crooning Undercover, released on 29 September 2023. After numerous summer concerts in Italy and abroad, Mario Biondi brought to life a new theatre tour in Italy entitled Crooning – The Italian Tour, in which he performs in the best opera theatres up and down the country, with an orchestra of 19 musicians unplugged… A highly ambitious live project, which sold out in many cities. In 2024 he has reconfirmed a program of back-to-back dates in various countries: Spain, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Morocco, Australia, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Croatia, Latvia, Azerbaijan and the Principality of Monaco. 10 summer dates in high artistic and cultural value locations were also announced, along with 10 dates in theatres in Italy’s main cities, indeed the Crooning Undercover crossed the impressive milestone of 100 dates in Italy and 22 other countries in 2023-2024. A special event scheduled for 14 September at Teatro Antica, Taormina, will be the grand final for summer 2024, with a show celebrating the world of jazz and soul, and the participation of special guests from the Italian and international jazz scene. E tu come stai was released on 18 April 2024, a cover of the timeless track by Claudio Baglioni, anticipating an EP in which Mario reinterprets four great classics of Italian song and singer-song-writers.


Filarmonica di Solomeo

The Solomeo music band was created thanks to Father Ruggero Margaritoni, who taught the first notions of music to his students in 1925. After its first maestro Ducci, from Romagna, Aroldo Pedini was appointed, who raised the group’s level thanks to his talent for arranging tracks suited to the potential of various elements. The maestri Piero Vincenti, Eleno Orazi, Roberto Castellani and Enrica Picciafuoco are also particularly worthy of mention, as they led the band over time. For two decades and until 2015, the band was conducted by Mauro Basiglio, who worked on the quality of performances and implemented the musical repertoire. Today the band is conducted by maestro Verzieri, who also coordinates the school of music and arts “Musikè”, of the eponymous association. Under his direction the Band has developed both in technical and interpretative terms and has continued to expand its musical repertoire. Maestro Andrea Angeloni was appointed to support Maestro Verzieri in his work and conduct the band at its various performances away from home. The most significant events in which the band has performed include the Christmas Concert at the Cucinelli Theatre, the End of Year Concert at the Sala dei Notari, Perugia, religious celebrations and processions in neighbouring towns and musical exchanges with bands from other regions in Italy and European countries. In the last few years the Solomeo Philharmonic Band has also participated in concert festivals such as the Band Festival of Città della Pieve (PG), La bacchetta d’Oro, Fiuggi (FR), and in 2024, at the Flicorno d’oro, Riva del Garda (TN). At the Cucinelli Theatre on 18 December 2022, the maestro and composer Lorenzo Pusceddu presented and conducted the new track written for Solomeo and its band for the first time, entitled Solomeo dreams. In summer 2023 the band performed on the prestigious stage of the Villa Solomei Festival in “Sounds of China”, with Maestro Guo Gan. For a long time the Solomeo Philharmonic organised the “Aroldo Pedini” band festival: an event dedicated to the spread and promotion of band music, with the participation of bands from Italy’s variegated scene. Today the Solomeo Philharmonic band is made up of around 40 members and its repertoire ranges from classical music to jazz and blues.


Francesco Verzieri

Born in 1975, he graduated in clarinet in 1997 from the Perugia Conservatory, under the mentorship of the maestri Zampognini and Scarponi. His mentorship continued under Maestro Garbarino and once more with Master Scarponi. In 2002 and 2003 he participated in numerous educational initiatives organised by the Umbria Region and by ANBIMA, directed by illustrious maestri including A.M. Freschi (music education), A. Carnevali, M. Livi, F. Creux (training course for orchestral conductor). In 2003 he attended the course taught by Maestro C. Pirola (gesture and communication). In 2008 he participated in the conduction course held by Maestro S. Acquaviva. Francesco Verzieri has executed numerous intense and acclaimed concert performances as a soloist, in piano duets, various chamber formations and important symphonic orchestras, recording numerous CDs as a clarinettist. From 2004 to 2006 he was the director of the “V. Puletti” Philharmonic of Ponte Felcino (PG), with whom he recorded the CD Armonie di Capodanno, and conducted for the Municipality of Perugia in 2004 and 2005 at Sala dei Notari, on occasion of the prestigious New Year’s Eve Concert. He works with numerous educational associations as an expert in education, sound and music. In 1998 he was appointed director of the “Michele Taddei” School of Music in Cannara and in 2002 maestro of the “F. Morlacchi” Musical Concert of Cannara, in a highly acclaimed performance. In May 2006 he moved to Ausgburg (Germany), on occasion of the festival of Italian emigrants in Germany, and in April 2010 to Genk, Belgium, for 25 April formal celebrations. Under his leadership, the Concerto Musicale “F. Morlacchi” qualified for the national final in Florence among the top 10 bands in Italy at the Concorso Energia in Banda organised by Enel and ANBIMA and, in April 2009, sixth place in the third category in the eleventh edition of the Flicorno d’oro competition, Riva del Garda (TN). From 2009 to 2014 he was vice director of the Corciano Festival wind orchestra, from 2010 to 2018 he directed the “Caduti per la Patria” Philharmonic of Mugnano (PG), from 2015 he is director of the Solomeo Philharmonic Company, with whom he participated in the La bacchetta d’oro Competition in 2017, in Fiuggi (FR).