Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto
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Daniela Nardi's Espresso Manifesto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | MAJOR | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | MAJOR | AFM
Established on Jan, 2009
Band World Jazz





English Translation:
Toronto's Daniela Nardi has found a pretext to get closer to the Italian culture of her parents. What a pretext: Paolo Conte, the classy lawyer dandy, with his retro-jazzy tunes. To realize her dream, Nardi has surrounded herself with pianist-organist Ron Davis, legendary producer Pasquale Minieri, and musicians who create magical atmospheres for her, including clarinettist Gabriele Mirabassi, accordionist Luciano Biondini and guitarist Fausto Mesolella: the team frees up her singing. There is a consistent backdrop of the jazz-inflected song, the romantic tunes of a bygone age, the jitter of small bursts from the piano, the slide effects, the oh so effective swing, and those who ride their instruments fearlessly. Nardi truly manages to give a second life to these pieces, which are so well-known here. - LE DEVOIR


English Translation:
Known for his gravelly voice, Paolo Conte is certainly one of the best known figures of Italian song, with an international reputation acquired in the early 1980s. He is appreciated for his texts that he interprets brilliantly at the piano, with a jazzy touch. Now the songs Paolo Conte are brought back back to life, thanks to the Canadian singer, musician and songwriter Daniela Nardi. Born in Toronto, where she still lives, the daughter of Italian immigrants, Daniela Nardi, for the fourth [sic] album in her career, has chosen to honour 12 of the greatest Conte classics. These include such titles as Via Con Me, Gelato al Limon, and Nina. For this project, Nardi even travelled to Italy with her husband and pianist Ron Davis, with whom she co-produced the album, to record at Elettra studios with the legendary producer and engineer Pasquale Minieri (Gianmaria Testa, Vinicio Capossela). In all, Daniela Nardi, with the help of excellent Italian musicians, has given new inspiration to the songs by Paolo Conte, which here become more gracious, more suave, more sensual and more modern. - L'Eveil - La Concorde


It’s ironic that Daniela Nardi sips a cappuccino in a Toronto café, as the self-proclaimed electro/acoustic pop artist promotes herself under the whimsical moniker of ‘Espresso Manifesto’. “The attention that’s put into making and producing the perfect espresso and making a record is quite similar,” says the anti-diva, associating espresso with Italy in an all-encompassing name that embodies her band, her voice and the production of her music as a cultural movement.

A classically trained musician since age five, Nardi’s most recent connection to her Italian roots has sparked a new love for what she does. Her latest 12-track tribute album, Via Via – the Songs of Paolo Conte, recorded in Calvi Dell’Umbria, Italy, is the incarnation of her wish to share varieties of Italian music with the world. “There’s more to Italian music than ‘O Sole Mio’,” she says. “This music needs to be heard and I hope to do my part by exposing people to it.

After Nardi and her husband, jazz pianist Ron Davis, saw famed Italian artist Jovanotti live in New York City, she became inspired to acknowledge her Italian heritage on Via Via, pairing modern jazz arrangements with timeless melodies.

“When I heard him sing in the language that I had grown up with and took for granted, it hit me deep,” she says of the performance. “That’s when I thought, ‘I need to sing in Italian and this next project has to be in Italian’.”

Traveling to Italy for the recording of Via Via gave Nardi a newfound appreciation for her parents’ “humble beginnings”, who immigrated to Canada from small towns in Calabria in 1964. The main value she has gained from her heritage is that of family, togetherness and a commitment to preserving the culture through various mediums, from music to visual arts.

A member of the film organization L’Altra Italia and the Italian Chamber of Commerce, Nardi feels that Italian-Canadians should spread more awareness of “how much we’ve contributed to and shaped” a very present community.

“I feel that it’s my responsibility as a first generation Italian-Canadian,” she says of her music. “I’m the by-product of my parents coming here, so what am I doing with the life and opportunities that I have been given? It was important for me to do something that was moving our culture forward.”

For Nardi, completing this full circle was recording the tribute to Paolo Conte, which is set for release in May 2012 under her private label. Though Via Via is sure to entice the Italian-Canadian community, Nardi describes audience response through a food analogy.

“Your mother makes pizza and when you bring it to school, everyone’s nuts about it, but to you, it’s really nothing special,” she says of cultural immunity. “So, Paolo Conte for me and North American audiences is my mother’s pizza to the outsider.”

