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Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Project at Natalie's

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by Andrew Patton on June 27, 2016

Multiple cultures and nationalities will meet when Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Project plays Natalie’s on Friday, July 1st, at 10pmtickets available here. Toronto-based guitarist, composer, arranger and bandleader Occhipinti, whose Shine On: The Universe Of John Lennon project kicked off the 2015-16 JAG Inside Track season at the Lincoln Theatre last September, returns with this band that mixes “rare Old World Sicilian folk material and a New World mix of adventurous electric guitar, chamber music, modern jazz, global rhythms, and modern grooves.” Last year the band released Muorica, its followup to their 2009 JUNO (Canadian Grammys) Award-nominated debut Sicilian Jazz Project, which has already received acclaim of its own. Michael and his brother/bassist Roberto, who have both received multiple JUNO awards, are joined in the band by singer Dominic Mancuso, accordion player Louis Simao, and a cast of Toronto greats. After touring Canada and Italy, the band is doing a three-date run of shows in the region that also includes appearances at Akron’s blu Jazz+ on June 30th and the Romolo Summer Music Series in Erie, Pennsylvania on the 2nd. For this American run, the band has a decided Columbus element, as native Canadian Pete Mills is playing soprano sax and clarinet and Zach Compston is playing drums for all three dates. As Mills told me, “It’s traditional Sicilian music with an amazing jazz sensibility. Michael does all the arrangements – They’re smart, fun, accessible and really, really cool!” Kick off your holiday weekend with excellent international jazz! Keep reading for a video playlist of the band’s material:

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