Born in Rome, as soon as she turned 18 Chiara Civello left for the USA to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston and soon became the first Italian artist to record for Verve Records. Her first album was produced by Russ Titelman, who discovered her in NYC.
A great result of the Boston-NY days are the 10 songs of her recording debut LAST QUARTER MOON (Verve 2005), seven of which written by her and three in collaboration with other artists, including the great ballad Trouble, written with Burt Bacharach. Her debut granted her with a first world tour, making her hit the Japanese and Italian charts.
Billboard Magazine noted that, “the beauty, charm and allure of singer/pianist/songwriter Chiara Civello’s debut…makes for an auspicious beginning and marks the first revelation of the New Year.” The International Herald Tribune declared “her combination of personality, soulfulness and sophistication…striking.”
Called “the best jazz singer of her generation” by Tony Bennett, Chiara Civello lived up to that acclaim with her second release; one that left listeners contemplating the beauty of her voice and her songs and the space between.
The second album “The Space Between”, produced by Steve Addabbo and Pete Rende (Universal Jazz and Classics, 2007), showed us in an intimate-acoustic setting, another aspect of Chiara’s music. 13 songs such as UN PASSO DOPO L’ALTRO, NIGHT, and IF YOU EVER THINK OF ME, make us feel we can get really close to her. She describes the intention: “ It’s a record about the space between…the notes, the silence between the words, the space between you and I and all those spaces we have a hard time to relate to nowadays. The space that doesn’t make you say everything at once, but little by little, as the need of saying it gets stronger.”
The third album, 7752 (Universal Jazz and Classics 2010), marks an important new step in Chiara’s career: a geographic move to BRAZIL.
After landing in Rio to visit her friend Daniel Jobim, Chiara was taken to a musical party (SARAO) where she met a lot of great Brazilian artists playing their songs and exchanging creative ideas. A guitar was going around the room and stopped at Chiara’s place. From that moment on her new phase started. She started writing with and for other artists and explored the beauty and the generosity of the Brazilian music community.
Ana Carolina, one of Brazil’s biggest stars, was the main collaborator on this album. Success immediately followed the collaboration when their first composition together, RESTA, became the soundtrack of a very well known soap-opera “Passione”, produced by the GLOBO TV. Produced by latin pop producer Andres Levin, 7752 featured a great cast of musicians like Jaques Morelenbaum on the cello and strings arrangement (Tom Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Ruichi Sakamoto), Mark Ribot on guitar, Mauro Refosco as a percussionist (Thom Yorke, David Byrne, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Anat Cohen on sax and clarinet . This album definitely portrayed a new side of Chiara’s music . A touch of pop, a more accessible character to the songs gave wings to a happy alchemy between 60s rock, Italian melody, Brazilian harmony and R&B.
In 2012 Chiara took part in the Sanremo Festival, the biggest Italian TV musical event, with a song written with Italian/Spanish songwriter Diana Tejera. That gave the title to her fourth studio Album: AL POSTO DEL MONDO. The song received great critical acclaim and that same year the song “Problemi/Problemas” interpreted by Ana Carolina, already soundtrack of the Soap Opera FINA ESTAMPA, won the Multishow prize for best song of 2012 in Brazil.
2013 consolidated Chiara’s presence in Brazil, due to a long series of performances in a very intimate LIVE SHOW called SOLO+ (SOLO MA NON TROPPO).
In 2014 with Canzoni, a very successful fifth studio album, Chiara Civello, for the first time stands out in the unedited role of “torch singer” and interprets the Italian repertoire like we never heard before. In this celebration of love songs, Chiara has gathered an extraordinary array of collaborators: the monumental Gilberto Gil, the poetic Chico Buarque, the pop diva Ana Carolina and the jazz star Esperanza Spalding all lend their artistry to this project. The lush, almost hypnotic orchestral arrangements were conceived by the legendary Eumir Deodato. DJ/Producer Nicola Conte provided an alluring blend of contemporary sensibility and old school analog sound. The result is an album which looks out from Italy to the entire world. A revelation. A stellar cast for a record that gives to 17 the Italian “standards” carefully picked from the 60s to now, a very contemporary innovative twist, blending irresistible influences of Northern Soul, Bossa Nova, Blue Eyed Soul, Jazz with international Pop and vibrant and velvety vocals like that of Julie London and Dusty Springfield, Shirley Horn and Nina Simone, who, not surprisingly, have always inspired Chiara Civello’s artistic journey.
“I couldn’t ask for more. It’s the album of my dreams, the songs I wish I had written and a sound that winks to the past but strongly looks to the future, to the Italy of NOW, full of promises. Gil, Chico, Eumir, Nicola Ana and Esperanza paid a tribute to the Italian melody in the most refreshing and emotional way. What an honor!”
