It has been a long period of thirteen Eurovision Song Contests without Italy, but the 2011 edition will feature the much anticipated comeback of a country that has been missed by many at the music competition. Italy's broadcaster RAI is back in the game with an unusual jazz-pop song that will certainly make an impression.
Success in Sanremo
In February 2011 Raphael Gualazzi had a resounding success in the Festival of Sanremo in Italy with the song Follia D'Amore not only winning the prize for the Young Artists category, but also coming away with the Critics Award and the Press, Radio & TV Award.
It's that song, with the new name Madness Of Love, that Raphael will sing now in the Düsseldorf stage. The track was also included in the soundtrack of the film Manual Of Love 3 starring Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci as you can see in the preview video below:
A classically trained musician
Raphael Gualazzi was born in Urbino on the 11th of November, 1981. After studying pianoforte at the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, where he focussed on classical composers, he extended his musical research to include Jazz, Blues and Fusion, collaborating with qualified artists of the sector and becoming known for his unique vocal and instrumental qualities. His music was born of the fusion between the Rag-time technique of the early 1900s and the lyricism of Blues, Soul and Jazz in its more traditional form. The typical pre-jazz and stride-piano sounds of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Art Tatum and Mary Lou Williams, and the Blues of Ray Charles and Roosevelt Sykes, are brought up to date by Raphael Gualazzi with an extremely personal style in which tradition co-exists with the most innovative influences of such eclectic artists as Jamiroquai and Ben Harper.
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Madness Of Love is written, produced and arranged by Gualazzi himself, and included in his debut album Reality And Fantasy. It will participate in the Final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest on the 14th of May.