Thursday, August 20, 2009

Roots: Occhipinti Style

Two of Canada's most creative musicians—Roberto and Michael Occhipinti—are heading to their parents' birthplace to receive the prestigious Regusani nel mondo Prize from the Sicilian province of Ragusa. Born in Toronto in 1955 and 1967 respectively, bassist/producer Roberto and guitarist Michael recently celebrated their Sicilian roots with Michael's Juno Award-nominated Sicilian Jazz Project, which Roberto produced and played on.

In addition to receiving the award, whose former recipients include actress Susan Sarandon, the brothers will perform music from the Sicilian Jazz Project in their parents' hometown of Modica. Their stonemason father, Giorgio, left Modica for Canada in 1952, and was joined by his wife Grace and children Peter and Joanne a year later.

My full biography of Roberto can be found here. Michael leads several bands and co-leads the Toronto-based big band NOJO.

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