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About avanti -

Artist's Notes

For years I've longed to make a musical statement which paid homage to some of the great compositions for tenor voice. These selections chosen were effectively penned with unforgettable melodies, laced with emotional and unbridled passion, and of course drama. After legendary jazz artist and producer, Marcus Miller, offered to collaborate on this highly unexplored musical venture with Hicks, the two then rendered a record of amazing magnitude. Hicks' offerings of the creme de la creme of operatic tenor gems fused with the superb jazz pulses and influences contributed by Miller, has realized a record beyond compare. I'd like to think that if the Masters were living today, they would delight in what influences their creativity sparked in modern musical mediums.

Letting the original operatic or concert piece take the lead in these interpretations, then melding them with the jazz medium, as well as the symphonic grandeur, renders a sound unparalleled in the annuls of recording. At the same time, this record was conceived with the purpose of massaging anyone's feelings having to persevere through long term struggles and hardships, yet never losing that desire to win.

Hence, A V A N T I ! (always pressing forward!)

The literal translations of these selections are almost insignificant, due to each piece having its own musical language of desire, longing, confusion, mortality, and hope. It is this focus that gives this recording wings.

Consequently, a rare meeting with one of the world's most celebrated opera divas, Renata Tebaldi, while singing in an international competition in Barcelona, Spain, sparked a memorable response from her, saying "Young man your voice is very beautiful top to bottom. You must make them (the world) hear you......AVANTI ! Kenn Hicks


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