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Antonio Forcione is a regular and extremely popular figure on the
national and international jazz/world music scene;
resident in London for more than twenty years,
he has performed in venues all over the world; on solo tours,
with fellow musicians and guests, and with his own bands.
One of his favourite shows is the Edinburgh Fringe where he performs every year:
his year he will play 24 shows-in-a-row during a three week residency at the Assembly George Square.
Biography: The award-winning Antonio Forcione, acoustic guitarist, multi-instrumentalist,
composer and talented artist, is a highly charismatic and inventive performer.
He breaks the mould of most conventional, popular guitar sounds, be it in the field of jazz, Spanish, African, Brazilian or improvised music.
International tours have brought high critical acclaim from as far as Australia and Hong Kong to Russia, the Caribbean, USA and all over Europe.
His albums have variously topped UK and international jazz charts and he has shared the stage
worldwide with some of the world’s most accomplished musicians including Martin Taylor, Biréli Lagrène,
Trilok Gurtu, Barnie Kessel, Rossana Casale, Adriano Adewale, Andy Sheppard, Jason Rebello,
Chano Dominguez, Soweto Gospel Choir, Larry Coryell, Sarah Jane Morris, Dominic Miller and many more. He has also recorded a duo album with Charlie Hayden.
Antonio hails from Southern Italy where he started performing in a band with his brother at the age of 13.
With a couple of older friends they would pile into a car and travel to villages to play at local festivals.
Antonio would play guitar and occasionally the drums and bass.
The boys earned some pocket money and Antonio began to hone his craft on the guitar, working out new compositions and feeding his soul..
He obtained a Diploma in Art and Sculpture from the Art Institute in Ancona
on the eastern coast of Italy where he also studied percussion,
later moving to Rome to study harmony and mime in his early twenties.
In 1983 he moved to London where he joined the ranks of the city’s street buskers
but within two months he’d won an award which led to a BBC TV appearance and a major European tour with,
and opening for Barclay James Harvest. After that, it was back to the streets,
gigging in wine bars and pubs where he started to build up a cult following, resulting in a signing with Virgin Records .
He teamed up with guitarist Eduardo Niebla and together they released four albums.
Looking to diversify, Antonio then joined the Music-Comedy act Olé at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991.
#He performed with them as Olé appeared around the world,
featuring on radio and TV and winning awards on the way.
Over the years Antonio has released 16 albums of largely original material
and has performed in festivals and theatres from as far as Australia and Indonesia
to the USA, Africa, Canada, Caribbean, Turkey, Lebanon and all over Europe, especially in France,
Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK.
He has performed at numerous charity events and his festival appearances include Womad,
Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Koln, Verona, Granada, Hong Kong Arts Festival,
Singapore Arts Festival and the Machoire d’Or in Montreux amongst others, as well as most major international guitar festivals.
Antonio’s constantly innovative approach to life has also led him to explore
the realm of music comedy performance resulting in performances with other comedians
such as Boothby Graffoe, Django Edwards, Stephen Frost, Tanderika and Ursus & Nadeschkin.
He acted as musical director and performer for the award winning trio Olé,
and formed the duo “Acoustic Mania” with guitar virtuoso Neil Stacey,
and appeared in a number of variety shows as a solo comedy artist.
In 2001 he won the ‘Best Spirit of the Fringe Award’ at the Edinburgh Festival with a resulting tour of Australia,
doing both straight music and music-comedy.
Among other awards he picked up on the way, he was awarded Musician of the Year 2009 (Italy).
Artistic, intense, and formidably inventive, Antonio is a performer of genuine distinction.
Ever unpredictable, his is a celebration of the unexpected elements in life,
a music of rare delicacy, humour and, not least, passion.
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