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(Published: April 11, 2014)

Produced by Monty Alexander and Featuring Alexander,
Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Martin Pizzarelli, Yotam Silberstein and Etienne Charles

Zapponi Will Perform Music from the Album at the Blue Note May 26

"The overwhelming message of Romantica is the universal language of music, and the beauty of music without borders, and also how American jazz is a remarkably flexible conduit to all the cultures of the world. This album has helped deepen my appreciation of songwriters whom I already adore and exposed me to writers new to me."
-From the liner notes by Will Friedwald

Motéma Music releases Romantica, the new album from New York City-based, Italian-French singer Caterina Zapponi, on May 13. Produced by Monty Alexander-Zapponi's partner in life as well as in music-the album is the fullest realization to date of Zapponi's unique sensibility, at once measured and emotional, economical and cinematic, international and especially fluent in the nuanced interplay of American jazz. She and special guests will perform music from the album in An Evening with Caterina Zapponi - Romantica, a show at the Blue Note May 26.

Zapponi was born and raised in Rome, the daughter of celebrated screenwriter Bernardino Zapponi, a collaborator and longtime friend of Federico Fellini, and Françoise Rambert, a French-born chanteuse who instilled in Caterina her love of the French repertoire. Growing up amidst her parents' collaborators and friends helped introduce Zapponi to jazz and the American Songbook while fueling her desire to move to the United States, which she did upon receiving a scholarship from Berklee College of Music. She graduated in two years and won the Berklee Cleo Laine Award for vocal achievement and performance. She went on to be a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition.

Based in New York since 1994, Zapponi has surrounded herself with a family of remarkably accomplished-and diverse-musicians. Many of them feature on Romantica. Numerous tracks find her fronting a band including Monty Alexander on piano, Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, Martin Pizzarelli on acoustic bass, Frank Vignola on guitar and mandolin. Elsewhere she sings with a trio including Alexander on piano, Hassan Shakur on acoustic bass and Kevin Kanner on drums. The guitarist Yotam Silberstein and the multi-instrumentalist Etienne Charles, among others, also make appearances.

Zapponi returns to her childhood influences throughout Romantica. The album opens with "J'ai ta main," a song that was part of Zapponi's mother's cabaret act, and that her mother often rehearsed in young Caterina's room, where the house piano was located. Zapponi is accompanied by Yotam Silberstein in interpreting another song by the seminal mid-20th Century French songwriter-singer Charles Trenet, "Que reste-t-il de nos amours'," about which Zapponi explains, "My mother would interpret this song whenever they would ask her to sing during a dinner party. We would be sitting with any number of actors, directors, writers, and unfailingly the moment would come when somebody would say ‘Françoise, please sing!,' and my mother would oblige." On Romantica, Zapponi also sings the Henri Salvador classics "Count Basie (Lil' Darlin')," "Bora Bora" and "Maladie d'amour."

She pays equal attention to the Italian Songbook, including "Polvere di stelle (Stardust)" which plays throughout the well-known Italian film, of the same name, co-written by her father; "Estate," a Bruno Martino composition included on Joao Gilberto's landmark album Amoroso; and the classic immigrant song "Torna a Surriento (Come Back to Sorrento)." The album concludes with two songs she wrote with Alexander-one in French, and one in Italian.

About Motéma Music

The Harlem-based label Motéma Music, led by Jana Herzen, specializes in jazz and other creative music that spans genres and generations. The company's varied international roster received GRAMMY nominations in jazz, reggae and R&B, and features established music icons such as NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston and Jamaican jazz legend Monty Alexander; innovative mid-career artists including NAACP Image Award nominee Geri Allen, electro/acoustic pianist Marc Cary,vocalist Rene Marie; and remarkable rising stars such as Gregory Porter, whom the label launched in 2010, and the immensely acclaimed Pedrito Martinez Group, which debuted on Motéma in 2013. For more information: www.motema.com.

For more information, please contact Blake Zidell or Ron Gaskill at
Blake Zidell & Associates, 718.643.9052, blake@blakezidell.com or ron@blakezidell.com.

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