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Francisco Mela to Host Residency Project in Italy

Cuban-born drummer to mentor five musicians in “Sounds of Freedom,” a new program created by 577 Records

Francisco Mela (photo by Alan Nahigian)
Francisco Mela (photo by Alan Nahigian)

577 Records, a label based in Italy, has announced a new residency program—“Sounds of Freedom”—in which five musicians will work with drummer Francisco Mela in an intensive four-week experience during October in Sutri, Italy. The program’s emphasis will be on experimental music, though the label says that artists from every musical background are welcome and encouraged to apply. In the press release received at JazzTimes, the label said that “[t]his transformative experience will be framed by the breathtaking landscape of the Italian countryside and the flavors of its world-renowned cuisine.”

Mela told JazzTimes that he had been working with 577, the label run by Federico Ughi and Polly Barnes, for the last few years during the pandemic. “They have been so great to me and our relationship has been getting very strong,” he explained. “Not long ago I shared with Frederico the idea of creating a new project at Berklee College of Music to promote free jazz, called ‘Sounds of Freedom.’ 577 Records loved the name and the program came out with this new amazing idea of creating this residency in Italy to bring this all new generation of young musicians in order to keep this beautiful kind of art alive.” In addition to the project management by Ughi and Barnes, “Sounds of Freedom” has been supported by the musician, scientist, producer and author Matthew Putnam, who serves as executive producer of  the program.

Applications for the program are due by June 15, 2022. Learn more here.

Originally Published