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Artist to watch in 2014: Zucchero Fornaciari

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Internationally, Italian-born guitarist Zucchero "Sugar" Fornaciari is a superstar, selling over 40 million records and winning numerous awards and honors. But, while he's performed with such American guitar icons as Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and B.B. King, Zucchero has never caught on as a household name in North America. In 2014, he plans a world tour to change that.

Touring in support of 2012's Don Was produced album "La Sesion Cubana", Zucchero has a very North American story to tell with this tour. Zucchero describes "La Sesion Cubana" thusly: "This project is a trip from New Orleans to Cuba via Mexicali. Latin, Cuban, tex-mex sounds and rhythms melt together dancing." Recording in Havana and working with some of Cuba's best sessions players, Zucchero seamlessly melds blues, soul, gospel, and New Orleans-style jazz into a musical travelogue, forsaking the tourist trappings of each region's music to dig deeper into its roots.

In Don Was, Zucchero has found the perfect producer for this tale. Was is a producer who always makes any band sound bigger and the wall of horns, strings, and percussion of "La Sesion Cubana" are a fertile playground for his production style. The best way to describe this music is "big" and in the hands of Was, it takes on an aural gianthood that fills in ever nook and cranny and compels you to dance

If you'd like to catch Zucchero on his 2014 North American tour, including an April 13 stop at Nashville's Exit/In, you can find tour dates and links to ticketing here.