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Antonio Ciacca - New CD - "With A Song In My Heart"
(Published: October 08, 2014)

"Benny Golson used to tell me, ‘Everywhere you go - you have to play the room.' You have to play according to who you have in front of you. If it is a crowd of young people, or older people, or foreigners, tourists, whatever, you have to connect with people," says jazz pianist Antonio Ciacca.

The new release, "With A Song In My Heart," does just that, reaching out to you as would Cole Porter. It is this direct connection with the artist and the listener that makes a great song.

"These songs are written for singers," Ciacca continues. "Many jazz musicians just play the song, they always cut off the verse. I feel that is a terrible injustice because verse is as beautiful as the song," he says.

With this release being Ciacca's 9th CD as a leader, he has honed his skills working with Paul Gill (bass) and Peter Van Norstrand (drums) to develop a true ‘band sound'. "We've been playing together for seven years. We perform at a world-class venue on 5th Avenue (Measure at Langham Place). People want to listen to songs. They don't want to hear original songs, no science projects, no free jazz. They want to hear songs, songs that they recognize, songs they can sing along to. So, I've been intensively studying the Great American Songbook."

The world loves Cole Porter. His music is magic. "The Cole Porter songs are my favorites. To me, Cole Porter has the same stature as an opera composer. The best opera composers knew that they had to write two or three songs that were very indentifiable, so people can sing along, hum the song on the way home...and remember the opera. So they used a lot of repetitive motifs. To me, Cole Porter has the same melodic quality as the great composer Giacomo Puccini. The writing that sticks in your head is very simple and very musical. Porter is a melodic genius."

Ciacca continues, "The Cole Porter songs are my favorite - "It's Alright With Me" and "You Do Something To Me." Those are two songs by him that I love. All the songs on this CD I love. I have three originals that are based on famous songs. For example, "Its About Time" is written on the harmony of "Just In Time."

Ciacca has taken his great experience as a pianist, composer and educator and put it all together in a nice package for this project. Take a moment of leisure to sit back and listen to Ciacca's beautiful music. Let it tell a story. Let the music work its magic.

A modern-day Renaissance Man of jazz, Italian pianist Antonio Ciacca has played with jazz legends Steve Grossman, James Carter, Marcus Belgrave , Larry Smith, Roy Brooks , Lee Konitz Art Farmer, Mark Murphy, Johnny Griffen, James Moody and Dave Liebman. Antonio was the pianist for Steve Lacy for seven years and has toured extensively throughout the world with jazz legend Benny Golson. With performances in leading venues and festivals throughout the world, Antonio has proven himself on the world stage.

In addition to working as a pianist and composer, Mr. Ciacca also served as the Director of Programming for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and teaches the Business of Jazz at the Juilliard School of Music.

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