I SICILIANI: poetry and music by Cettina Donato & Ninni Bruschetta

“This is the story of Gattoleone. My great friend. He lived little or too long, but still as long as he wanted.
On this earth he left a trace, perhaps a furrow, made of Poetry.”
Ninni Bruschetta

“What is most beautiful of us is immortal. I met Antonio Caldarella despite never having met him.”
Cettina Donato

Back from the sold out successes of the theather piece “Il mio nome è Caino” by Claudio Fava, the volcanic couple Ninni Bruschetta-Cettina Donato is back in a new artistic partnership. A unique, exciting synergy. After interpreting a script full of civil values as a jam session for piano and voice, moving the audience all over Italy, the duo now proposes another face of Sicily, the poetic and literary one.
The backdrop to the artistic inspiration this time is the Strait of Messina, a common homeland, a passage that led the two artists on stages throughout Italy and abroad. The same passage has been crossed many times by the writer Antonio Caldarella, a native of Avola and raised between Naples, Messina and “the rest of the world”.
In the album “I Siciliani”, that will be released in spring 2021, his poems come back to life thanks to the overwhelming interpretation of Ninni Bruschetta, in balance between acting and singing, and the evocative compositions by Cettina Donato, accompanied by a jazz quartet and the strings of BIM Orchestra.
The album, produced by AlfaMusic label, is a suite of 8 songs and 3 preludes for piano, all composed and arranged by Cettina Donato, engaged in this disc on piano and – in the titletrack “I siciliani” – to percussion.
With BIM Orchestra joined to the jazz quartet, Cettina Donato returns to her ancient love for the large jazz ensemble: the saxophonist Dario Cecchini (Lee Konitz, Natalie Cole Band, Kenny Wheeler Hot Eleven, Funk Off, Paolo Fresu, Enrico Pieranunzi, Dave Liebman), double bass player Dario Rosciglione (Cedar Walton, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, Phil Woods, Tony Scott, Danilo Rea) and drummer Mimmo Campanale (Paolo Fresu, Bob Mintzer, Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Randy Brecker, Dee Dee Bridgewater).
The track “Le Siciliane” is played by actress and singer Celeste Gugliandolo (X Factor Italia 2011 with I Moderni). Ninni Bruschetta lends the voice to all the other songs, which he describes as follows:

 I Siciliani is a modern idea.
Le Siciliane is an ancient idea.
Alcol is drunkenness of Sardinian brandy: Filu ‘and ferru malidittu!
Amico Fragile he wrote it for me, even if he said no. On the day of his funeral I was in Belgrade and he had already written it.
Amore Segreto it’s for those who know how to love all women together, but one at a time.
Amuri miu it’s only this.
Ninna Nanna it’s a prophecy.
Vorrei nuotare… in your own sea. Where else? 

Actor of theater, cinema and tv, Ninni Bruschetta has signed more than 40 theatrical direction, working, among others, with Anna Maria Guarnieri, Claudio Gioè, Donatella Finocchiaro, Roberto Citran, David Coco, Edy Angelillo and Angelo Campolo. Twice artistic director of the EAR Teatro di Messina. He acted on one hundred production for cinema and tv, in great generalist series (Squadra Antimafia, Borsellino, Distretto di Polizia, I bastardi di Pizzo Falcone) and cinema (Luchetti, Giordana, Corsicato, Guzzanti, Pif, Von Trotta, Woody Allen, Paolo Sorrentino), box office record “Quo Vado?” by G. Nunziante, with Checco Zalone.
He is the beloved character of the cult series “Boris” and the related film by Ciarrapico, Torre and Vendruscolo as well as he latest television masterpiece by Mattia Torre(The Vertical Line) Tony Bertorelli Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. He has published three screenplays with Sellerio and two critical essays on the actor’s work with Bompiani and Fazi.

Cettina Donato is an internationally acclaimed classical and jazz pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. Her highly original work often blurs the lines between genres: from jazz to classical, and from symphonic music to theatrical music. In 2011, while based in Boston (MA, USA), Donato formed the Cettina Donato Orchestra, a full size jazz big band with a string quartet featuring musicians from all over the world.        
Across the ocean, in Italy, Donato is the only woman that conducts classical symphony orchestras performing a jazz repertoire while also contributing her own arrangements as well.
Cettina Donato conducted the Bari Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Bari, Puglia), the Vittorio Emanuele Symphony Orchestra (Messina, Sicily), the Lucca Jazz Orchestra (Lucca, Tuscany), the Molfetta Youth Symphony Orchestra (Bari, Puglia), the New Talents Jazz Orchestra (Rome).
Along with her many large ensemble works, she has regularly collaborated in a trio and quartet setting (as a bandleader) with some of the most renowned musicians of the international jazz scene (Eliot Zigmund, Stefano Di Battista, Fabrizio Bosso and many others). Donato was awarded the prestigious JazzIt prize (Italy) as Best Arranger in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2019. In 2017 Donato released Persistency-The New Project featuring drummer Eliot Zigmund. Donato’s other works were released in 2008 (Pristine, Cettina Donato Quintet), 2012 (Crescendo, Cettina Donato Orchestra), 2015 (Third, Cettina Donato trio), 2019 (Piano 4 Hands). Donato’s new work will be released in 2021.             

Donato graduated from Berklee College Of Music (Boston, MA, USA) with degrees in Jazz Composition and from Conservatory “A. Corelli”, Sicily (Italy) in Classical Piano, Jazz Music, Musical Didactic, from University of Messina in Social Psychology.

Antonio Caldarella (1959 – 2008), attore, poeta e pittore, è nato ad Avola ed è cresciuto a Napoli, a Messina e in giro per il mondo. In teatro ha lavorato con Antonio Neiwiller, Mario Martone, Elio De Capitani, Ninni Bruschetta e al cinema con Daniele Luchetti, Francesco Calogero, K.M. Brandauer e altri. Le sue poesie sono edite da piccole Case Editrici Siciliane che avevano capito il suo genio, senza che lui si sforzasse di fare qualcosa di più che non fosse scriverle. Persino Jean Paul Manganaro ha scritto parole meravigliose su di lui. Ma dev’essere stato un caso. Forse si erano parlati una sera davanti al mare. I suoi quadri, gli acquerelli e persino i bigliettini da visita dipinti a mano, sono sparsi nelle case di amici e conoscenti che li custodiscono gelosamente.
Antonio Caldarella (1959 – 2008), actor, poet and painter, was born in Avola and grew up in Naples, Messina and “around the world”. For the theater he has worked with Antonio Neiwiller, Mario Martone, Elio De Capitani, Ninni Bruschetta and in the cinema with Daniele Luchetti, Francesco Calogero, K.M. Brandauer and others. His poems are published by small Sicilian publishing companies that understood his genius, without making any effort to do more than just write. Even Jean Paul Manganaro wrote wonderful words about him. But it must have been a coincidence. Maybe they had talked to each other one evening in front of the sea. His paintings, watercolors and even hand-painted business cards are scattered around people who jealously guard them.

The album “I Siciliani” is dedicated to Stefania Marazzita.