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Neapolis is a project that I've had in mind for a long time. Besides my connection with Italy, where I have lived for over thirty years, I have a special connection with Neapolitan music. When I first arrived in Italy in 1981, the local radio stations were blasting Pino Daniele's "Yes, I Know my Way," an enticing up-tempo tune sung mostly in Neapolitan dialect, but musically it clearly reminded of Steely Dan. The track was from the album "Vai Mò," and from the moment I listened to that album it would become the sound score of my entire thirty-plus years in Italy.
In the early nineties I was hired to perform at a resort in Germany, and the resort manager specifically requested Italian, preferably Neapolitan music. I have to admit, at the time of his request I was a little biased, because he referred to popular opera songs such as "'O Sole Mio," and as a jazz/pop vocalist I felt uncomfortable with it. But after researching the genre, I discovered its enormous and diverse song library, consisting of dozens of gems that gave me the chills as soon as I played them. I also came to a deeper understanding of Pino Daniele's compositions, which refer to Neapolitan music with a touch of World, Blues, and Jazz.
Neapolis presents a selection of traditional, relatively unknown but compelling songs, a selection of the most beautiful, internationally known classics, and a selection from the amazing jazz/fusion Pino Daniele repertoire.
More about Neapolitan music:
The lyrics to Neapolitan songs (all in Neapolitan dialect) from the early 20th century touch on the subject of amore (love), and of profound nostalgia of Neapolitans for their beloved Napoli (Naples). Between 1900 and 1920, thousands of Neapolitans crossed the Atlantic to emigrate to America, and songs like "Santa Lucia Luntana," beautifully describe the inner conflict the emigrants experienced during their passage across the ocean.
Contemporary Neapolitan songwriters blend the two sentiments into one: passione. That is what Neapolitans are driven by in a number of real-life situations, i.e. the challenges faced by young Neapolitans living in the poor, crime-ridden suburbs, the desire to escape or make drastic changes, and the love/hate relationship of Neapolitans with their own city.
The band Neapolis plays early 20th century Neapolitan songs, and songs by Neapolitan songwriter Pino Daniele (1955-2015).