Porretta Soul Festival Tributes to the Memory of Otis Redding

For four days, from July 20 to 23, 2006, Porretta Terme will be the cradle of soul music and will host the 19th edition of Porretta Soul Festival, which is a tribute to the memory of Otis Redding. The Festival will take place at Rufus Thomas Park. That Porretta Terme should happen to be in the province of Bologna is only an incidental matter, as it could just as well be in the outskirts of Memphis: in the winding hills of the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano one can find himself strolling in Otis Redding Street, or Rufus Thomas Park. Instead, it is not incidental that Porretta Terme won a place at Soulsville, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis.

A premiere of the Festival, on July 1 and 2 will celebrate the cooperation with Stax Museum with a concert of the students of the Stax Music Academy of Memphis playing live, admittance to the event is free. From July 20, a dream-team of soul music icons will be performing to celebrate the two cities of soul: Memphis and New Orleans.

One Night In New Orleans: Inside New Orleans sound with the Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas and Davell Crawford, who are held as the icons the home of Jazz, Blues, Soul, Funky.

The Neville Brothers, together with Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino created the New Orleans sound. Art, Aaron, Cyril and Charles have been around since the 1950s and played with the greatest soul, jazz and rock stars, all the way from Aaron Neville’s 1966 hit “Tell It Like It His” to the more recent works with Keith Richards, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana.

Irma Thomas is considered the “Queen of New Orleans”. Newspapers around the world reported she had perished when hurricane Katrine stroke. Her hit “Time Is On My Side” made the Rolling Stones enter the American hit parade for their first time. She is a passionate singer, her soul can move the audience. It was Rounder producer Scott Billington who came up with the idea of her recent album “My Heart In Memphis”; Billington was reportedly struck after seeing Irma Thomas on stage with the best Memphis artists at the 1997 edition of the Porretta Festival.

Davell Crawford, the young and gifted singer and piano player is moving on in the wake of New Orleans’ piano tradition, taking up the legacy of Professor Longhair and James Booker. A star from the age of 11, Davell is the grandson of 1950s r&b legend James “Sugar Boy” Crawford. He blends together jazz, funk, gospel and r&b uniquely.

One Night In Memphis: Two nights in the sound of Memphis and in the atmospheres of Beale Street, the street of music, whose clubs and unmatched artists have exported the Memphis Sound worldwide and to its European stronghold, Porretta Terme.

J. Blackfoot, formerly the front man of the Soul Children, has the energy of a Wilson Pickett in his interpretation of all time classics like “Taxi” and “Who’se Making Love”,

The Barkays, Otis Redding’s road band. Four members of the band died with Redding in the notorious airplane crash. These forerunners of funk, the first black rock band ever, will come together again for a reunion on stage with Carl Sims, the singer of the original band (Sims and bass player James Alexander were traveling on a different airplane at the time of the crash).

Carl Sims, the “godfather of southern soul”, one of the most beloved artists in the “chitlin’ circuit”, the joints of colored folks.

James Govan, a great comeback for Otis’ heir, one of the favorites of the audience in Porretta. He will appear with Don Chandler’s Boogie Blues Band, featuring powerful horns, among which the legendary Wayne Jackson from the Memphis Horns.

In cooperatin with the Center For Southern Folklore we will host The South Soul Rhythm Section, a band of youngest talents taking up the legacy of Booker T. & The MGs., and the Millenium Madness Dancers, dancers and percussionists of the street dance tradition. Italian soul music will be represented by Distretto 51 & The Capric’Horns, who have been around in the scene for 25 years and will be joined in Porretta by The Greensleves Gospel Choir. Finally, an insight into Moroccoan soul with the great Vigon, the singer of French and Berber heritage who in 1966 performed with Otis Redding on the stage of Olympia in Paris.

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