Rapper-turned-acoustic troubadour Lorenzo Cherubini (best known as Jovanotti) might be a giant star who fills stadiums back in his native Italy, but here in the US he is following an indie musicians’ trail. During the summer of 2009, he played a string of regular acoustic-based shows at small New York City venues, and is now making a return with more East Coast dates.
“That idea came after the last gig we did here earlier this year,” Jovanotti says via telephone. “We did a concert at New York’s Highline Ballroom that was sold out, and the day after that there was the thought of coming here again to do another concert at a bigger place, but I really wanted to do something different.”
The singer-songwriter, who is also a human-rights activist, started out more than two decades ago as a rapper, but he always kept an open mind about his musical influences. Over the years, he began veering into a more melodic direction, and that led to collaborations with the likes of Brazil’s Daniela Mercury, Sergio Mendes, Bono, Ben Harper and Michael Franti (of Spearhead).
“I’m getting old,” he says with a laugh. “From my point of view, everything is much more natural. It’s like when you live with a person for many years, there is an evolution. As far as my music goes, the energy for me is always the same.” (Ernest Barteldes)
May 6, 8pm, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, (773)525-2501. $ 25.