Progressive rock multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Franck Carducci announced that he will release a live DVD by the end of 2016, shot during his band’s 2015 European tour. His most recent recordings are: Torn Apart and Oddity.
Renaissance, the pioneering symphonic progressive rock group, fronted by acclaimed vocalist Annie Haslam, will be touring the United States in November 2016.
The band will be promoting its recent DVD release “Live at The Union Chapel.” Filmed in London, the concert showcases Renaissance performing classics like “Carpet of the Sun”, “Ocean Gypsy”, “Mother Russia”, “Ashes are Burning” and newer pieces “Symphony of Light” and “Grandine il Vento.”
The current lineup includes Annie Haslam on lead vocals, Rave Tesar on keyboards, Tom Brislin on keyboards, Mark Lambert on acoustic guitars, Leo Traversa on bass guitar, and Frank Pagano on drums.
Renaissance Fall 2016 US Tour Dates:
Nov 03 Infinity Music Hall – Hartford, CT Tickets
Nov 04 Tupelo Music Hall – Londonderry, NH Tickets
Nov 09 Musikfest at ArtsQuest – Bethlehem, PA Tickets
Nov 10 Tralf Music Hall – Buffalo, NY Tickets
Nov 11 The Kent Stage – Kent, OH Tickets
Nov 12 Arcada Theatre – Saint Charles, IL Tickets
Nov 13 Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall – Milwaukee, WI Tickets
Jazz-rock fusion masters Snarky Puppy are set to perform at GroundUP Music Festival in Miami Beach. The festival will take place February 10-12, 2017. Artists scheduled to perform include Snarky Puppy, David Crosby, Laura Mvula, John Medeski, Chris Thile, Charlie Hunter, Shelly Berg, Terence Blanchard, and Pedrito Martinez.
Il Castello Di Atlante – ‘Arx Atlantis‘ (Aenima Recordings, 2016)
This is the new album by Il Castello Di Atlante, an Italian progressive rock band that has been around since 1974. “Arx Atlantis” brings back many of the original musicians.
Il Castello Di Atlante is deeply influenced by the early progressive rock bands form the UK and Italy. On “Arx Atlantis” the group opens the album with a hard rocking progressive piece titled ‘Non Ho Mai Imparato.’ However, the album heads in a different direction starting with track 2. ‘Il Vecchio Giovane’ begins with high energy drums, violin and synths. Four minutes into the piece, the sound gets more captivating with notable piano work, call and response vocals and, to top it off, a memorable great Genesis-style guitar solo and splendid violin, guitar and keyboards interplay. This second part sounds like the real deal, excellent rock progresivo italiano.
The progressive rock direction continues on track 3, ‘Ghino e L’Abate di Clignì’, featuring wonderful violin, keyboard and vocal work.
Track 4, ‘Il Tempo del Grande Onore’ shifts to folk-rock and pop hooks. The highlight here is a fine synth solo.
The grand piece is the final track, ‘Il Tesoro Ritrovato,’ an epic that contains all the tasty ingredients that we like about symphonic progressive rock: delectable guitar, synth and violin interplay; classic Italian prog vocals featuring two vocalists; piano and violin duet; and an epic conclusion.
The lineup includes Aldo Bergamini on guitar and vocals; Dino Fiore on bass; Andrea Bertino on violin; Davide Cristofoli on piano and keyboards; Massimo Di Lauro on violin; Paolo Ferrarotti on keyboards, vocals and drums on track 5; Mattia Garimanno on drums. Le Orme’s legendary Tony Pagliuca appears on keyboards on track 3.
Although Il Castello Di Atlante was formed in the mid-1970s, the group did not release its debut album until 1992.
“It’s always exciting to work with Pandora! I have been collaborating with them since 2010, and since then it has been a beautiful experience, creating and listening to the melodies that I would then translate with colors,” says Emoni Viruet. “On this album I was given the great responsibility to sing in important compositions and with great artists. I am extremely happy to be welcomed to be part of this family. ‘Ten Years Like in a Magic Dream…’ required a lot of energy and passion, and I believe that the final result is astounding! Hearing is believing!”
In the home of the Gods, the cradle of Western civilization, something powerful and magical is stirring. When it comes to progressive rock, Greece has a long and distinguished history, not least among the list of notables being the mighty Aphrodite’s Child. Inevitably, though, old makes way for new, and here come a fresh band of torch-bearers from the ancient city of Athens…
Ciccada are: Nicolas Nikolopoulos (flute, recorder, sax, and keyboards); Yorgos Mouchos (guitars); Yannis Iliakis (drums,synthesizer); Dimitra Spela (vocals) and Aggelos Mal (bass). The band was formed in 2005 and their last album, The Finest of Miracles, was deservedly well-received by the prog community. It’s a down-the-rabbit-hole adventure that is cinematic in scope, weaving and turning whilst rocking hard.