Awards and Nominations:
1996 Boston jazz Society Award 1997 Clio Lane Award 1999-2000 Boston Music Awards Nomination as Outstanding Jazz Vocalist 2012 Premio Multishow with “Problemas” Best song of the year- Brazil 2013 International Grand Prix Advertising Strategies, Italy 2014 Premio Tenco Finalista
CHIARA CIVELLO ECLIPSE Produced by Marc Collin (Nouvelle Vague)
“An Eclipse is a shadow in the sun or a sun in the shadow, a dark spot that tastes like the emptiness and is surrounded by fire. It’s the end of something and the beginning of something else. We incur in several eclipses in our lifetime and many moments of emptiness . Throught this years I learned to let them resonate and make them dance.”
Elegant pop, brazilian influeneces, a few surprising excerpts from Italian cinema, and subliminal electronics. All this and a lot more is Eclipse, the new album by Chiara Civello.
The fundamental elements of Chiara’s music acquired a new flavor thanks to the englighted production of Marc Collin (aka Nouvelle Vague) who found the perfect balance between classic atmospheres and modern sound.
“I met him in Paris in the summer of 2015, when I opened for Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil and it was love at first sight. Afyer listening to few of the songs I had, Marc suggested a new approach which could preserve the essential elements of my music with some very special sounds. I didn’t let him say it twice: I moved to Paris, rented a place in Marais and we immerged ourselves in a magic world of electric organs form the 70s, birds and wind sounds, electronics and incredibly talented musicians like my friend Mauro Refosco (David Byrne and Red Hot Chili Peppers) Gael Rakotondrabe (Anthony and the Johnsons) Regis Ceccarelli, Laurent Vernerey and we created the sound of ECLIPSE”
On the new repertoire Chiara worked with the creme de la creme of Italian songwriters. Francesco Bianconi and Pippo Kaballa join her in the soulful ballad New York City Boy; Cristina Donà in the melancholic To Be Wild; with the very elegant chansonnier from Milan Diego Mancino, Chiara wrote Come Vanno Le Cose, great album opener. The surprising young talents of Diana Tejera and Dimartino copenned La Giusta Distanza and the dreamy waltz Cuore in Tasca.
The brazilian atmospheres are scattered randomly here and there thorughout the album, but two are the songs that Chiara dedicated to her favorite musical world: Sambarilove, the contagious “sambalanço” written with Brazilian composer Rubinho Jacobina (whose vocals are featured on the track) and the groovy Sergio Mendes-like Um Dia, composed during her last stay in Rio, with the talented guitar player Pedro Sà.
The Italian “standards” that Chiara very carefully picked, pay a tribute to Italian Cinema. There is a very intimate version of Amore Amore Amore, by Piero Piccioni and italian actor Alberto Sordi. Quello che Conta written by Ennio Morricone and Luciano Salce and interpreted by Luigi Tenco in the movie “la Cuccagna” is a magnificent tribute to the great Genoa songwriter for the 50th anniversay of his premature and dramatic departure. Eclisse Twist is a celebration of Michelangelo Antonioni’s cinema who wrote the song with Giovanni Fusco for the legendary voice of Mina. Fantastic is the redition of Italian classic ” Parole Parole ” sang my Mina and Dalida and one of the common traits of French and Italian musical culture.
“In each album I look for a “first time”, a new dream and a new challenge.
In Eclipse I was able to realise my dream of creating a ” visual” album,with pictorial, cinematique songs, songs on film, in a subjective angle that allows the listener to experience, to perceive its light, the shadows the chiaroscuro and silhouette. That explains my choice of the songs form the Italian movies. So the new cicle ends, my emptiness found a color, that the cover by Matteo Basile portrayed perfectly”
It’s impossible not to mention another brief anecdote, the cherry on the cake, that gave Chiara reassurance of being on the right musical path: ” One sunday afternoon, while I was crossing Pont Sully full of thoughts and doubts, wondering whether I was making the right kind of album, if the cimatique direction was right, my eyes, gazing around , suddenly stopped on Claudia Cardinale’s eyes. Almost as a divine sign, I wathcedquietly crossing the same bridge, walking home. I followed her with my eyes and with my heart beating fast, I ran after her I stopped her and I assembled the only two words that my shiness and astonishment made me pronouce and I told her ” Thank you Claudia”
Recorded between Paris, Rio, NY and Bari the album contains an array of tremendous musicians: Mauro Refosco on percussions (David Byrne, Red Hot Chili peppers) Gael Rakotondrabe on piano and Wurlitzer (Anthony and the Johnsons) Cyrus Horde on Keys, Kevin Seddiki on guitars, Regis Ceccarelli on drums, Laurent Vernerey on bass, Thibaut Barbillon on guitar, Domenico Lancellotti on drums, Pedro Sá on guitar, Alberto Continentino on bass and Moog, Alfonso Deidda on saxophone, piano, organ and flutes.