Antonio Forcione is a true artist in every way! Renowned as one of the most charismatic and unconventional guitarists in today's musical scene. With a collection of international awards, this eclectic composer always leaves the crowd in awe, earning him the title of the 'Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar.'
Whether rocking the stage solo or jamming in a duo, trio, or quartet with his international crew of musicians, Forcione breaks free from the norm in jazz, Spanish, African, Brazilian, or improvised music. His performances blend ferocious virtuosity, passion, and humour, always bringing the house down!
And it doesn't stop there – Antonio has shared the spotlight and recorded with musical legends like Charlie Haden, Angelique Kidjo, Trilok Gurtu, Larry Coryell, Diego el Cigala, and more (check out the full list below). Plus, he's supported big names like Phil Collins, Bobby McFerrin, Zucchero, and Van Morrison!
I first saw Antonio when he was touring with guitar virtuoso Neil Stacy as the duo "Acoustic Mania" promoting their Talking Hands album, at that point I had never heard of Antonio Forcione. I was stunned at what I saw and heard coming from that stage, it was amazing, the encore was Neil sitting on a chair and playing an acoustic guitar with one hand and Antonio standing behind was using the fretboard, then they would swap in an instant to Antonio strumming and finger picking the strings while Neil was using the fretboard. A memorable night and I was a fan instantly, and went to a record store the following Saturday.
Antonio kicked off his musical journey in Southern Italy, jamming with his brother in a band since the tender age of 13. Self-taught on the guitar with a little help from the local barber, he'd hop into a car with some older music buddies, hitting up villages for local festivals. There, he'd showcase his guitar skills and occasionally jump on the drums or bass. Pocket money started rolling in, and Antonio dove into refining his craft, concocting new tunes infused with folk, rock, and jazz vibes.
Post-graduation from the Art Institute in Ancona, armed with a diploma in Art and Sculpture, he delved into drumming alongside his guitar prowess. A move to Rome followed, where he absorbed harmony teachings from Sergio Coppotelli and even dabbled in the art of mime and yoga for six immersive months. Seeking fresh inspiration, he hit London in '83, initially busking in Covent Garden. Two months later, he bagged an award, scoring a BBC TV gig and a European tour opening for Barclay James Harvest, climaxing at Wembley Arena. From there, Antonio's journey skyrocketed, signing on with Virgin Records and releasing four albums in collaboration with guitarist Eduardo Niebla.
Ever the innovator, Antonio took a detour into comedy, joining the Music-Comedy act Olé in '91 at the Edinburgh Festival. Touring globally, the trio of virtuoso 'Latino' guitarists, including Antonio, bagged awards and TV spots, with Antonio eventually stepping up as the musical director. His comedic adventures continued, sharing stages with the likes of Boothby Graffoe, Django Edwards, and more. This stint honed his guitar juggling skills and comedic timing without sacrificing the intensity of his art.
In '91, he co-founded the acclaimed duo "Acoustic Mania" with guitar virtuoso Neil Stacey, globetrotting with their musical prowess. The turn of the century saw Antonio clinching the 'Best Spirit of the Fringe Award' at the Edinburgh Festival, leading to a tour Down Under, blending straight-up music with music-comedy.
Artistic, intense, and brilliantly inventive, Antonio's performances are nothing short of extraordinary. A celebration of life's unexpected twists, his music weaves delicacy, humour, and undeniable passion into a tapestry of unique experiences.
Antonio Forcione - Ghetto Paradise
Antonio Forcione & Sabina Sciubba – Meet Me In London
Antonio Forcione – Touch Wood
Antonio Forcione – Sketches Of Africa