One of Italy’s top guitarists Riccardo Zappa moved out of the city (Milan) and set up home here in this area a couple of years ago
A long career with 22 albums to date, 115 concerts with Eros Ramazzotti and musical collaborations with Venditti, Finardi, Mannoia, Mina, Gaber and Paoli.
This evening he played at Da Aristo’s in Barga Vecchia in front of an appreciative crowd.
His site is here
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 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.