Italy places second at Eurovision Song Contest with jazz musician Raphael Gualazzi

Wed, 05/18/2011 - 05:30

Last week, on Saturday 14th, Eurovision Song Contest fans all over Europe tuned in to watch the event. This year, Italy returned to the contest for the first time since 1997 and won second place with
talented musician Raphael Gualazzi.

Raphael won the newcomers section of the 2011 Sanremo Festival in Italy with the song Madness Of Love. The song was considerably longer than the three minutes required by the Eurovision Song Contest’s rule, so he had to rework it in the studio to comply.

Italy had a rich tradition at the Eurovision Song Contest. They won the contest twice, back in 1964 and 1990, and often finished in the Top10. Italy brought several Eurovision evergreens, such as Domenico Modugno's Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) and Umberto Tozzi and Raf's Gente Di Mare.

Raphael’s music is a fusion of Rag-time technique of the early 1900s and the lyricism of Blues, Soul and Jazz in its more traditional form. The typical pre-jazz and stride-piano sounds of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Art Tatum and Mary Lou Williams, and the Blues of Ray Charles and Roosevelt Sykes, are brought up to date by Raphael with an extremely personal style in which tradition co-exists with the most innovative influences of such eclectic artists as Jamiroquai and Ben Harper. He really makes Italy proud!