Culver City Observer -

By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

Grammy Museum Wilson-Bocelli

 

Bocelli & Son

Rita Wilson, actress turned singer, and Italian living legend of the classical-song world, Andrea Bocelli, both made separate appearances recently in the intimate, 200-seat Clive Theatre at The Grammy Museum for a Q & A and performance hosted by Executive Director Scott Goldman.

Wilson, native of Los Angeles and also wife of actor Tom Hanks who was in the audience supporting his beloved, was there to discuss her new album Halfway To Home (March 2019), her fourth studio album.

Even though she had a bit of a sore throat, she soldiered through the discussion and performance, leaning on her two band-member vocalists to lend their support.

Wilson was especially excited, having just received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and performing at Stagecoach.

Despite being a successful actress, her first love has always been singing. For her new album, she enlisted the services of A-List songwriters to co-write the songs: Grammy-winner Liz Rose, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Mozella (Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus), Mitch Allan (Demi Lovato), and Kara DioGuardi (Pink). The style is Southern California rock meets Nashville country and was mostly recorded in Nashville.

Wilson also had a who's-who production team which included Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban), Ron Aniello (Bruce Springsteen) and John Shanks (Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow).

After the Q & A, she performed five songs with her band which included The Who keyboardist, Loren Gold, and Don Henley bassist, Lance Morrison. And she showed the audience members how she made a successful transition from acting to the concert stage.

Next, Bocelli, his 22-year-old son Matteo, and legendary music producer Bob Ezrin took the stage to discuss the making of his acclaimed 2018 global best-selling album, Si, his first album of new material in 14 years which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.

Matteo is featured on the album's standout duet track, Fall On Me, which is the first for father and son performing together. Matteo, who has a beautiful singing voice, also wrote the Italian lyrics of the song and the video hit over 40 million views worldwide, becoming the most viewed video on the album and one of Bocelli's most viewed videos of all time. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree.

Kudos to Ezrin for suggesting they sing together on the track, and Ezrin also produced the majority of the songs on the album as well. Bocelli also sings duets with Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Josh Groban. Ezrin, with a career that has spanned nearly 50 years, has worked with Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, KISS, U2, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, and Pete Seeger among many others. His expertise as a producer helped bring Bocelli's vision for the album to life and served as a record-setting milestone in Bocelli's career.

This album was a creative challenge for Bocelli. attempting to find a collection of songs that would speak to his emotional and intellectual interests, fit his repertoire, and present the chance to offer something musically new. The result is an album about heart and soul, positivity and family, and beautiful melodies. It features songs in both Italian and English and also an emotional homage to his wife, Veronica, who also took the stage to briefly speak about their philanthropic and charitable endeavors in Haiti.

Bocelli mainly answered questions in Italian using his very capable interpreter because some of the questions were "too complicated" to answer in english. Nevertheless, it went without a hitch as his Grammy appearance fell one day before his two-day sold-out appearance at the Hollywood Bowl with his son Matteo.

To close out the event, Bocelli treated his adoring fans to one solo song in Italian using his classical guitar and inspired everybody to feel much delight as the evening concluded.

 

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