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Giada Valenti: From Venice With Love

Airs Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Backed by a 26-piece orchestra, the Italian songstress Giada Valenti celebrat...

Credit: Courtesy of Alex Kroke

Above: Backed by a 26-piece orchestra, the Italian songstress Giada Valenti celebrates the romance and passion of Venice with soulful interpretations of love songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

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Italian songstress Giada Valenti takes viewers on a romantic and magical journey as she performs her own interpretations of American and Italian hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s, as well as recent contemporary songs. Born and raised in Venice, Giada has always been influenced by her hometown, bringing its magic and passion to her musical style. “Giada Valenti: From Venice With Love” is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning Nov. 28, 2015.

Photo caption: <strong><a href="http://kpbs.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/GiveNowLandingPage...

Photo credit: Courtesy of Giada Valenti

Give $13/mo or $156 during our TV Membership Campaign (Nov. 28-Dec. 27) and receive the “Giada Valenti: From Venice With Love” CD & DVD Combo. This gift also includes enrollment in the myKPBS Savers Club plus additional online access to more than 130,000 merchant offers and printable coupons, as well as a KPBS License Plate Frame (if you're a new member). The CD only is available at $72, and the DVD (includes extra content) only is available at $96.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Alex Kroke

The Italian songstress Giada Valenti celebrates the romance and passion of Venice with soulful interpretations of love songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Alex Kroke

Backed by a 26-piece orchestra, the Italian songstress Giada Valenti celebrates the romance and passion of Venice with soulful interpretations of love songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Alex Kroke

The Italian songstress Giada Valenti celebrates the romance and passion of Venice with soulful interpretations of love songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Giada, who speaks and sings in five languages, performs love songs originally made famous by The Carpenters, Rosemary Clooney, The Beatles, The Doors, Christina Perri, The BeeGees, Linda Ronstadt, Dusty Springfield, Roberta Flack, Bread, Domenico Modugno and many more. Giada’s voice and spirit touch the heart of her audience as she performs songs from multiple genres, from the haunting ballad “La Vie en Rose” to the rock classic “Light My Fire.” A natural storyteller, Giada shares anecdotes and personal tales from her past, creating a genuine connection with her audience.

Accompanied by a 26-piece orchestra, Giada is costumed in stunning dresses that were specially made for her in Venice. The extraordinary set design, staging and décor feature elements that are typical of Venice. The chandelier, a focal point, is made of 2,000 pieces of Venetian crystal and took nearly 16 hours to assemble.

“From Venice With Love” features top-notch production credits including arranger Chris Walden (Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Barbra Streisand, Rihanna), arranger Larry Gold (Pink, John Legend, Aretha Franklin), multi-Grammy Award-winning music producer Gregg Field (Monica Mancini, Gloria Estefan, Arturo Sandoval, Barbra Streisand), television director Alex Coletti (PBS specials for Josh Groban and Celtic Woman, Christmas Tree Lighting at the White House) and lighting designer Chris Landy (“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” and a GREAT PERFORMANCES Annie Lennox special for PBS).

Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Giada Valenti started to sing and play piano at the age of seven and began touring professionally with a band by age twelve. She studied piano and music theory at the Santa Cecilia music school in Venice and received her music degree at the G. Tartini in Trieste. She also studied jazz with American singer Dawn Mitchell.

In Italy she has won several important music awards including the prestigious La Grande Occasione and Festival di Castrocaro. While she was studying psychology at the University of Padova, she met the love of her life and moved to the Netherlands. She participated in the song contest San Remo New Talents in the World, held annually for Italians living abroad, and won with her pop ballad “Solo Con Te” (“Only With You”). This led to a record contract with BMG Ariola in Europe and several hits on the charts, as well as the use of her music in radio and television commercials.

In 2004 she moved to the U.S., and her self-released CD “Italian Signorina” was launched to great reviews in December 2005. It featured the song “Caruso,” which she performed on the red carpet at the New York City Columbus Day Parade in 2005 2006, and 2007; she has been featured in the parade every year since.

Producer Sonny Grosso and musical director Phil Ramone selected Giada for a role in the Broadway musical “Be My Love,” based on the life story of tenor Mario Lanza. In 2008 iTunes selected her version of the song “Caruso” as one of the 50 best songs in the Italian language. In 2005 and 2006 she performed her own original shows “La Dolce Vita Swings” and “Moonlight and Romance” in sold-out theaters in New York. In June 2007 she made her debut at Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel in New York City. With her show “Tribute to the European Divas,” featuring the music of such great female singers as Edith Piaf, Dusty Springfield, Shirley Bassey, Mina and Ornella Vanoni, she became a regular performer at this prestigious venue until its closing in 2012. In 2009 she made her debut in Atlantic City at the Hilton Casino Hotel.

She has received many awards in the U.S., including the Organization of Italian Charities in America, which named her Woman of the Year (2008); the Commission for Social Justice of the Order Sons of Italy in America for being an Italian role model (2010); the Merit of Honor by the Borough President of Queens, NY, for her outstanding cultural contribution to the Italian community in the USA (2011); the Saint Brigid Parish for her Distinguished Service in Promulgating the Beauty and Value of Italian Culture and Heritage (2012); and the Italian American Labor Council for her Work, Achievements and Life Dedication to Music (2012). Giada is also a nine-time recipient of a grant from the NIAF Sergio Franchi Music Foundation.

Produced by One West Concerts in co-production with Line by Line Productions.

Giada Valenti is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @GiadaValenti on Twitter.

Giada Valenti - From Venice With Love - Highlights PBS Special

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