Worldly experiences have shown Nardi that it doesn’t matter where one performs. “When something resonates, people respond,” she states. From playing the Jazz Goes to Campus Festival in Indonesia before 10,000 people to singing at Toronto’s Lula Lounge, Nardi’s objective is to expose people to the richness and warmth of both her authentic style while seamlessly integrating Italian music.

“When Italian-Canadian artists want to reconnect with their roots, they always go back to folk songs from their parents’ towns, trying to reinterpret them,” she says. “I hope to not only find music that hasn’t been heard, but to create original material in my mother tongue.” - PanoramItalia Magazine


Macchiato67 Via Con Me Remix - 2013 - Acronym/Universal Music
Espresso Manifesto The Songs of Paolo Conte - 2012 - Acronym/Universal Music
Fugitive Kind Remix - 2009 - Minerva Road Entertainment
The Rose Tattoo - 2008 - Minerva Road Entertainment
One True Thing - 2007 - Minerva Road Entertainment 



Already established as one of Canada's most celebrated homegrown artists, Daniela Nardis launch of her new jazz-world music project Espresso Manifesto marks a musical, as well as personal, milestone for the award winning multi-talented singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist/producer. 

Quickly becoming a must-see musical experience Espresso Manifesto has played to sold-out houses in Toronto, Montreal and New York. Upcoming dates include an appearance at Torontos international star venue Koerner Hall (with guitar legend John Pizzarelli), two nights at the great Montreal Jazz Festival, and a 2014 tour of Russia. 

Critics and reviewers globally sing its praises that Espresso Manifesto is becoming a top pick with Jazz and World music lovers. The project has been featured on Public Radio Internationals The World, received a love it from Tom Schnabels KCRW Caf L.A. show, charted #1 and #2 on Jazz and World Music charts throughout Canada and the US, and received rave reviews from JazzTimes and JazzWeekly.

Daniela Nardis Espresso Manifesto is more than a creative exploration. Its truly a mission. Nardi created Espresso Manifesto in order to discover, showcase and reinterpret the scintillating spirit of Italian music and culture. 

Italian music, art and culture are well known and loved all over the world, Nardi explains. Most global citizens can hum O Sole Mio, recall a Fellini film or describe the Mona Lisa, but there is so much more going on in Italian culture. I want to shine a light on the new and different traditions, and I want to help create some more, she adds. 

DN's Espresso Manifesto and The Songs of Paolo Conte:

Espresso Manifestos critically acclaimed and commercial success The Music of Paolo Conte (Acronym/Universal Music) is a heartfelt tribute to the renowned Italian singer-songwriter. Known for his gravelly, whisky-and-smoke tinged voice, Conte is often compared to Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen. Nardi is the first woman to reinterpret Contes music, turning his originals on their head and making them her own. The combination of Conte's remarkable songwriting and Nardi's sensitive interpretations gives the album a universal appeal that transcends cultural and language barriers.

A key to the records appeal is the presence of some of Italy's most prestigious musicians, drawn from Italy's vibrant jazz community, including Fabrizio Bosso, Fausto Mesolella and Gabriele Mirabassi. The album was recorded at Elettra Studios in Italy's lush, celebrated Umbria region. Nardi produced the record, with her husband, renowned jazz pianist Ron Davis as co-producer, and additional artistic direction by legendary producer/engineer Pasquale Minieri
(Vinicio Capossela, Gianmaria Testa, Elisa). 

About Daniela Nardi

Artistic curiosity and musical versatility are nothing new for Nardi, shes been making music all her life. At age five, she began studying piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. British pop music of the 80s led Nardi to take up the bass guitar and embrace songwriting. She went on to earn a degree in Music at Torontos York University. Meanwhile she honed her live performance skills playing everything from pop to punk, from Latin to country.

In the years since, Nardis career has encompassed a remarkable range of activities; recording artist, DJ, film composer, radio show host, actor and marketing/communications consultant. Her pop-jazz solo album One True Thing (2005/Minerva Road) gained considerable airplay, charted, and earned her a Best Group nomination at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.

The 2008 release The Rose Tattoo (Minerva Road), inspired by her mother Roses four year battle with cancer, marked a watershed for Nardi. This ambitious album received wide international acclaim, and led to Nardi winning the Canadian Smooth Jazz Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, and the Readers Pick Award for Best Female Vocalist in the prestigious Now Magazine Best of Toronto campaign. This all helped to set the stage for a quantum leap to Espresso Manifesto.


Daniela Nardi - Vocals, accordion ; Ron Davis - Piano ; Kevin Barrett - Guitars ; Mike Downes - Bass; Roger Travassos - Drums ; Sasha Boychuk - Clarinet/Sax

Band Members