The career of Sugarpie and The Candymen begins in the summer of 2008, when five friends, Jacopo Delfini, Renato Podestà, Roberto Lupo, Georgia Ciavatta and Alex Carreri decided to form a band that could mix swing music with many other musical styles. The result was named “progressive swing”: a melting pot of Jazz manouche, rhythms of the Swing Era, Pop, Rock, and Rock’n’roll. The first album of the band (“Sugarpie And The Candymen”) is a collection of elaborated arrangements of famous hits (from Queen to Blondie, from Prince to The Beatles, and so on) played with the particular combo of the group: a gipsy guitar, an electric guitar, double bass, drums and female voice with male vocal harmonies. This formula is the key of Sugarpie and the Candymen’s sound. From 2009 to 2015 the band recorded three more albums: “Swing And roll”, the first album containing original songs, “Waiting For The One”, also with half original songs and half arrangements of famous hits, and “Let It Swing”, dedicated to the music of the Beatles. During these years the group has almost always been on tour, playing all over Europe, and also doing a short tour in the USA. Some highlights of this period are:
-The audience award at the Ascona Jazz Festival in 2011
-The TV appearances with Renzo Arbore, a famous Italian showman and jazz musician himself
-The Umbria Jazz Festival
-Major jazz festivals in Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Turkey
-Brian May (Queen) showing his appreciation for the band’s reworking of Bohemian Rhapsody on his website.
Since 2014 Claudio Ottaviano took over double bass duties, and since April 2016 the new singer of the band is Lara Ferrari. Her warm and bluesy voice fits perfectly with the sound of the group, that continues its activity through the main clubs and festivals in Europe for all 2016 and 2017: Umbria Jazz again, International Boogie woogie Night in Kaiserslautern (DE), Jazz Au Dehore in Paris, Casa del Jazz in Rome with Renzo Arbore, and many others.
In May 2017 the band begins the studio recording of its fifth album at the Digitube Studio in Mantova (Italy), under the supervision of Carlo Cantini. It’s called “Cotton Candy Club”, alluding to the famous New York jazz club. On the cover you can see five little children, a metaphor for the new start that this album wants to represent. It’s new in many senses: first of all the sound, which is tighter and heavier, with a long post-production work and a mix closer to Pop music. Then the songs: 16 new tracks, with 7 arrangements of famous songs (among the others you’ll hear Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and U2) and 9 original songs, with both English and Italian lyrics.
The result is an energetic tracklist which goes from more rocking songs like “Baby No More” and “Lithium”, to electro-swing stuff (a new frontier for Sugarpie and the Candymen) like “Navigalonda” and “Inconsapevole”, to traditional swing tunes like “Vedi di Saper Cantar” and “Fire”, to smooth ballads (“Red” and “Attimo”) with some experimental moments (on “Break On Through” you’ll hear a noisy doublebass with banjo, drums, Fender Rhodes, three kazoos and violin!). A more Hawaiian flavor is what you’ll hear on “Così Splendida”, featuring ukulele, steel guitar and percussion. Like all the previous albums, “Cotton Candy Club” has some really excellent special guests: Mauro Negri on clarinet, Gianni Satta on trumpet, Emiliano Vernizzi on saxophones, Beppe di Benedetto on trombone, and Carlo Cantini on violin.
“Cotton Candy Club” is a swinging and rocking album and, like candy, it is sometimes sweet and soft, sometimes hard; have a taste!