6 fingers and a Voice

“The first time I heard him…wow! Suddenly there was no nationality or colour , just beautiful soulful music.”
Keisha Jackson, founder of One Voice Entertainment, vocalist with Erykah Badu & Outkast

 

 

Italian born songwriter, singer, keyboardist and producer, SirJo Cocchi’s emotionally charged musical
atmospheres are steeped in a blanket of retro soul ballads and electrically charged “feel good” songs that
harken from Blues, Rock, Funk and a touch of Jazz. His powerful, rich baritone voice (capable of flying real high when the music calls for it) spouts searing melodies reminiscent of vocal legends such as Marvin Gaye, Greg Allman, Prince and Sly Stone, laid over infectious
grooves: a musical experience emanating from the foundational elements of pop music at it’s very roots:
Rhythm & Blues. SirJo’s songs often deal with the here and now, those little precious moments that define
one’s eternal dance between light and darkness.

His Songbook setting of acoustic piano, vocals and electronics marry his original compositions with eclectic
covers, juxtaposing groovy beats and soulful melody lines to ballads that highlight his smoother, storyteller side.
His Songbook performances range from solo piano to a quintet with double drums, as well as collaborations with
Founda(c)tion, a 10 piece Jazz-Funk ensemble, and the new project by composer-trumpetist Pepe Ragonese,
The Mighty Groovin’Stuff.

SirJo has been playing the piano from an early age despite being born with a light form of dysmelia, a congenital
disorder involving a malformation the limbs. Nonetheless he opted to use his left hand as a “sixth finger”
determining that nothing would stop him from playing the piano, that he views very “vertically”, using it as a groove generator.

By the time he was 20 he received a Keyboard Honors Degree at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, was
playing the scene in L.A. and by 27 he was a producer for Sony Music in Italy and had started writing for
national radio.

Like most musicians, SirJo’s path has been an unconventional and arduous one, confronting condescension and
skepticism at an early age and later the struggle to find his unique voice amidst his vast musical influences such
as blues, singer-songwriters, classic rock, punk, bebop, soul, funk and classical music (and throw a fascination
with reggae for good measure). He has performed and recorded as a sideman across the globe in diverse
situations: from odd-meters instrumental rock-fusion in ZZ top-style US bars, to playing The Blues Tent at the
New Orleans Jazz Fest, from the International Night at the Jamaican Sumfest to recording “a sophisticated
realm of edgy, romantic pop” (Rolling Stone) as a featured vocalist in the UK, when the magazine defined him
in 2004 as “a soulful Elvis Costello on a journey with Burt Bacharach”.

Along the way, SirJo has produced 5 albums of original material, plus made countless guest appearances on
prominent projects, in the studio and live, where he opened for artists like Chaka Khan, Maceo Parker and Tower of Power,

The message SirJo conveys is an empowering one, with music, songs and stories being the messengers: the
everyday challenge of turning one’s problems into stepping stones and the constant quest for a meaningful life are
issues we all deal with on a daily basis.

“We can all reinvent our lives, fine tune them constantly and take them from the ordinary to the extraordinary,
cherishing ourselves as our own untouchable treasure. It’s a fact, no two of us are the same, and yet
we’re all made of the same energy. A truth so basic, yet so hard to remember and to apply on a daily basis. My
songs hopefully act as little reminders.”