Raphael Gualazzi’s Epic Showcase
I’ve mentioned before how much I love Italy’s entry this year. Raphael Gualazzi, who’ll be performing “Madness of Love” on Saturday, is a brilliant jazz musician who takes his cues from both the old school beginnings of the genre as well as newer styles and techniques. (His album “Reality and Fantasy” is already out, so definitely give it a listen!) I had the chance to attend an exclusive press conference and showcase with Raphael and his band, with a special cameo from the boys in Blue (and France’s Amaury Vassili was seen in the audience). The venue was a tiny, intimate little space, and I was sitting close enough to the action to see the sweat dripping from Raphael’s brow as he pounded away at the piano. At times, his hands were absolute blurs (you should have seen his rendition of “Caravan”!), and there were a few instances where the sheet music sitting on the piano flew off of the rack and onto the keyboard, but he kept on playing with gusto. Blue stopped by and performed “I Can” and “Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word” while Raphael tickled the ivories behind them…unbelievably cool.
Posted on May 14, '11, in 2011, Italy, Personal, United Kingdom. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
I'm from the U.K. and am amazed there are Americans into this. I follow it on the radio each year. Is it on tv in the U.S.? I would never want to go to one but admire you for going. Some people in the U.K. take the mickey out of it but others use it as a reason to party. It's a way of uniting Europe on one night. There is no other event that does that.If you google Eurovision at the time of the show, you can see people's twitter comments live as they are written.In November there is the junior eurovision song contest each year:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junior_Eurovision_Song_Contest
It is not on TV in the US, and the vast majority of Americans aren't even aware that it exists. The songs generally don't get released here, and most aren't available on iTunes. The last Eurovision song to be a significant hit here was "Ooh Ahh Just a Little Bit," and the one before that was "Save Your Kisses For Me"! We've never heard of Dana International, Bucks Fizz, or Johnny Logan. Cliff Richard was that guy that recorded "Devil Woman".We know Volare, Love is Blue, Riverdance, and of course Abba, but we don't know where they came from.Those few of us who do discover the ESC either have a lot of European friends, or have very large record collections, or are unusually big fans of Abba. The contest is finally starting to attract a bit more interest thanks to the internet, and to coverage on a few media outlets like the Rachel Maddow Show and the Fug Girls website. Unfortunately most of the coverage is heavily influenced by the BBC's stand-up-comedy routine about how lousy the whole thing is, and it inevitably comes accompanied by the YouTube video of Verka Serduchka (like this: http://www.slate.com/id/2293517/ ), so it's tough to build much interest even from people who **have** heard of it. I hate to say this, but Jedward is NOT helping.Until some broadcaster takes the plunge and puts it on TV, I expect it will remain very much an underground thing. And most broadcasters won't even consider airing it because it's 3+ hours with very few commercial breaks.So that's how Eurovision-deprived we are over here. Y'all don't know how good you've got it.
(You can watch the junior version athttp://www.junioreurovision.tv/ )How do you follow it? Do you listen on the BBC radio 2 web site?How do you feel when it comes round again?