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Antonio Forcione is an Italian-born guitarist-composer. He has released 18 albums of largely original material, and won several awards. Forcione tours internationally in festivals and for charity performances and masterclass workshops.
Forcione was born in a village on the Adriatic shore of Molise in southern Italy. He first drew public attention at 13 when he toured Italy with his own band as a guitarist, mandolinist and drummer. A few years later he obtained a diploma in art and sculpture from the Art Institute in Ancona where he also studied percussion. For a further two years he studied harmony and mime in Rome, before moving to London in 1983. Unable to speak English, he initially made ends meet by busking in the streets of London's Covent Garden. Within 2 months he had won an award which led to a BBC television appearance before being whisked off to open for Barclay James Harvest on a major European tour, culminating in a concert at Wembley Arena.
Since his first European tour he has collaborated with many artists, touring the world and performing both solo and with other artists in duo, trio or quartet. He has performed, double-billed/supported and recorded with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Phil Collins, Jools Holland, Zucchero, Pino Daniele, Charlie Haden, John McLaughlin, Trilok Gurtu, Steps Ahead, Leo Kotke, Bireli Lagrene, Eduardo Niebla amongst others. Other groups have included The Antonio Forcione Quartet, and duos with Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale. His latest group is AKA, a trio with Seiku Keita and Adriano Adewale.
Forcione collaborated and toured with various comedians such as Boothby Graffoe, Django Edwards, Stephen Frost, Tanderika and Ursus & Nadeschkin. Between 1992 and 1996 he performed with, and was musical director for, the award-winning musical flamencomedy group Olé.
Forcione is also a composer, and most of the pieces performed are his own. His compositions show influences from African and the Latin American countries, interwoven with classical, flamenco and Indian rhythms. Forcione currently lives in London.
Awards and recognition
His awards include Best Spirit of the Fringe Award at the Edinburgh Festival with a resulting tour of Australia, doing both straight music and music-comedy. Other awards include the Award for Excellence in Adelaide, the Premio Enriquez in Italy for best musician of the year, and the Premio Internazionale di Cultura Re Manfredi for his unique and innovative approach to music. Reviews of his albums have included his being dubbed "21st century 'Jimi Hendrix' of acoustic guitar"
- 1984 – Light & Shade (Sol Records) with Eduardo Niebla
- 1984 – Eurotour 84 (Sol Records) with Eduardo Niebla
- 1987 – Celebration (Virgin Venture)
- 1992 – Poema (JazzPoint) with Eduardo Niebla
- 1993 – Live at Edinburgh Festival (Inspiration)
- 1993 – Acoustic Revenge (Naim)
- 1996 – Dedicato (Naim)
- 1997 – Meet Me in London (Naim) with Sabina Sciubba
- 1997 – Talking Hands (Naim) as Acoustic Mania with Neil Stacey
- 1998 – Ghetto Paradise (Naim)
- 2000 – Vento del Sud (Naim) with Benito Madonia
- 2000 – Live! (Naim)
- 2000 – Live! (Inspiration) DVD
- 2003 – Touch Wood (Naim)
- 2005 – Tears of Joy (Naim)
- 2005 – Antonio Forcione Quartet in Concert (DVD)
- 2006 – Heartplay (Naim) with Charlie Haden
- 2006 – Antonio Forcione Quartet in Concert (CD/LP)
- 2012 – Sketches of Africa (Antastic Ltd) CD
- Josh Jennings (16 August 2012). "Antonio Forcione: Sketches Of Africa". Jazz Shaped. Retrieved 3 June 2013.