Multi-talented artist has innovative approach and artistic expression to music
Marco Lo Russo aka Rouge, is an international concert artist, accordionist, composer and producer who is considered among the most representative musicians of the Italian contemporary music scene. Known for his unique artistic sensibility, creativity and talents – he has captured the international arena with his innovative approach and artistic expression to music.
Marco is internationally regarded as one of the leading contemporary Italian musicians. Born in April 1977 in Latina, Italy, his music extends into a vast spectrum from jazz and classical to contemporary repertory, and often recognized as being eclectic with mediterranean sounds.
He is also composer, arranger, conductor, producer and artistic director of Rouge Sound Production, his own label and recording studio. Marco is a musicologist and professor at the Conservatory of Music in Trapani, Sicily.
Over the years, Marco Lo Russo has received countless international awards and recognitions, and in fact has performed as a soloist in World Vision events for the Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis and has collaborated with many international artists. He has spent much time performing concerts for charity fundraising, particularly benefiting children.
Most recently, Marco began his ‘Made in Italy’ concept. An artistic project that aims to enhance Italianism in the world and foster the precious combination of music, history, culture and artistic heritage.
Marco Lo Russo is scheduled for a performance on Saturday 1 September 2018 at 3:55 pm on Rai 1 Italian TV – he will be performing the Ave Maria for solo accordion, which he composed and dedicated to Pope Francis. He will be among the special guests of the program A Sua Immagine, conducted by Lorena Bianchetti, filmed directly from the Garden of Ninfa, in the province of Latina, Italy – considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the world by the New York Times. Below you can see the the ‘Official Music Video’.
Read our exclusive interview with Marco below and visit his online links.
An Interview with Marco Lo Russo
Marco: I am very happy to be able to do this interview with Italia Living. I am close to my friends and fans in USA because some of them have founded a fans club on facebook about me, after my concerts tour between USA, Canada and Mexico in 2013. Today the fans club is a facebook public page with about 10,000 followers who support me from many countries around the world. I’d like to say thank you so much to all. The page is: https://www.facebook.com/LoRussoMarco
Italia Living: Your rendition of Ave Maria is a beautiful composition. What brought that piece about?
Marco: This idea was born as a thank-you to the prayer intention in August 2017 by Pope Francis which was dedicated to artists. However, after opening as a special guest accordionist at the 2016 World Youth Day in Poland, I truly began to feel the need to compose this sacred song.
The Ave Maria was presented at the world premiere at the Sacred Harmony concert held in Krakow, Poland, on the occasion of the Night Sacred Kracow on 15 August 2017 and was dedicated to Pope Francis.
Italia Living: What inspired you to create the ‘Made in Italy’ project?
Marco: I started traveling to play very early in my career. The first concerts tour was in 1995 in Canada were I was invited for play as accordionist at Italian festival organized by CHIN TV Radio and Johnny Lombardi. I was very impressed not only by the success of my performance, but how the Italian music was enjoyed by the Italians who lived in Canada and by the Canadians themselves. I played Italian songs and some of my compositions as an accordion soloist. In my mind I had the images of Fellini’s movies, and while I was playing, I looked to the audience with their tears of emotion. I realized that although I was very keen to study other cultures and even if I had gone to live in another country, I would always have my Italian roots. For this reason, after several years, I had the inspiration to create a project speaking about Italianity through music, mixing it with other cultures and the sounds of today, along with charity for helping people.
Italia Living: Have you ever performed in the United States?
Marco: I love the USA. I played in the USA and I also collaborated with some TV show soundtracks composers with my music productions. The most important performance for me was in 2013 when, as a special guest accordionist, I played for the Jazz Foundation of America JFA and for some Jazz Clubs in NYC. I met many artists. I often get recognitions for my music from the USA and this makes me happy. I’d like very much to go back to playing in the USA more often.
Italia Living: You have performed with many international artists. Are there any that you would like to collaborate with in the future that you haven’t yet?
Marco: There are many interesting artists. I would like to do a musical project in duo with Sting, voice, guitar and accordion. I would also love to work as a special guest with young artists like Ariana Grande and others. It interests me to experiment with music and merge the sound of the accordion with other musical genres, and also with electronic music.
Italia Living: You keep yourself very busy with various levels of music projects. When you have any spare time, what else do you enjoy doing?
Marco: Even though I’m a very simple person, music takes a lot of time in my life: performances, composing, producing music and a lot travel around the world. You can not do the musician’s job, you must be a musician, and to grow you have to study a lot and live in art and culture. A lot of my time is taken from studying, from the research and in the beauty of art – but when I have some free time I love to cook. During a concert tour in Canada, I had also collaborated on a reality TV show where I cooked, and in the waiting time while filming, while the food was cooking, I played themed music with the food of the day. One of my other passions is to discover places off the normal tourist routes, especially in Italy: medieval villages and small cities, that are full of wonderful beauty and culinary specialties. I am a real Made in Italy person. LOL 🙂
Italia Living: Can you share with us any future projects in the works?
Marco: I have several projects I’m working on – some concerning live performances. On September 1st I’m on RAI 1 Italian TV which is also broadcast in the USA.
Made in Italy, as well as being a project that offers concerts with re-elaborated Italian music – will also promote places. On the TV show, A Sua Immagine, on RAI 1, I perform from the Garden of Ninfa, in the province of Latina near Rome considered among the most beautiful gardens in the world by the New York Times.
There is a Made in Italy album in progress by my Rouge Sound Production recording studio. It will contain some famous Italian songs and soundtracks by Ennio Morricone and others. I’m happy to share here for Italia Living, in preview, my version of Caruso by Lucio Dalla – listen here.
In the fall, I will resume giving lessons as a professor at the Music Conservatory of Trapani in Sicily. I will also have a tour of concerts in Brazil, and will be releasing the compilation “Cinema Accordion” for Universal Music with interpretations of soundtracks as accordion soloist. I recorded, and played again, the soundtrack of the film Life is Beautiful by and with Roberto Benigni. For several years I was the accordionist for the composer of this soundtrack, Nicola Piovani.
Italia Living: Thank you so much Marco for taking the time. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more from you. Wishing you all the best!
Marco: Grazie mille Richard and a big hug to all from Italy!
Visit the website and social media pages for Marco Lo Russo below. As well as where you can listen and purchase his music.
Marco Lo Russo Rouge Music:
➡ Spotify https://goo.gl/GYVt6B
➡ iTunes https://goo.gl/gi5A75
➡ CD Baby https://goo.gl/Ef5Ncy
➡ Google Play https://goo.gl/jRzsN8
➡ Amazon https://goo.gl/ADciD3
Photos credits: Giuseppe di Salvo (Italy) and Marcin Brzózka (Poland)
By, Richard J Michelli
Italia Living Founder / Director / Contributing Writer