Michael Occhipinti

An eight-time JUNO Award (Canada's Grammy) nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, guitarist/composer Michael Occhipinti's inventive approach to creative music of all kinds has earned him a broad array of listeners and the respect of critics and musicians alike.  Crossing genres that include jazz, chamber music, funk, world music, and anything involving modern guitar sounds, Michael is both a versatile musician and an imaginative band leader.  His Sicilian Jazz Project has been called “a masterpiece of cross-cultural fusion” and has thrilled audiences in Canada, the U.S., Italy, and Mexico.  Starting with field recordings of forgotten Sicilian folk music and reinventing the music as a mix of global genres, the project  earned Michael a JUNO nomination, the 2009 Ragusani nel Mondo Award (which he and his musician brother Roberto received together in Ragusa, Sicily for their contribution to Sicilian culture), and a Chalmers Award that allowed him to live in Sicily from March - June 2010.  

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