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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Where your mind goes, you go

As an artist, traveling is part of my job. And I really love it. I always get to learn something new about the world.  

And with the discovering of new parts of the world I also get to meet always new people and enrich my life with their stories and knowledge.

As you may know I recently started to learn Spanish. Also recently I have recorded my first Spanish song and released it as digital single, “Como La Flor”, the iconic song of one of my favorite Latino singers, Selena.
In a few weeks, I will release my second Spanish recording; “Gracias A La Vida” (Spanish for "Thanks to life"). It is a song composed and first performed by Chilean musician Violetta Parra.  
The song, that was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2013, is performed throughout the world, and remains as one of the most covered Latin American songs in history.
It is such a beautiful song which lyrics are still so relevant for this time in history where, even though we have so much, we seem to forget to be grateful and thankful for the simple things life has given us, like family, friends and love all around us. I cannot wait to wait to share it with you. I think you will love it.

I love to read inspirational and motivational books and I remember reading that “Where your mind goes, you go”. Funny that while I was so absorbed to learn Spanish and learn more about Latino music, while I was recoding my first Spanish songs, I got on my path an incredible opportunity.

I have been asked to record a duet of the song, Somos Novios (known in the USA as “It’s Impossible”) with the writer of the song, Maestro Armando Manzanero. Maestro Manzanero, who has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in United States in 2014, is widely considered the premier Mexican romantic composer and one of the most successful composers of Latin America. 

So, next week I will fly to Mexico City to meet Maestro Manzaniero and to record his song with him. I’m still on cloud nine for this opportunity and honor and I cannot wait to meet this living legend. Amazing right?

And if that was not enough the recording so far has been unbelievable. If you follow me on my social media you know that we have recorded the music of "Somos Novios" here in Los Angeles at the legendary United Recording Studio at the beginning of August. I just had got back from my “From Venice With Love Cruise” in Venice with my fans and a little vacation with my parents.

With jet leg and all, I went into the studio and it was a dream, to say the less. To play with me for the recoding some legendary musicians I was dreaming to work with for years.

On piano and arranger was Cheche Alara, (pianist of Barbra Streisand and Musical Director of the Grammy Awards and the Latin Grammy Awards).

On Bass, the one and only Nathan East. With more than 2,000 recordings, Nathan is considered one of the most recorded bass players in the history of music. He has been churning out hit songs with artists as legendary as Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, BeyoncĂ©, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder and so many more). 

On guitar was Ramon Stagnaro (you may know him from all the Andrea Bocelli PBS music specials, but Ramon has also played and toured with artists such as Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Alejandro Sanz, Enrique Iglesias, Josh Groban, just to mention a few.

On percussion, I had Paulinho Da Costa, considered one of the most recorded musicians of modern times. Just to mention a few artists he worked with, Bee Gees, George Benson, Elton John, Diana Krall, Donna Summer, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Bonnie Raitt, Lionel Richie, just amazing.

And last but not at least, on drums, my dear Brazilian friend and producer extraordinaire, Rodrigo Rios, who had arranged this magical and unbelievable “A –Team” for the recording. I think I will never stop thanking him for this amazing musical adventure.

I think dreams do really come true and I cannot wait to share the rest of this incredible adventure with all of you.
Stay all tuned for Mexico next week for the big day: meeting and working with legendary artist Armando Manzanero.
And of course I cannot wait to share the magic music that will be born.

I cannot wait,



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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kindness inspires kindeness

In a world where it looks that negative news and people behaving bad seems to get much more publicity and attention than good people doing great things, I want to share with all of you in this BLOG something beautiful, kind and positive.
This is happening in Italy but I’m sure something similar is happening right now also in other parts of the world and for sure also here in the USA where we are all watching in shock the horrible events in Texas.

The territory of Arquata del Tronto is a natural oasis located between two national parks: Sibilline and Gran Sasso Mountains and the Laga Mountains. Also called “The Queen of the Two Parks” is crossed by the Salaria (ancient Via del Sale- Way of the Salt).
Here they grow mainly: spelled, barley, lentils besides cereals and legumes. 

This idyllic place was afflicted by the earthquake on August 24, 2016 and once again at the end of October.

In Piazza della Repubblica Portogruaro 
In my recent visit to Portogruaro, Venice, I was visiting one of my favorite place where my parents always buy their coffee, Armonie di Caffe’, in the main Piazza of Portogruaro, Piazza Della Repubblica. 

With Fernanda Gasparoni

While talking to the owner, a dear family friend of years, Fernanda Gasparoni, I noticed that she had at the entrance of the store a display filled with products coming from the Arquata territory. 
With Fernanda and Maria Cristina at Armonie Di Caffe' in Portogruaro, VE.
Fernanda and her daughter Maria Cristina, as kind as they are , were so eager to tell me all about it. She told me that after having seen the destruction of their territory hit twice by the earthquake, had heard from her son on how the local businesses of the local companies were continuing to produce their product despite their structures being either inadmissible or completely destroyed. They were temporarily operating in rented laboratories in Ascoli Piceno. 
She decided to help them and she bought many of their product to support them.

She’s in constant contact with the two companies that she’s supporting, Molino Petrucci and Filotei Lini of Filotei Nando & C.

The Filotei Lini of Filotei Nando & C. is an artisan company that produces a wide assortment of mushrooms and black fresh truffles , dried, frozen and in jars, made into sauces, creams/spreads and pates in addition to some different kinds of cereals and mixed dried legumes, truffles and aromatic oils and spices.

The Molini Petrucci is also artisan company that
works with local grains and uses stone grinding, spelt flours, antique grain flours, special flours and classic flours, and also offers soups of cereals and mixed grains.

I was lucky to try some of their products and are a delight of taste. They offer for breakfast spotted spelled, spelled walnuts (spelled contains less gluten than other cereals and therefore is more digestible. Spelled flour is also used to cut other flours) .

For your lunch they have pasta with spelled, creamy condiments, olives, mushrooms, artichokes and sauce at the Amatriciana.

They have also side dishes, with mushrooms, artichokes, truffles, olives tomatoes. You can make nice crostini with pate ', or cream or truffle sauce. Delicious. 
If you love like me soups, they have some delicious combinations. My favorites are Zuppa Primavera (Spring Soup), Zuppa Arquatana, Zuppa Del Molino (Soup of the Mill) and  Zuppa Della Regina (Soup od the Queen). 

Very delicious are also the Lentils of Castelluccio, of the Two Parks (the local one, both small, soft and great!) and they have aromatized oil and even, if you are a wine lover, the Piceno red wine.
Maybe we can all together change the trend and give voice and attentions to people like Fernanda that in silence and without looking for fame or recognition is doing something to help people in need.

There is love and kindness in the world. Let’s share it.

From Venice With Love,


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