Until now, American audiences have had to make do with mere glimpses of the brilliant career of one of Italy’s most famous contemporary artists, the Tuscan singer and songwriter Lorenzo Cherubini, professionally known as Jovanotti.
Over the past twenty years his recorded collaborations with Michael Franti, Ben Harper, Carlinhos Brown, Sergio Mendes, and Bono, among other well-known names, have occasionally caught the ear of the adventurous listener. Delivering lyrics in a half-sung, half-spoken style that has something esthetically in common with a downtown reading by a Beat poet, Jovanotti uses the rhythm and the ricochet of consonants and catchy melodic hooks to create songs that are instantly accessible to an international audience.
Most of his songs are sung in Italian; he also released a Spanish-language greatest hits album. His live album includes a short version of the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”. Jovanotti appears on several international compilations, most notably Red Hot + Rhapsody, a 1998 tribute to George Gershwin, on which he performed “I Got Rhythm”. His most famous songs are “L’Ombelico del Mondo” and “Serenata Rap”. Jovanotti has also appeared in one of Luciano Pavarotti’s charity concert in 1996.
Jovanotti was the first Italian to work for MTV. The term ‘world beat’, used to describe foreign language music with a groove, had just come into vogue as the singer took to the role of Fellini-esque master of ceremonies on the early 1990’s MTV program “Earth to MTV”. His song ‘Serenata Rap’ was the most frequently shown video on MTV Latino in that year and Jovanotti made two live concert appearances on MTV Europe.
In December 2010 he achieved a number one hit on the Italian Top 20 charts with “Tutto l’amore che ho”. On January 25, 2011 has been released his eighteenth album Ora. In 2012 he will play at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.
TV on the Radio is an American art rock band formed in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York, whose music spans numerous diverse genres, from post-punk to electro and free jazz to soul music. TV on the Radio has said that their eclectic music is due for their liking of very diverse bands, including Bad Brains, Earth, Wind & Fire, Nancy Sinatra, Serge Gainsbourg, Brian Eno, and the Pixies. Adebimpe covered the Pixies song “Mr. Grieves” under the TV on the Radio moniker at the beginning of his career, layering his voice over forty times. The band has also cited Prince’s “Purple Rain” as a classic. By far the smartest, funkiest, most imaginative band born out of the New York City rock renaissance of the early ’00s, TV on the Radio have always made music for their time and place.