Born in 1981, Raphael Gualazzi is an Italian singer-songwriter, composer, arranger, musician and producer. After his classical studies at the Conservatorio, Gualazzi started experimenting with different musical genres, creating a unique style that mixed stride piano, jazz, blues and fusion. In September 2009 he met Caterina Caselli and signed a recording contract with Sugar, which eventually led to the recording of three albums and an award winning career.
His fame soon crossed the borders of his native Italy: his track "Reality and Fantasy", in a version remixed by Gilles Peterson, started appearing on worldwide digital charts and was heavily featured on the main French radios; his massive popularity led him to perform at the Louvre and at the Parisian Sunside Club, regarded as the French temple of jazz. At the same time Raphael was performing as part of prestigious Italian events such as the Heineken Jammin Festival and the Pistoia Blues Festival.
2011 was the year of his participation in the Sanremo Festival, where his song “Follia d’amore” proved a triumph: he won first place in the "Newcomers" category and was presented with the “Mia Martini” critics’ award, the Radio and Tv Press-Room award and the Assomusica award for best live performance. Still in 2011, “Madness of Love” won second place at the Eurovision Song Contest. Raphael’s second album “Reality and Fantasy” was praised by the general public as well as by connoisseurs, and Raphael gained further recognition abroad by taking part in the first International Jazz Day, held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
2013 marked the release in Italy and France of Raphael’s third album, "Happy Mistake", which showcased his versatility, ranging through different music genres; after another successful appearance at the Sanremo Festival, where he won fifth place and again gained the unanimous approval of public and critics alike, he embarked on a triumphal European tour, accompanied by an all-new group of 9 musicians from all over the world. Spurred by his incessant creativity, Raphael decided to “have some fun” with a few legendary tracks, and in his latest digital EP "Rainbows", he reinterpreted Adriano Celentano’s 1970s hit "Svalutation" as well as Charles Trénet’s "La Mer” (also known as “Somewhere Beyond The Sea").
He once more took part in the Sanremo Festival in 2014, together with The Bloody Beetroots, presenting an innovative project in which jazz, electronic music, blues and gospel came together to create a completely new musical experience. This newfound bond between two very different artistic temperaments resulted in perfect compatibility, as proved by the astonishing eclecticism of their two tracks, ‘Liberi o no’ (which won second place at the Festival) and ‘Tanto ci sei’. Gualazzi also performed at some of the most renown European festivals (such as the “Saint Germain Jazz” in Paris and the “Dìa de la Musica” in Madrid), played sold out concerts all over Italy, wrote the soundtrack for the hit TV talk show "Che tempo che fa" and his fame brought him as far as Japan and Canada. He made his debut in movie soundtracks when Italian director Pupi Avati asked him to write the music for his film “Un ragazzo d’oro”. In December 2014, Gualazzi was chosen as a testimonial of Italian success abroad, on the occasion of the Italian Innovation Day. This event, held in Bruxelles by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, aimed to showcase Italian innovation and excellence in Europe as the European semester came to a close.
After many more live performances both in Italy and abroad, the singer-songwriter made his musical comeback on July 15, 2016 with a new single called “L’estate di John Wayne”, an immediate hit on Italian radios. The track is a sneak peek from Raphael’s new studio album “Love Life Peace” to be released by Sugar Music on September 23, 2016. This coming November, with his new “Love Life Peace TOUR (a Live Nation production), Gualazzi will return onstage with an outstanding ensemble: six multi-instrumentalists (some of which double as backup singers), a brass section featuring a trumpet, a sax and a trombone and a rhythmic section with a guitar, a double bass (or an electric bass) and drums, as well as Raphael himself, splitting his time between the piano and keyboards.