Picture Duke Ellington jamming with Prince, the Beatles with Django Reinhardt on guitar, or Louis Armstrong playing with Beyonce: this is a good starting point to define Sugarpie and the Candymen – Lara Ferrari (vocals), Jacopo Delfini (manouche guitar and harmonies), Renato Podestà (electric guitar and harmonies), Roberto Lupo (drums), and Alessandro Cassani (double bass).
Their trademark, since the beginning, has been to rework rock and pop anthems in a retro style that evokes jazz manouche, big band swing, and early rock and roll, with vocal and instrumental arrangements that are both virtuosic and humorous. They haven’t only gained the admiration of their concert audiences: their take on Bohemian Rhapsody has been publicly lauded by none other than Queen’s guitarist himself, Brian May.
Sugarpie and the Candymen have also been writing original material, and with each album the band’s sonic palette has expanded, becoming less and less philological and more and more open to other musical influences. This path has led them to perform at some of the most renowned festivals in Europe and beyond, such as Umbria Jazz, Montreux Jazz Festival, Madrid Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz in Tel Aviv, Jazz and Wine in Georgia, and countless others.
In 2014 they met Renzo Arbore, Italian TV and radio legend – and a jazz musician as well – who fell in love with their sound, and a fruitful collaboration was born. With him, the band participated in several national radio and TV broadcasts, such as Che Tempo Che Fa and Celebration, as well as in the album Arbore Plus (2017).
After nearly fifteen years together and six released albums, Sugarpie and the Candymen continue to defy expectations and blend their eclectic influences into an infectious mix, which has brought them on stages from Berlin to Dubai, from Paris to New Orleans, in more than 1,000 concerts.
Their upcoming release, Something’s Cookin’, will feature yet another musical departure, this time exploring the worlds of Motown, soul ballads, and electric blues.