At times Ciccada sound like a heavenly mix of Renaissance, Gryphon and King Crimson, but that would be selling them short – there is a marriage of robustness and delicacy, intricacy and power in their music that is unique. It’s a spellbinding quality perhaps best reflected in their wide-spread influences. As Nicolas attests, the band not only cite prog-rock luminaries such as Gentle Giant, but also “…the greats of the first half of 20th century like R.V. Williams, Bartok, Martinu, the French school of Six, Stravinsky, Martin, Bernstein, to name but a few.”
I asked Nicolas how he viewed the musical vision of the band. “To merge our influences,” he told me, “in a genuine musical language of our own. Be faithful to our tastes `till the end. And play it to the people!”
What is, does he think that makes progressive music so popular and enduring?
“The challenging mixes of styles and its adventurous nature. Many progressive artists` output is timeless like the great classic composers` work is.”
Perhaps it’s this even-handed respect for both progressive rock and classical music that makes Ciccada’s work sound so extraordinary. Not that the band limit themselves to inspiration from musical sources, they have also contributed to “Decameron”, a special project featuring music based on tales by the 14th century Italian writer, Boccacio, and a similar venture celebrating the work of visionary horror-maestro H.P. Lovecraft.
What next for the band?
“A new release of a 12′ inch is due next month,” says Nicolas, “there will be just two songs that never made it to our albums but were included in several thematic projects in the past.”
Italian progressive rock band Submarine Silence has a new album titled Journey through Mine (Maracash Records). This is the third studio album by Submarine Silence, the parallel project of the founding members of Moongarden, Cristiano Roversi and David Cremoni.
On Journey through Mine, the band has recreated the original line-up (Roversi, Cremoni, Pizzocoli) of the critically acclaimed self-titled debut album.
In addition to the original trio, Submarine Silence also includes talented vocalist and songwriter Guillermo Gonzales.
Journey Through Mine features captivating artwork by Ed Unitsky.
Spanish symphonic progressive rock band Kotebel has released its first live album on CD. Kotebel Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 is a 2-CD set that is not the same as the digital release. The limited edition CD set has been remastered and contains two bonus tracks.
Kotebel has become one of the leading symphonic progressive rock acts in the international scene. The group combines classic epic prog with classical music elements and contemporary forms such as minimalism.
Most of their pieces are instrumental, a sort of mini-symphonies. What’s especially attractive about Kotebel is that it features two virtuoso keyboard players, composer Carlos Plaza Vegas and his daughter Adriana Plaza Engelke. This allows the band to deliver masterful keyboard solos and orchestrations.
Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 features an entire rendition of Kotebel’s concert at the 2013 Prog-Résiste Convention in Belgium. It is a Limited Edition double CD digipack that includes bonus tracks with a selection of performances at 2007 Gouveia Art Rock Festival in Portugal, and 2011 in Madrid.
The rest of the band includes excellent instrumentalists: César Garcia Forero on guitars; Carlos Franco Vivas on drums; and Jaime Pascual Summers on bass. Vocalist Carolina Prieto makes a guest appearance on bonus track Mercury Pentacle.
Kotebel Live at Prog-Résiste 2013 is an exceptionally good album featuring beautifully composed symphonic rock pieces with an epic atmosphere and some stellar individual playing.
Azymuth, one of the most successful jazz-rock fusion bands from South Ameruica, will be touring in October and November 2016. The group will be presenting its new album titled Fênix.
With Fênix, its first album in five years, Azymuth recreated the energy of the enthralling 1970s sessions that made the band so popular.
Since the passing of keyboard master Jose Roberto Bertrami in 2012, remaining members Ivan Conti (right) and Alex Malheiros (left) have kept the spirit of Azymuth alive. Fênix initiates a new era as the Azymuth trio is complete once again, featuring guest keyboardist Kiko Continentino. A gifted pianist, composer and arranger, Kiko has worked with Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil and Djavan. The album also features Brazilian percussion legend Robertinho Silva.
Fênix European Tour Dates 2016
Oct 28 – Sigurdsgarde, Copenhagen
Oct 29 – Nefertiti, Gothenburg
Nov 02 – Bix, Stuttgart
Nov 03 – Domicil, Dortmund
Nov 04 – Badehaus, Berlin
Nov 05 – Kalif Storch, Erfurt tbc
Nov 06 – Stadtgarten, Cologne
Nov 09 – Jazzpodium, Dordrecht tbc
Nov 10 – Bird, Rotterdam
Nov 11 – North Sea Jazz, Amsterdam
Nov 12 – Le Sucre, Lyon tbc
Nov 14 – Teatro del Gatto, Ascona
Nov 15 – Bravo Caffè, Bologna
Nov 18 – Hideaway, London
Nov 19 – Hideaway, London
Nov 21 – Bayerischer Hof, Munich tbc
Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond