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Unexpected Italy - Joe Barbieri in concert



Unexpected Italy - Joe Barbieri in concert

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As part of Unexpected Italy, the Festival organized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts  in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC and the Italian Cultural Institute, Italian singer, songwriter and guitarist Joe Barbieri makes his debut in the United States. Any attempt to find a term to define Joe Barbieri’s art form would fall short in describing all of its inherent nuances—whether musical, prosaical, literary, linguistic, or auditory. Barbieri’s music harks back to the greatest Italian and French songwriters, as well as jazz and bossa nova artists. Every one of his songs encapsulates a perfectly formed universe in which attention to every detail achieves spontaneous beauty.




Free admission, no reservations required





The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Millennium Stage
2700 F St NW
Washington, DC 20566




PREVIEW (via Youtube)


Unexpected Italy 

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, together with the National Symphony Orchestra and Washington National Opera, and in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC and the Italian Cultural Institute, are proud to present Unexpected Italy, a celebration of Italy’s extraordinary artistic and cultural heritage. Throughout May 2019, the Center will present a variety of art forms that reflect Italy’s diverse arts and culture. 


Joe Barbieri


Joe Barbieri is a fascinating anomaly. An outsider who - outside the track of the industry - has been able to build a personal journey, and who has succeeded in the rare exercise of conveying the approval of critics, colleagues and the audience.

After an apprenticeship in the team of the Italian singer/songwriter Pino Daniele (who was his first producer), in 2004, Joe released his first album titled "In Parole Povere". The debut is an irresistible meltin 'pot that binds the world music to jazz, and the noblest tradition of the Italian ‘cantautori’. The album is released in twelve countries and is elected ‘album of the year’ by the German review CD-Kritik.

2009 is the year of "Maison Maravilha". Barbieri's second album is distributed over Japan, North America and much of Europe and soon reaches the 20,000 copies sold. "Maison Maravilha" is a trove of great songs; among the others two emerge: "Normalmente", which the Italian pianist Stefano Bollani has publically defined as the most beautiful ballad ever written, and "Malegría" a haunting fado in which Barbieri duets with the cuban star of Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo.

The concerts that follow are numerous and crowded, and in 2010, "Maison Maravilha" becomes a live cd+dvd titled "Maison Maravilha Viva" recorded at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome.

On the day of the 2012 vernal equinox Joe Barbieri is back with "Respiro”. Beside him, the record features re friends as the Uruguayan Oscar-winner Jorge Drexler, Gianmaria Testa, the trumpeter Fabrizio Bosso and Stefano Bollani. During the summer of the same year, through the historic French company Le Chant du Monde / Harmonia Mundi, "Respiro" is progressively released in more than fifty countries, and Barbieri is invited to play in various cities accross Italy, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Madrid and Paris.

On the May 13 2013,  Joe Barbieri invited the jazz players Luca Aquino and Antonio Fresa to remember the figure of Chet Baker in the 25th anniversary of his death, reinterpreting his most beautiful repertoire and also investigating Chet’s connections with Italy. The album – with the featurings of the American singer Stacey Kent and the Brasilian singer-songwriter Marcio Faraco – is titled “Chet Lives!”.

In the spring of 2015, Joe releases his fourth cd with original songs. The album, inspired by Konstantinos Kavafis's poems, and devoted to the theme of travel, is titled “Cosmonauta Da Appartamento". Recorded between Naples, Rio de Janeiro, Copenhagen, New York, Paris and Madrid, the album itself is a journey; also thanks to the contributions by Luz Casal, Hamilton de Holanda, La Shica and the Italian Peppe Servillo.

It is worth mentioning the singularity of the title track, in which fans from around the world took part in by sending audio tracks that were then mixed in the studio. The experiment also aimed to raise the awareness of the participants about the issue of migrants and to collect voluntary donations in favor of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


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This program is part of the 7th annual European Month of Culture.

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Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019

Time: From 6:00 pm To 7:00 pm

Organized by : The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

In collaboration with : Embassy of Italy, Italian Cultural Institute

Entrance : Free


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts