About me… (Who I am)

Who am I? My biography is varied because my goal has always been to research, between the music genres, and in life.

My mission? Mold differences by eliminating separations to create new beauty, uniqueness, and Love.

I’m here to bring worlds together, as in music, as in life.

The summation of this journey is my new recording work as an author: Q&A Project. Asking myself Questions and giving myself Answers about life, transforming them into the lyrics of my songs. An exciting journey made with some of the best-known names in Jazz music, who also play with me on stage: Luca Mannutza on piano, Luca Bulgarelli on bass, Giovanna Famulari on cello, Valerio Vantaggio on drums.

The other half of me is the Sara Berni Blues Band, founded in 2012 after almost a decade of Rhythm’n Blues experience with Bianca Blues & 7 Soul.The Sara Berni Blues Band was considered the best representative band of this genre in our country, and scheduled every month for 8 years by the Italian House of Blues (Big Mama, Rome).
In 2019, with the current lineup, Muzio Marcellini on keyboards, Egidio Marchitelli on guitars, Mimmo Catanzariti on bass, and Gianni Polimeni on drums, the Sara Berni Blues Band was chosen as the best Italian band to represent Blues in the American Art Festival “OnStage!Festival” twinned with New York, for its strong musical and re-interpretative identity.

And then there is The Duo, the heart and whiffle of Music, face to-face with Daniele Bazzani.
Daniele and I have found a completely original way to blend fingerstyle guitar and voice.
The Videoclip of our first single “What is love” was nominated at the Paris Play Film Festival for Best Music Video and 1st Prize for Best Costumes and Make-up. It was also Finalist at the Rome Prisma Film Awards (June 2022).
The Duo is not only a live project, but also the world’s first teaching project specifically thought for duos and supported, to our great pride, by Tuck&Patti.

To satisfy some curiosity, from 2018 to 2022, I play the role in many music reviews, such as “Termoli Jazz Festival”, “Gianicolo in Musica”, “Emozioni in Blues” (Ars Medica Auditorium, Rome), “Ardea Summer Festival”, “In Canto d’Opera – Ardea Sotto le Stelle” with the Sara Berni Blues Band; “Montepulciano Blues Festival” in duo with Egidio Marchitelli, “Ardea Jazz festival” with “Q&A Project”, “Ferentino Acustica” Festival, “Castiglione Guitar Festival” with The Duo.

I studied classical technique with soprano Silvana Moyso (Turin) and modern singing with tenor Stefano Zanchetti (Rome) before becoming a teacher myself. I obtained a scholarship to Boston through the “Berklee Summer School” Clinics (Umbria Jazz 2002). I attended the “J. Estill Voice Training System” (Voice Craft) for teachers, with Elisa Turlà and Loretta Martinez. I love the vocal technique. It’s my wings and the wings I try to give to my students.

I like writing and painting, I adore art in all its forms, Beauty, and poetry… so I wrote, directed, and starred in the plays “Chandra Devi: Journey To Self Discovery” and “INCREDIBLE Stories of ANIMA-LS with DIFFERENT ABILITIES”. In collaboration with Econauta “Razza Bastarda, faces from all over the world” and with Andrea De Luca “JamSet for Christmas”.

To understand the meaning of these themes… you just have to keep reading.

To cultivate my “sideline” loves and break down all barriers on and off the stage, I attended a dubbing course with Marco Benvenuto, a diction and microphone acting course with Viviana Lentini, the SNIT (National School of Theater Improvisation, headquarters of Rome), National Association Improteatro (Verbavolant), and acting school with Luciano Curreli.

Among the things to remember from the past, I can tell you that in 1998 I received a Certificate of Achievement from the “Billboard Song Contest” (USA, worldwide competition) for the song “High” (performance and lirycs), a song originally in Italian. This prestigious acknowledgment led me  to follow my heart in writing musical lyrics only in English and reserving my mother tongue for theatrical lyrics.

I often modeled singing for Italian High Fashion. My live performance at the Pincio in Rome for Blanc of stylist Massimo Orlando was the soundtrack of all the fashion specials of the autumn-winter 1999/2000 collection.

In 2000 I had the honor of opening for Sting as a soloist in Nedemburg (Cape Town, South Africa) on the Brand New Day World Tour.

Other collaborations that I like to mention is Dean Bowman, lead singer of the Screaming Headless Torsos, a world reference band for Fusion music made in the USA, and Tom Griesgraber, with his wonderful bass stick.

