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The award-winning Antonio Forcione, acoustic guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and talented artist, is a highly charismatic and inventive performer.  He breaks the mould of most conventional, popular guitar sounds, be it in the field of jazz, Spanish, African, Brazilian or improvised music.  International tours have brought high critical acclaim from as far as Australia and Hong Kong to Russia, the Caribbean, USA and all over Europe.  His albums have variously topped UK and international jazz charts and he has shared the stage worldwide with some of the world’s most accomplished musicians including Angelique kidjo, Omar Sosa, Martin Taylor, Billy Sheehan, Biréli Lagrène, Sarah Jane Morris, Ulf Wakenius, Trilok Gurtu, Childo Tomas, New Bulgarian Voices, Sabina Sciubba, Arcangel, Theodosii Spassov, Barnie Kessel, Naomi, Rossana Casale,  Adriano Adewale, Andy Sheppard, Jason Rebello, Soweto Gospel Choir, Larry Coryell, Felix Pastorius, Dominic Miller and many more. He has also recorded a duo album with Charlie Haden.

Antonio hails from Southern Italy where he started performing in a band with his brother at the age of 13.  With a couple of older friends they would pile into a car and travel to villages to play at local festivals. Antonio would play guitar and occasionally the drums and bass. The boys earned some pocket money and Antonio began to hone his craft on the guitar, working out new compositions and feeding his soul..

He obtained a Diploma in Art and Sculpture from the Art Institute in Ancona on the eastern coast of Italy where he also studied percussion, later moving to Rome to study harmony and mime in his early twenties. In 1983 he moved to London where he joined the ranks of the city’s street buskers but within two months he’d won an award which led to a BBC TV appearance and a major European tour with, and opening for  Barclay James Harvest.  After that, it was back to the streets, gigging in wine bars and pubs where he started to build up a cult following, resulting in a signing with Virgin Records . He teamed up with guitarist Eduardo Niebla and together they released four albums.

  Looking to diversify, Antonio then joined the Music-Comedy act Olé at the Edinburgh Festival in 1991.  He performed with them as Olé appeared around the world, featuring on radio and TV and winning awards on the way.

Over the years Antonio has released 17 albums of largely original material and has performed in festivals and theatres from as far as Australia and Indonesia to the USA, Africa, Canada, Caribbean, Turkey, Lebanon and all over Europe, especially in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK. He has performed at numerous charity events and his festival appearances include Womad, Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Koln, Verona, Granada, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Perth International Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Wellington International Festival, HIFA International Arts Festival in Zimbabwe, Istanbul international Guitar Festival, and the Machoire d’Or in Montreux amongst others.

Antonio’s constantly innovative approach to life has also led him to explore the realm of music comedy performance resulting in performances with other comedians such as Boothby Graffoe, Django Edwards, Stephen Frost, Paul Morocco, Tanderika and Ursus & Nadeschkin.  He acted as musical director and performer for the award winning trio Olé, and formed the duo “Acoustic Mania” with guitar virtuoso Neil Stacey, and appeared in a number of variety shows as a solo comedy artist.  In 2001 he won the ‘Best Spirit of the Fringe Award’ at the Edinburgh Festival with a resulting tour of Australia, doing both straight music and music-comedy. Among other awards he picked up on the way, he was awarded Musician of the Year 2009 (Italy).

Artistic, intense, and formidably inventive, Antonio is a performer of genuine distinction. Ever unpredictable, his is a celebration of the unexpected elements in life, a music of rare delicacy, humour and, not least, passion.

ANTONIO HAS PERFORMED WITH: Trilok Gurtu / Birelli Lagrene / Charlie Haden/ Billy Sheehan / Soweto Choir / 
Andy Sheppard / Boulou Ferre / Omar Sosa / Larry Coryell / Angelique kidjo / Joji Hirota / Catrin Finch / Chiwoniso Maraire / Erkan Ogur / Augusto Mancinelli / Seckou Keita / Ulf Wakenius / Peter Sprague /Jason Rebello / Hugh Warren / Gwyneth Herbert / Sarah Jane Morris / Noemi / Ronu Majumdar / Martin Taylor / Barney Kessel / Dominic Miller / Neil Stacey / Boothby Graffoe / Chano Dominguez / Harvie Swartz / Claudio Roditi /Adriano Adewale / Jenny Adejayan/ Nathan Thomson / Enzo Zirilli / John Paricelli / John Etheridge / Rossana Casale / Francesca Alotta / Filomena Campus / Benito Madonia / Gary Howard / Eduardo Niebla / … and many others

OPENED FOR: Phil Collins / Bobby McFerrin / Zucchero / Jools Holland / Steps Ahead / Van Morrison / John Scofield / Tania Maria / John Mc Laughlin / Pino Daniele  etc..