In September 2019, I was invited to perform at the Cremona Music Festival in Italy. The offer included bringing an artist of my own choice. I was so happy when Andrea Keller said yes. Before the concert in Cremona, we performed for the Swiss Italian Radio in Lugano (Switzerland) and inside the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence. Genius Loci, held at Santa Croce's cloisters, is a free three-day music and arts festival beginning the evening of Thursday, September 26 and ending the morning of Saturday, September 28. The festival honours history, memory and contemporaneity. It will include many performances with a creative and intellectual appeal from various entertainers, musicians, scholars and political personalities.
The Basilica di Santa Croce in particular, has a special meaning to me. It is a wonderful church and is built on what I think is the most beautiful square in the world. It also resonates with me even deeper since my father used to tell me all the stories about that church and why that church is so important for Florence's history (my birth town). Inside the Basilica are buried several 'celebrities', including Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Ugo Foscolo and many others.
Back to the music, this album comprises three of Andrea's compositions and three from my own repertoire. It was effortless to select the repertoire, given the deep affinity that bounds Andrea's musical approach and mine. When I play Andrea's music, I feel at home. I feel that I can take any risk because I know that Andrea's precise touch will always protect me. Playing with her is one of those experiences that reminds me of how lucky I am to play the music I love with great artists.
On a final note, I have to add that this was my first concert in Italy after my dad's passing in 2018. For this concert, I played his own tenor saxophone: a 1966 Selmer Mark VI that gave the whole concert a special aura that I will never forget.
Mirko Guerrini: tenor saxophone
Andrea Keller: piano
Recorded live in Santa Croce, Florence, Italy on the 26th of September 2019.
Cover art by Ilaria Crociani.
I would like to thank:
Roberto Prosseda who invited me to perform at the Cremona Music Festival.
Enrico Romero who gave us the opportunity to play at the Genius Loci Festival in Florence.
Patricia Barbetti and all the staff at the Swiss Italian Radio and for the great interview.
Dario Cecchini for lending me some gear that made the recording possible.
D'Addario Australia for supporting me as an artist.
My wife and my children Greta, Ugo and Giorgio.