30+ years of Funky Good Time
Peace, Love & Soul since 1988
Sweet Soul Music, is a non-profit cultural association created to promote knowledge of Soul, a musical genre that draws directly from the roots of the African-American musical tradition and which has a great influence on all contemporary pop music. It was founded by Graziano Uliani in 1987. The following year the Porretta Soul Festival was born, which over the years has taken on such dimensions of prestige and notoriety as to make it the most important European event dedicated to Soul and Rhythm & Blues music.
The idea for the festival was born after Graziano Uliani met the Redding family in Macon, Georgia at the celebrations for the twentieth anniversary of Otis Redding’s death on December 10, 1987. The promise of a festival in honor of “Big O” became a reality. In over thirty years, the biggest names in Soul have passed by Porretta, many of these arrived specifically for the first time in Europe, others, authentic legends, unearthed in remote locations in the Deep South, the deep south of the USA and re-proposed to the public. and to the international press who spoke of Porretta’s miracle as a musical event in recent years.
The insiders also had to review the geography of black music, placing Porretta in the path of great musical events. Porretta is now part of the world geography of Soul music and is considered the European showcase of Memphis Sound. In February 2017 he received the Keeping The Blues Alive Award from the Memphis Blues Foundation.
Graziano has created much more than a festival: he has managed to build an ideal bridge from Porretta to the world, wherever the music of the soul lives, with a spirit of brotherhood. He managed to summon in Porretta most of the major Soul groups in the world Swamp Dogg, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Solomon Burke, Howard Tate, Isaac Hayes, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Sam Moore, Irma Thomas, The Memphis Horns, LaVern Baker, Millie Jackson, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles, Mavis Staples, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, The Neville Brothers, Chaka Khan, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Joe Simon, Mable John, Bar-Kays, James Govan, Bobby Rush.
Music is one of the liveliest excellences of Porretta, the city of music, the real one, that of the soul. A curiosity: in Porretta there are the Rufus Thomas park, via Otis Redding, the Solomon Burke Bridge and now also an alley dedicated to Sam Cooke.