As a soloist, I have recorded four albums: Vocintransito” (reviewed as the best Italian Gospel record by GospelWeb, 2009), “White Rose – Music Around” (2010), “JamSet” (2011), “JamSet for Christmas” (2012).

I was also a guest soloist on the albums “Where is the song?” by Andrea De Ruta & Paulie (among the guests Robbie Dupree, Tony Levin, Larry Lelli, 2009); “Soul Jazz from Birth” by Elsa Baldini Quartet (2010); “Strade” by Luciano Zanoni (2015); “Bocis & the Italian Soul Sister” by Alfredo Bochicchio (GBMUSIC 2020); and in the illustrated book including  CD dedicated to the story of Billie Holiday “L’ultimo viaggio di Billie” by Reno Brandoni (Edizioni Curci/Fingerpicking.net 2020)

In 2007 my version of “Sista”, a Rachelle Ferrell song, was scheduled dozens of times on “The Finest Ingredients” (UK), a radio broadcast dedicated to the best Soul music in the world.

Still speaking of radio, in 2001 and 2002 the leading voice of 75 jingles on RDS was mine, along with all my creativity and craziness; in 2004/2005 I was the lead vocal in the “Radio Capital Live Show” tour with Fulvio Tomaino and in 2014 again the lead vocal on air, live every morning on Radio 2 RAI at “SuperMax” with Max Giusti.

There were many radio interviews and gigs with Vocintransito, the Gospel/Jazz vocal quintet I was a member of for several years, with Susanna Stivali, Desirèe Petrocchi, Simona Rizzi, Fabiola Torresi, and Aidan Zammit on the piano. To name a few: “Jazz Time” Radio Città Futura, “Jazz a nota libera” Tele Radio Stereo, “Lo Stato Interessante” Ecoradio.

The creation of an eclectic sound between vocal arrangements and solo parts and our new concept of Gospel led us to win the “Gospel Jubilee Festival” (RAI SAT), “Teate Gospel Festival” and “Voceania” awards.

Among the live performances that I love to remember is “Jazz for Children” for Save The Children (Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome) together with Roberto Gatto, Danilo Rea, Giovanni Tommaso, Maria Pia De Vito, Rita Marcotulli, Susanna Stivali Quartet, HighFive; “Le Città del Jazz” Chicago & Kansas City with the Massimo Nunzi Jazz Orchestra, Massimo Moriconi on double bass and Michael Rosen on sax (Sistina Theater); the “Anno Domini Multifestival” dedicated to the Gospel of and from all over the world (Santuario D’Oropa); the Concert for women political refugees in Italy (Auditorium del Caravita Rome); the special event dedicated to us within the “Not only Jazz” musical review (Teatro della Posta Vecchia, Agrigento); “Miss Italia 2005” (RAI1). This last participation, imagine, a real mix of worlds between female beauty and… Gospel.

Over the years I started different bands to express, develop and test all the souls inside of me, Samsara (Funk, Acid Jazz), Rock Your Soul (Soul/Rock), Soul Vibes (Soul), The Easy Way, White Rose, Luna e 2 (Pop/Rock).

With the X-Coast project of Raffaele Costantino and DJ Knuf (Jazz/Electronics) I sang as a soloist in Miss Italia 2005 (Teatro India) and the “Ciampino Jazz Festival”. In 2006 with Freeform Kollektiv which also hosted Anna Clementi (established voice for contemporary music), we recorded a live album at the Rome Auditorium for Parco della Musica Records (Fondazione Musica Roma).

In those same years, my spiritual research joined music with the project “Jaro – Consapevolezza e Amore” by and with Roberto Gentile.

I went around the world with my Tampuri, singing before and after the “truth talks” of a guru very dear to my heart who renamed me “Chandra Devi” (Moon Goddess). He believed that my voice had great power, like the moon, to move men’s emotions, bringing peace to the world. He told me this was my mission, what I was born to do.

Back in Rome, I met wonderful Indian culture musicians, sitting with my tampuri among santur, sitar, and tablas, on the Tar Music stage. And so, I learned once again to make my soul sing in a different language.

VeganSoul, with Alfredo Bochicchio on guitars, was my first idea (in collaboration with Lidio Maresca) to donate funds for animals in need through live music. I was an artist standing up for all creatures rights at the “Turin Veg Festival” and a testimonial video for “Veggie Channel” with a text written by the well-known journalist Carlo De Blasio.

