This project is my tribute to the music of Minas Gerais: the land of great artists like Toninho Horta, Milton Nascimento, Beto Guedes and Lo Borges.

The artists I have worked with over the course of my career come from different parts of the world and very different musical backgrounds – Steve Winwood, Paul McCartney, Bjork, Marcos Valle, James Galway, Bobby Watson, Roy Ayers, Alex Wilson, Jesus Alemany, Snowboy, Jim Mullen… They all contributed to my growth and in particular Toninho Horta and Yuri Popoff who left a deep impression on my musical path.

Through working with them, I felt a connection with the music of Minas Gerais and realised that the songs I had written had somehow picked up the vibe from this corner of the world.

While on tour with Marcos Valle, I met violinist Rudi Berger, who has been playing with Toninho Horta for more than 20 years. He gave me his latest CD, which had some of Toninho’s and Yuri’s compositions on it and I fell in love with it straight away. A few years later I was in Rudi’s band with Yuri on bass! Later, I took a trip to Brazil where I finally met Toninho and went on to record with him on several occasions (alas, schedule conflicts prevented him from being part of this record ). I returned from Brazil full of inspiration and went on to write more songs. Before I knew it I had enough material for this album.

In Belo Horizonte I also met the great lyricist Fernando Brant, who put words to many classic Brazilian songs by Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, Lo Borges and more. I feel honoured that he wrote the lyrics for two of my songs .

This record would never have seen the light without the inspiration that the music of Diana Popoff, Toninho Horta and Yuri Popoff gave me: I thank you for it.

I hope you enjoy it.

Davide Giovannini