Zucchero is an Italian unicum, one of a kind. They call him the “father of Italian Blues”, and they are absolutely right. Adelmo Fornaciari, which is his birth name, is 62, but he tours as if he was 26. The man is about to hit quite a few stages all over Europe.
At a huge gig at Hyde Park und July 8th, 2018, he will be sharing the stage with a fellow who listens to the name Eric Clapton, and one whose band Santana has been active for a few years as well. Steve Winwood will be there. So will Zucchero. Everybody will.
The Italian master is already warming up, since the first tour gig will take place on June 30th, in less than two weeks from now. One thing is certain: He will raise roofs of all venues he enters. This includes open air stages which don’t even have roofs.
The legendary Montreux Festival in Switzerland will be honored to have Zucchero on stage. So will a million other places and venues in his native Italy, Austria, Latvia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Croatia, France, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Germany. This is Zucchero’s the complete summer tour plan for 2018 (as of June 18th):
June 30th: Montreux – CH – Montreux Jazz Festival
July 1st: St. Pölten – A – VAZ St. Pölten
July 3rd: Venezia – IT – Piazza San Marco
July 4th: Venezia – IT – Piazza San Marco
July 6th: Sigulda – LV – Sigulda Medieval Castle
July 8th: London – UK – British Summer Time Festival
July 10th: Edinburgh – UK – The Queen’s Hall
July 11th: Glasgow – UK – The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
July 13th: The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire – UK – Cornbury Music Festival
July 15th: Bospop Weert – NL – Rivierenweg Weert
July 17th: Zert bb, 51410 Abbazia – HR – Festival Opatija
July 21st: Saint Julien En Genevois – FR – Festival Guitare En Scene
July 23rd: Plovdiv – BG – Ancient Theatre
July 25th: Ohrid – MK – Ancient Theatre
July 27th: Lauchheim – DE – Schloss Kapfenburg Festival
July 28th: Flumserberg – CH – Flumserberg Open Air
July 29th: Moosburg – A – Schlosswiese
Fornaciari was actually going to become a vet. He did pass 39 out of 51 exams, but quit his studies, since he wanted to be different from his parents. He reached that goal in no time. In the mid-1970s, he went to San Francisco, where he met his future record producer, Corrado Rustici. With him, he talked about founding an “atypical Italian project with African American influence”. By the time that decade was over, Zucchero had written several hits for other artists and toured with his band, Taxi, into the 1980-s.
His solo career still needed some polishing and success. The song “Donne”, which he recorded with the help of his old pal in San Francisco, became an Italian classic. The same applied to “Come il sole all’improvviso”. In 1987, things got crazy, when Zucchero’s album “Blue’s” became the best selling album in Italian history, until he did his next album in 1989. While touring, he shared the stage with fellow artists, such as the late Joe Cocker, the late Ray Charles and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Countless solo albums, tours and a lot of cooperation followed. One nice example for the latter: With the Brazilian hero Sergio Mendes, Zucchero recorded an Italian version of “Oceano”, a composition by Djavan, yet another Brazilian legend. This version was entitled “Un ozeano di silenzi”. Nice. (Mendes also included an English version, without Zucchero, on his album, which was named after Djavan’s “Oceano”).
Zucchero has an issue, when it comes to singing in English: “When I do the English version of a song, I lose something. I would like to find a way to translate my songs from Italian to English better, because my lyrics are very personal and I use a lot of slang, the typical Italian way to say something. When they translate this, you lose the sarcasm or irony. People in England and America only know me for ballads, but my fast songs are very sarcastic. I’m really more like Tom Waits or Charles Bukowski than Whitney Houston”. Thanks God.
His career has been going on for four decades by now. And, luckily, no end is in sight.