I believe I have reached the maximum expression of what music can do for living beings with my JamSet! project (Soul/Blues) with Andrea De Luca on acoustic guitar and lap steel. In addition to our two European tours, the musical reviews throughout Italy from 2011 to 2018 (I quote “FarfaVoice Music Fest”, “Montepulciano Blues Festival”, “Natale in Jazz” Agrigento, “Castel S.Pietro Romano Blues Festival”), and many interviews/gigs on the radio such as Radio Città Aperta, Ghostrack web radio, CrueltyFree web radio. We have also been testimonials of the CIAI (Italian Center for Child Aid) long-distance adoption campaign, we played at the “Volterra Veg Fest”, the “Festival Vegetariano di Gorizia”, the “Rieti Veg Fest” (with Veggie Channel) and the “Animal Aid”, the biggest concert in favor of animal rights, held in Piazza del Popolo in Rome in 2015. Our modern videoclip of “oh happy day” Gospel was requested and produced by Veggie Channel.

In my past as a soloist/background vocalist, I cannot fail to mention The Unforgettables, the vocal group with which in 1998/99 I was a guest every day on TMC TV in the talk show “Flying Carpet” together with Stefania Del Prete, Letizia Mongelli, Elsbert Anthonysamy (and secondly Anna Maria Di Marco).

I went on a journey through the evergreen music of each country with them and we performed with Al Bano on the album “Il Nuovo Concerto” (WEA).

In 1999 I was part of the well-known vocal group Baraonna with Vito, Delio, and Serena Caporale. We trod the boards of all the major theaters in Italy with Pippo Franco in the show “It’s fun, as Freud said” for an entire year.

In the Lino Quagliero/Gerardo Di Lella Big Band of 46 elements, I sang as a background vocalisit, among others, for Claudio Baglioni, Biagio Antonacci, Edoardo Bennato, Cesare Cremonini, Alexia, Paola Cortellesi, Annalisa Minetti, Alan Sorrenti.

I was the opening act soloist and background vocals in the tours of Scialpi, Francesca Alotta, Sandro Giacobbe, Edoardo Vianello, Enrico Montesano (in the show “Gratis” with the Non-compliant Jazz Band), Maestro Gianni Mazza, the Jazz Band of Cicci Santucci.

In discography, I worked as a soloist for international Dance productions such as the Promoter Company (the same as Corona, Blackwood, and Alexia). As the backing vocalist for Los Reyes (Album: Gipsy Legend SONY/BMG 1997), L’Ottavo Nano (Album: L’Ottavo Nano EMI 2001), Zoo Di Venere (Fandango/Wea 2004), Sandro Giacobbe (Album: All Life SONY/BMG 2006), Marco De Angelis (Album: The River – Both Sides of The Story” MDA 2013).

I was a session vocalist in many advertising campaigns, soundtracks, and jingles. I wish to remember for these and above all Maestro Romano Farinatti, who at the age of 18 challenged me to become not only a soloist but also an exceptional background vocalist; and Riccardo Cimino, a wonderful person and professional.

I sang for various RAI and Mediaset  TV shows as “Fantastica Italiana”, “Scommettiamo che”, “Millennium”, “Gian Burrasca”, and others. I remember with laughter and heart “L’Ottavo Nano” by Serena Dandini in 2002. With the ONB Band I sang for Max Gazzè, Niccolo Fabi, Samuele Bersani, Marina Rei, Corrado, and Sabina Guzzanti.

In the program “SuperMax”  on radio 2 Rai I duetted with Ozark Henry in the single “I’m Your Sacrifice”, and I was a backing vocalist for Pino Mango, Luca Barbarossa, Alex Britti, Caparezza, Tullio De Piscopo, Malika Ayane, Francesco Renga, Francesca Michielin, Frankie HI-NRG, Jack Savoretti, Chiara Civello, and many others.

I was a backing singer in the tours of Silvia Salemi, Carlotta, and Federico Stragà.

The masters I had the immense pleasure to work with regularly were Alessandro Centofanti (artistic director and arranger of my original songs 2000/2005), Federico Capranica (you have certainly seen him many times in world vision San Remo music Festival), Gerardo Di Lella, Lele Marchitelli, Aidan Zammit, Muzio Marcellini (who later became my right shoulder in the Sara Berni Blues Band), Daniele Macchi; and occasionally Pippo Caruso, Riz Ortolani, Tony Armetta and Paolo Ormi.

I mean… I told you I was here to Unite the Worlds. There it is. The synthesis of all this… is me.