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 and over the years has assumed such prestige and notoriety dimensions to name it the most important European event dedicated to Soul and Rhythm & Blues music.
In over thirty years, Porretta has hosted the best names in Soul music, many of whom purposely came for their first time in Europe; others, authentic Soul legends, were scouted in the States’ Deep South and were reintroduced to the international audience and press – the latter reporting the Porretta “miracle” as the music event par excellence in the past several years. Professionals of the sector also needed to review the geography of Black music, entering Porretta in the itinerary of the great music events. Porretta thus joined straight and fair the encyclopaedia and the official biographies of the greatest Soul interpreters, to the point that this small town earned a place in the prestigious Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis. In February 2017 it received the Keeping The Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation in Memphis.
Graziano has created much more than a festival: he has managed to build an ideal bridge from Porretta to the world, wherever the soul’s music lives, in a spirit of brotherhood. He succeeded in leading to 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 MG’s, The Neville Brothers, Chaka Khan, Sugar Pie DeSanto, Joe Simon, Mable John, Bar-Kays, James Govan, Bobby Rush…
Music is indeed one of the top excellences of Porretta the city of music, the proper music, that of the soul. Did you know? Porretta entitled several places to Soul music celebrities – there are the Rufus Thomas Park, Otis Redding street, the Solomon Burke bridge and recently also a Sam Cooke alley.
34 years in numbers
Gathering the Festival