San Remo Music Festival

San Remo, Italy

I sang with Matia Bazar at the San Remo Music Festival. It is seriously spectacular and has always been a super spectacular event with the biggest and most glamorous Italian and international artists appearing on the same stage on the same evening. I’ve only been a couple of times, but the first time I exchanged greetings with Luciano Pavarotti, who was sitting just beside a well-known Italian actor.

San Remo is on the Italian Riviera, which is part of the beautiful and ritzy Cote d’Azur. Cannes and Nice are just minutes away.

Matia Bazar has been a super hot cross over band since the mid-70’s, recording and performing internationally. They are huge. And the festival proposed that I might sing the, Speak Softly Love,” with them at the festival. Wonderful idea! I’ll be there. We landed on a beautiful sunny afternoon at the Nice airport, and drove the breathtaking one hour drive to Hotel Nazionale on the main street of San Remo… with all shop till you drop shopping. The town was decked out like Christmas. I went straight to bed. Big day tomorrow. And an even bigger day today getting here. We’ll have a rehearsal tomorrow and do press like crazy. Thank you God. I am so smiled upon and given unto… blessed and favored. Here I am in Italy doing this… with 15 million people watching.

Sylvia, Piero, Fabio, and Giancarlo are wonderful warm people doing great music. And the arrangement that we created was beautiful, with strings.

Performance day was a marathon 3-ring circus with the entire backstage packed with performers. Jose Feliciano was the only one with a dressing room. And there was a crowd in there too. But the spirit of the occasion was definitely warm Italian exuberance. And the spirit won out.

And what an orchestra. They must have played over a hundred pieces of music that day.

I didn’t get a chance to personally come say “hi”, but if you see them say “hi” to the following people who were part of that gala: Brian May, Patti Smyth, Macy Gray, Emma Marrone. What a day.

Lorena you were fabulous. Thank you for your spirit and invaluable help.

Of course, thank you Matia Bazar for inviting me to sing with you guys. It was a pleasure. And thank you San Remo Music Festival. You are fabulous.


Al Jarreau

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