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Italian Jazz Luminary Francesco Cataldo To Release First Solo Piano Album - 'Amaranto'

Italian Jazz Luminary Francesco Cataldo To Release First Solo Piano Album - 'Amaranto'

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Francesco’s music is beautiful like an everlasting caressment for a long journey.
—Pupi Avati, Film Director
Francesco Cataldo
Upcoming solo recording Amaranto marks acclaimed jazz guitarist Francesco Cataldo’s first release focusing on keyboards.

Amaranto pays tribute to Cataldo’s friend, mentor and inspiration, humanitarian Giuseppe Agosta.

Francesco Cataldo, among the most highly regarded Italian jazz musicians of his generation, has long established a reputation as a triple-threat talent, celebrated for his skills as guitarist, composer and arranger. Expect Cataldo to advance to quadruple-threat status soon, as he adds solo piano to his list of achievements with the release of his upcoming third recording, Amaranto.

On “Amaranto”, Cataldo switches his focus from six strings to 88 keys, and from ensemble work featuring some of the brightest lights on the current jazz scene (including Marc Copland, Scott Colley, Adam Nussbaum, Salvatore Bonafede, David Binney and Clarence Penn) to a solo venture. The internationally acclaimed veteran guitarist played piano on the track “Two Ways,” on Giulia, the second of his two well-reviewed albums as a leader (the first is Spaces). But “For years now my musical research has focused on the piano, an instrument that allows me full expression.”

Amaranto pays tribute to a dear friend, mentor and inspiration, Giuseppe Agosta. Until his death last year, Agosta was director of Caritas, a volunteer organization helping the poor in Cataldo’s hometown of Syracuse, Sicily. “We were great friends, he was one of the most important people in my life,” the musician declares.

The album’s title, Amaranto, refers to Agosta’s favorite color, the dark red hue of Caritas uniforms. Cataldo spent the year 2000 wearing one as a Caritas volunteer. “It was the most important experience of my life, it changed my vision completely,” he says.

The Beatles famously sang, “All you need is love,” but Giuseppe Agosta brought that message home to Cataldo through Caritas, a Latin word that translates as “love.” The concept gained new meaning and importance for Cataldo as a volunteer.

“Love, it was the key word every day, when we helped the poor with Giuseppe, and the other volunteers,” the musician explains. “Giuseppe taught us that love is the highest value, the key to solving all the contrasts and problems of life: unconditional love! Love for all human beings, love for nature, love for the universe, love for yourself too! Only by loving yourself in depth can you give love to others!”

These valuable lessons learned from Agosta and Caritas are the root of the new music on Amaranto. “These new compositions arise from life experiences, encounters, always keeping in mind love as a universal value,” Cataldo says. His feelings guided him in a new direction: “Giuseppe’s death has left a huge void in me. After years of studying music, jazz, I decided to focus on a totally expressive way of living music, without the obsession for sterile and often useless technique.”

Cataldo got the idea to record his new works on piano when he came upon St. Paul’s Anglican church while visiting in Rome in the summer of 2022. Known as St. Paul’s Within the Walls, the church is renowned for its fine acoustics. Built in 1873, the Gothic Revival edifice is a frequent venue for classical and opera performances. “Inside I felt a call,” Cataldo remembers, “I saw a coda piano, started playing and It was one of the most beautiful and spiritual experiences in my life.”

Amaranto” is truly a labor of love for this distinguished musician, whose earlier recordings have been compared favorably with the aesthetic of the vaunted ECM record label. A versatile and imaginative player, composer and arranger, Cataldo has built an enthusiastic international following over the past decade. His popularity can only increase with the highly anticipated release of Amaranto later this year.

—Elzy Kolb, author

Praise for Francesco Cataldo

“Haunting melodic lines that evolve, often into contagious grooves, logically and flowingly.” —Tony Hall, JazzWise

“Impossible to resist.” —Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

“The guitar, in Mr. Cataldo’s elegant hands has a huge vocabulary of sounds and effects which… make it sound as if it is as big as an ensemble in and of itself… a musical soundscape that is irresistible…" —Raul da Gama, Latin JazzNet

“The most unique sound for a modern jazz guitarist that I have ever heard.” —Tokyo Jazz

Release Dates

  • “Vito raccontami" single audio digital available on March 1
  • “Vito raccontami" short film available on March 4
  • Digital album available on March 15
  • Video clip ofsong “Amaranto" available on March 23
  • Physical CD available on March 29

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For more information contact .

Track Listing

Prologo; Amaranto; Vito raccontami; Empty Hallways; Better Days; Two colours; Pictures; Your Silence; Rimas Mood; Nothing by Chance; Our Journey; So Simple; Epilogo.


Album information

Title: Amaranto | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: AlphaMusic






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