The Sounds of International Soul

Porretta gran finale 2012 ph. Nigel Beckwith[1]July 23-26: PORETTA SOUL FESTIVAL. Porretta Terme (Bo), Rufus Thomas Park, Bologna. 8 pm. Tickets: Thursday, July 23: €15; Friday 24, Saturday 25, Sunday 26: €30 each; festival pass for all concerts: €75. To book, visit or Free concerts will take place from  11 am – 7 pm.

Soul music is self-explanatory—music that reaches into your essence through its combined elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm, blues, and jazz. This year, the 28th edition of the Porretta Soul Festival, which began in the late ‘80s thanks to the passion of artistic director Graziano Uliani, is dedicated to the late, great Otis Redding.

American singer-songwriter Redding, known as the “King of Soul,” impressed listeners with popular songs such as “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”

Poretta Soul will feature a grand opening on July 23 with a tribute to ‘The Godfather of Soul’ and founding father of funk music, James Brown. The inauguration will star the Japanese funk band Osaka Monaurail, with a total of nine rhythmic members, who will be followed by the Fanfara dell’Arma dei Carabinieri, an Italian military band.

The lineup will consist of both artists who are well known to soul music lovers and wonderful surprises to the general public. Special guests include influential and innovative funk drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and the ‘80s queen of rhythm & blues , Sugar Pie DeSanto from California.

Taking part in the festival for the first time will be legendary saxophonist Joe Arnold, a former member of the Grammy-winning soul ensemble The Memphis Horns, as well as younger sax musicians Gordon Beadle and Nancy Wright. Alongside the new generation of blues vocalists, such as Sugar Ray Rayford, the celebration will showcase personalities like David Hudson, Chick Rodgers, and Theo Huff.

This year the event, in the historic center of Porretta Terme, will attract numerous visitors to the Rufus Thomas Café. This home of outdoor concerts will be integrated with the Soul & Street Food Village, dedicated to the delights served by food trucks with specialties from Italy and the world.

For more information, visit or call 0534-22021.  (angela karl)

The schedule of events is as follows:

Soul Festival, Rufus Thomas Park, Porretta Terme

Thursday, July 23 (8 pm)

“Dear James Brown”

Osaka Monaurail (Japan)

Fanfara del III Reggimento Carabinieri “Lombardia” plays Rhythm & Blues classics

Friday, July 24 (8 pm)

Frank Bey & Anthony Paule All Star Band feat. Sweet Nectar

Theo Huff

Prince Phillip Mitchell

Wee Willie Walker

Sugar Ray Rayford & Luca Giordano Band feat. Sax Gordon

Saturday, July 25 (8 pm)

Frank Bey & Anthony Paule All Star Band with Sweet Nectar special guest Sax Gordon

Bernard “Pretty” Purdie

Joe Arnold

Derek Martin

Chick Rodgers

David Hudson

Sugar Pie DeSanto

Sunday July 26 (8 pm)

Rhythm & Blues Show & Revue with Frank Bey & Anthony Paule All Star Band. Sweet Nectar, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Sax Gordon, Theo Huff, Derek Martin , Joe Arnold, Chick Rodgers, David Hudson, Prince Phillip Mitchell, Wee Willie Walker, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Sugar Hill Band

Free concerts, Rufus Thomas Café Stage (11 am – 7 pm)

Piazza della Libertà, Porretta Terme

July 24

White Mama & The Soul’d Out (Bologna)

Dina Moe & The Slowmen (Monte San Pietro)

Luca Ronka Band (Udine)

July 25

Rhythm & Blues Band (Cividale del Friuli)

South Louisiana (Chieti)

Minigonna’s (Modena)

The Oversoul (Treviso)

Ele-Menti (Firenze)

July 26

Asseneutro Band (Bergamo)

Olly Riva & The Soul Rockets (Milano)

Soul Trail (Bologna)

Sugar Hill Band (Canary Island)

Homeless Band (Bolzano)