One of Italy’s top guitarists Riccardo Zappa has just moved out of the city (Milan) and set up home here in this area.
According to a referendum held by the magazine “guitar club”, Riccardo Zappa was voted best italian acoustic guitarist for 5 consecutive years, after which it was declared that he was no longer votable as he kept winning the same award.
A long career with 22 albums to date, 115 concerts with Eros Ramazzotti and musical collaborations with Venditti, Finardi, Mannoia, Mina, Gaber and Paoli. His site is here
short interview with Riccardo Zappa in Palazzo Pancrazi in Barga Vecchia
Riccardo Zappa è considerato uno dei più grandi chitarristi italiani di sempre. Nato nel 1951 a Forlì, a 9 anni inizia ad apprende l’arte della chitarra dal maestro Miguel Abloniz. In circa 40 anni di carriera (Zappa è tuttora in attività) ha realizzato 22 album e collaborato con tantissimi artisti (Giorgio Gaber, Mina, Gino Paoli, Eugenio Finardi, Eros Ramazzotti solo per citarne alcuni).
Zappa è stato, ed è, uno sperimentatore della chitarra classica (6 e soprattutto 12 corde). La sua tecnica raffinata e personalissima si fonde nei vari album con l’elettronica, che lui scopre molto presto. La chitarra Ovation è il suo più grande amore perché “offre un segnale di uscita più adatto ad essere manipolato”.
Secondo un referendum indetto dalla rivista Guitar Club, Riccardo Zappa è risultato migliore chitarrista acustico italiano per cinque anni consecutivi, dopodiché è stato dichiarato non più votabile.
Born in Forlì (Italy) in 1951, RICCARDO ZAPPA is widely recognised as the greatest Italian acoustic guitarist. For five consecutive years he was voted the best in the poll promoted by the famous monthly magazine “Guitar Club”. After that, he was declared to be no longer eligible for nomination.
He studied with classical guitarist Miguel Abloniz (died in 2002), and was very interested in research, for instance on electronic instruments and all new technologies applied to sound. He has created, with delicacy and precision, an elegant fusion between classical and modern music like no one else has done before in Italy. His music is in fact quite unique in the whole Italian prog scene; nor can many other comparisons be found outside Italy, except perhaps Mike Oldfield, for his long, acoustic-based instrumental compositions.
His unmistakable trademark is the “Ovation” guitar, an instrument with a striking nasal sound, very suited to being handled with special effects. After the first three albums, he added to his usual instrumentation a twelve-string “Bozo” guitar, with which he extended his musical spectrum towards more refined, polished results.
His first work, “Auhlela & Zappa” was recorded in 1974 as a duo, with lyrics and vocals by Klaus Auhlela and music by Riccardo Zappa himself. After three years of silence, he began his solo career with the album “Celestion” (1977), where the combination between classical (acoustic) and modern (electronic) influences is clearly evident. To this day, it is still considered his best work. In 1978 he released “Chatka”, in a very similar vein, with its remarkable, famous opener “Emphasis” which was inspired by the work of 16th-century’ lutanist, Juan Maria Da Crema. “Chatka” soon became very popular in Italy, and is still one of the most successful instrumental albums ever released, featuring one of the first examples of “tapping” on an acoustic guitar. Both these solo albums were recorded in Zappa’ own home-recording studio, named “La Camera Incantata” (The Enchanted Chamber).
On his 1980 album “Trasparenze”, and for the following two albums, he was joined by Pietro Pellegrini (ALPHATAURUS) on synths and keyboards. The cover shows a picture of the twelve-string guitar he started to use from this album onwards. In the ’90s he started to write compositions for bass, mandolin and harp, helped by the widespread popularity of the New Age movement.