Review: Cecy Santana Reconnects With ‘Italia’

Her latest single taps into an emotional reunion with familial roots.

Review Cecy Santana’s reconnection with ‘Italia’, then continue for much more.

Here’s something you may not know: Brazil is home to more people of Italian descent than anywhere in the world outside of Italy.

Interestingly, Brazil’s ‘Italian Wave’ began in the late 1800s. That’s when thousands of families began to cross the southern Atlantic for a better life and new opportunities.

That’s true for Chicago singer and songwriter Cecy Santana, too. In the 1920s, her great-grandmother and family embarked on their journey of discovery, saying goodbye to Tuscany for life in the New World.

Cecy came into that world while this second-generation Brazilian family was putting down roots in São Paulo’s Itapecerica da Serra neighborhood. Then came the move to Chicago when Cecy was in high school.

All of this must have been top of mind for Cecy last summer when she was invited to perform at The International Thyrrenian Jazz Festival in the Calabria region of southern Italy.

Cecy Santana Reconnects With ‘Italia’

“Performing in the festival alongside amazing Italian musicians as well as jazz and blues singer Ray Brown Jr. (Ella Fitzgerald’s son) is something I’ll never forget,” says Cecy.

“These musicians came to perform for four wonderful nights, and I felt like we had played together for years!”

It wasn’t long after Italy’s invite arrived that Cecy’s creativity clicked into motion. The musical result is ‘Italia’. Composed before the trip, it was ready for its music video, filmed on location in the hill town of Santa Domenica Talao.

‘Italia’ is Cecy Santana’s first Brazilian music video since ‘São Paulo’ was released in late 2022. Incidentally, it’s almost a year to the day since ‘São Paulo’ won the award for Best Latin America Music Video by the International Music Video Award Academy.

Arriving early to Rome gave Cecy and her husband time to take in the sights. The experience is something that caught Cecy by surprise.

“We visited the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, the Basilica, and the Vatican. We walked the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and took in The Pantheon,” she recalled. “The food, culture, and the people we met! It’s something that a movie or history book could never capture.”

What’s next for Cecy Santana’s Italian reconnection

Here’s a hint:

“I felt honored to meet Salvatore Cauteruccio at the Jazz Festival. He’s one of the world’s great accordionists, having studied jazz at the famed Conservatorio Gaetano Braga in Abruzzo. The passion he and his band conveyed is immeasurable! I hope that our schedules permit us to tour Europe together soon;” says Cecy.

And perhaps walking in the footsteps of her great-grandmother.

“Now I understand. My Italian roots help me see and feel how music is such an important component of Italian culture. It is felt all over and wherever you are in Italia from the busy streets of Rome to the quiet hills of Calabria. I look forward to returning to Itay for more experiences from such a beautiful country,” said Cecy.

Cecy Santana

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Review: Cecy Santana Reconnects With ‘Italia’

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