In order to understand the artistic evolution of Gen Rosso, it’s important to take note of its background tracing its origin to the late 60’s in a small location of Tuscany’s hilly side near Florence by name Loppiano : 900 inhabitants from 70 nations of the world.
Due to its originality, Loppiano has always been an attraction point to thousands of people. At the very beginning a group came into rise with the aim of entertaining visitors from various parts of the world through folklore, song and dance.
It was to this initial artistic group that Chiara Lubich, on Christmas 1966, gave as a gift a guitar and a red drum set. They were years of youth protests, calls to a pacific world, the beat generation, and the acronym GEN, for New Generation merged well with the wave that characterised that period. From here the group derives its name. A red (‘Rosso’ in Italian) drum set played by a new ‘Gen’eration.
A few instruments, a pair of amplifiers and a whole lot of enthusiasm...
Come 70’s and Gen Rosso was in the musical scene. The group set out for its tour around the world learning and perfecting its skills on the ground. The show was a mix of various musical tastes blended with a whole range of cultural heritage, an almost ethno-fusion. There was room, too, for choreography as well as pieces suggestive to modern dance.
The 80’s were characterised by adventure. There was a clear inclination to rock-opera, a fascinating genre, little known or unexplored to many and to which various works are attested e.g. “Someone lets the sun rise”, repertoire to a long tour in Asia and North America, “The Ever Changing Story”, the most successful of that period - a milestone in the evolution of Gen Rosso’s musical style. The latter is a Pop-rock musical that made debut in the prestigious Verona Arena. A film was also realised on that occasion.
In the 90’s Gen Rosso made a full immersion into the world of Rock moving over from theatres to sport gymnasiums, public squares and stadiums. The electric guitar rhythmically became more protagonist and the lyrics though tackling explicitly various themes like racism, sale and traffic of firearms, peace, the great migration, search for the meaning of suffering, became more captivating.
In the year 2000, Gen Rosso debuts with “Streetlight - The Musical” based on a true story that took place in 1969. It’s the story of Charles Moats, a young African-American living in a ghetto in Chicago. It’s Jordan’s story, too, in love with Lisa, as well as the story of Trey the head of a gang that controls the neighbourhood. Charles is part of the Streetlight band. Through music they want to transmit the ideal of peace and universal brotherhood. An ideal that has changed their life and to which Charles testifies to extreme consequences.
The narrative prose is modern, on an urban set up. Hip Hop, well blended in choreography, marks a variety that ventures into Rock and Blues, Pop and Rap, Tango, Afro and Celtic rythm.
This is the largest production that Gen Rosso has laid it’s hands on, showcasing more than 450 times round the globe.
Amongst the notable places: Rome’s Università la Sapienza (7000 spectators), Forum Assago (Milan) with 10,000 spectators, Rome, in conjunction with the United Nations on occasion of the 15th International Day on Fight against Drug abuse, Hameln juvenile prison, Straubing & Wuppertal maximum security prisons in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Albania, Spain and Portugal.
In 2000 was released "Streetlight - the Musical", the largest production that Gen Rosso has competed. Represented in Europe, Asia, Central and South America with hundreds is a musical inspired by a real event that happened in the 79th street in Chicago in '69. It 'a story of neighborhood rivalries, between the life of a gang with his plan of hatred and revenge, and a garage band, which gives concerts in the city by offering alternative message to those of the road. Charles, the band's drummer, will pay with his life for his testimony that a different world, supportive and united, is possible.
To date his affair has left an indelible trail in the hearts of thousands of young people in all latitudes. Modern narrative and urban settings. Hip hop choreography and a musical crossover that is not afraid to venture from tango to rap, rock, techno.
2003 marks the birth of a CD project “Voglio svegliare l’aurora” (The Awakening of Dawn). It’s an opera that translates through the language of modern music (pop,ethno,rock), an antique and marvellous poetry contained in the Book of Psalms.
Epochal wisdom arranged and sung in today’s context. ‘Aurora’( Dawn) symbol to novelty , the uniqueness of a new day, an embrace of what is positive for a better world.
13 songswith infinite emotions and sentiments, an autobiography of the Adam that is in every man, interpreted not only by Gen Rosso but amongst others, Rosalia Misseri, Christian Gravina, Miriam Meghnagi, Chiara Grillo, Emanuela Viara, Nazar Said Abdulla. Band members; Asok Chakraboty (tabla), Gurav Mazumdar (sitar) and Carlo Cattano (sax and flute). Directed and arranged by Emanuele Chirco.
In 2004 Gen Rosso held a demo-show of the musical Streetlight to the Chinese public in Beijing and Tianjin. In 2005, Streetlight in Thailand with shows in Bangkok to thousands of youth and to various dignitaries and diplomatic corps from various states. In 2OO6 Gen Rosso set foot in South Africa with shows in Soweto, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Taung. Then the long tour of Brazil with more than 110,000 spectators drawn from Rio De Janeiro, the state of Amazon, Salvador da Bahia (an ‘afro’ dominated state), to the metropolitan Sao Paolo and the vibrant Recife.
Exit of the CD Zenit to commemorate 40 years from the birth of the first musical nuclear. 11 songs with one unedited , in collaboration with notable artists: Antonella Ruggiero, Francesco Guccini, Rosalia Misseri, Cheryl Porter, Paola Stradi, Kate Kelly and Francesco Silvestre. Not missing, are newly arranged oldies of the group.
Year 2006: A new concert “Zenit” brain child to our long tour in South Africa and Brazil characterised by rhythm and dynamism garnered from our face to face contact with different people and cultures.
Year 2011 ... a new concert "Indelible Dimension": along the routes of our tours, it takes an interesting process, interaction, an exchange with the audience that leaves a deep impression, a kind of mark, even more of a tattoo because it touches the soul indelibly. The concert is a tribute to people of different latitudes that made us breathe will to live, to hope and believe that in every heart, everywhere, there is a burning fire. The CD "Indelible" is composed of 12, including nine completely new, the result of comparisons and multicultural influences of the band's home countries.
The year 2015 marked the release of "CAMPUS the Musical". Within a university campus, in an apparent calm, it is revealed on the current dynamics of cultural background, tensions and conflicts. The characters, from distant geopolitical contexts and in stark contrast to each other, through personal stories that are inspired by actual events, are suddenly coming to terms with a sudden event that arrives each taking by surprise. The scenic installations, in a merger between stage and reality, within an original soundtrack on the line of many musical styles, strengthen and emphasize the dynamism and drama of the story.