Image Credits: Al di Meola © Luca Vantusso Jazzespresso
October 19, 2018
Al Di Meola will present on October 31 his latest album, Opus, at Venezia Jazz Festival Fall Edition; we interviewed the legendary American guitar virtuoso.
In Venice you will present your latest album “Opus”; can you explain us the title of the record?
OPUS is really a quintessence of my work as a composer. It shows how I have matured over the years. To me, it means that I have a history I look back at but I don’t rest because of it. I’m am still driven to write new music, record and play it at my shows.
In the record there is the song Cerreto Sannita, written About your italian heritage; do you think your Italian roots influenced the way you play and write music?
Definitely! The first time I came to Italy was when I was 19 and played with Return to Forever. I immediately felt at home. I love Italian opera, Italian pop. I had a close friendship with Pino Daniele and his voice inspired me a lot. As for “Cerreto Sannita”, the experience to go back to my grandfather’s village was mind blowing because I never met my grandfather but my dad told me many stories about him. So, when we visited the village, the people there told me the exact same stories. It really was a full circle experience that I treasure a lot.
Teatro Goldoni was established in 1622 and it is the oldest Theater in Venice; what do you expect from this experience?
I am always impressed with the architecture and the sound in those old theaters! I can’t wait to experience it because it was made for acoustic music so it’s going to be great!
You will play with Peo Alfonsi and Fausto Beccalossi; how did you choose them?
They are both incredibly talented players from Italy. I heard both of them playing in other bands a long time ago and now they have been with me in different combinations for at least 10 years.
How do you work on compositions?
I usually write in my studio in Miami. It’s on the beach so I open the doors at night, listen to the waves and it inspires me. I have written more than 15 albums there. It’s my oasis and my place of meditation.
You’ ve had an incredible career; is there a dream you would like to fulfill?
Well, I would love to record with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road. That would be cool! I’ve recorded my Beatles tribute at Abbey Road and I met Paul but to put the two together would be an amazing experience for me!
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