Khalab and Jazz:Re:Found, a live session with African rhythms

Khalab and Jazz:Re:Found, a live session with African rhythms Contributors · 11 months ago · Music

This summer we told you about Place To Be, the project signed by IMF (Italian Music Festivals) and promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to support Italian creative and cultural enterprises following the health emergency. 

One of the stages of this project was hosted by Jazz:Re:Founda boutique festival born in Vercelli and member of the IMF network – which decided to continue along this path also thanks to the collaboration with Ford.

The format includes 3 Italian artists performing in as many live shows that can be seen both on Jazz:Re:Found Facebook page and YouTube channel. The music, the undisputed protagonist, has been framed by three locations that represent all the beauty of the Italian landscape.

The first two events saw as guests Venerus who performed on the Pontile Bestoso in Alassio, between the blue of the sea and the blue of the sky, and Ze in the Clouds who played surrounded by the magic of Orta San Giulio, where the mountains plunge into the lake.

Tomorrow, Monday 23 November, will be the moment of the third and final performance with Raffaele Costantino aka Khalab. His stage name tells a lot about him and condenses the two elements that best represent him, his Calabrian origins and his sounds inspired by African rhythms.

This time, the background to Khalab’s music will be the Forte di Fenestrelle, the largest fortress in Europe and a true masterpiece of military architecture dating back to the 18th century. The peculiarity of this structure developed in three fortified complexes is represented by the path that connects them. The wall of Forte di Fenestrelle, with its 3 kilometers, is second only to the Great Wall of China, is distributed over 650 meters of difference in height and inside it runs the longest covered staircase in Europe.

This is an appointment not to be missed and to prepare ourselves in the best possible way we at had a chat with Khalab. Don’t miss our interview below and his live show tomorrow on Facebook and YouTube!

Let me start by asking what the Jazz:Re:Found Festival is for you and what does it represent?

Jazz:Re:Found means a lot to me. It represents a community experience that starts from a central idea that is that of the artistic director Denis Longhi, who has managed to create a beautiful community, a beautiful atmosphere and for some years now has involved me personally in the whole project, in which I felt perfectly comfortable. A festival that has now become the first real point of reference in Italy if you are a fan of this kind of sound, that is a cross between black, African, Afro-American music. I’m very happy about the approach, for the team, but in general for the festival, because I see myself there a lot and it gave me the opportunity to experience a lot of things.

Are there any particular connections between Dj Khalab’s music and the festival? Can we say that your music, your mystical sounds are reflected in the festival?

Yes, without a doubt. The festival is set on research and development in the Afrocentric field of course because it is a festival that deals with rhythm, jazz, soul, black music.
As far as I am concerned, my research has been focused on the past, I have gone a bit back in time towards primordial Africa collaborating with many African musicians, but also with many second or third generation English black musicians such as Moses Boyd, Tamar Osborn, who are the musicians of the new jazz, people who represent the field, the aesthetic to which Jazz:Re:Found is addressed.

In your performance tomorrow there won’t be an audience watching you live clearly, how do you live this? I think that today those who are on the side of the console have the arduous task of entertaining those behind a computer, do you feel even more pressure?

But yes, let’s say that it might sound snobbish what I say but I’ve never really been interested in entertaining people. On the contrary, I’m very interested in getting their attention, in provoking strong, complex and contrasting reactions in them, even distressing reactions, that’s what I think art should do. I try to pose myself as an artist, pass the word, rather than as an entertainer. I also like to entertain people, but what I like to do in front of a screen, as in the case of this festival, is more the idea of making people see and listen to what the traditional media don’t make you see and listen. It is precisely our mission, of us who deal with counterculture and subculture: to give people valid alternatives so that they don’t get caught up in the traditional media offer which, especially in Italy, is very dangerous, because it risks flattening our brain, our sensations, our thirst for deeper insight.

Tell us a little more about your background? How did Raffaele Costantino turn into Dj Khalab?

Actually in my “first life from 20 to 30 years” I was always working in music between clubs, festivals and radio. Then together with some friends, I started a cultural association called “Afrodisia”, where we used to bring our music to clubs once a month, the one we were passionate about, mixing and remixing African music in real-time with electronic drums, samplers, vinyl and mixers. As time went by, the project started to catch on more and more, also having big budgets to host big international artists. So I realized that I could no longer trivially present myself as “Raffaele Costantino” in that dimension because my name was overexposed.

So I began to announce myself as Khalab, to climb into the console covered with cloths, big hats, masks so that I would never be recognized. From there I decided to lock myself in the studio and put into practice the ideas I was developing during the live evenings.

Does Khalab have a precise meaning for you? Is it a kind of alter ego or is it just a nuance of your person that translates what he hears and feels into music?

Yes, it is my alter ego, or rather it is the alter ego that allows me to breathe. Because for what I do and for the thousands of commitments I have, at the beginning I forgot to breathe, I was always in a state of breathlessness. Then when I lock myself in the studio I no longer feel that anxiety that closes my stomach, but I can breathe.
The name Khalab, on the other hand, is a cross between my sounds, which, as we have already said, focuses on African rhythms and the region where I was born, Calabria. This aspiration in the way my stage name is pronounced reminds me that I have to breathe and make music helps me a lot in this sense. I have had some difficult periods due to frantic working hours in which I started to have serious problems with the anxiety that I have solved thanks to this, that is to say, the closure inside a studio, making music and not thinking about anything else.

From your words, one can understand how Khalab is your alter ego, but does he seem to represent the brazenness part of you?

Yes, yes, absolutely! It’s absolutely true! I’ll give you an example: during a festival I had some problems with the soundcheck on stage, there were problems with the monitors, voices on headphones and so on. So I went to talk to the technicians, but we couldn’t solve the problem and in a snobbish way, they blamed me. In the middle of this little argument while I was playing, with people under the stage, I grabbed the sampler and threw it up in the air, then I picked it up again and kept banging it on the mixer (laughs). I only do these crazy things here when I “dress up” as Khalab. Even one morning I had to go to Germany to play for a big festival. But as soon as I woke up my desire to participate was zero, so I allowed myself the luxury of standing up. But the strange thing is that the next day they wrote to me to ask me for a bill. It was such a big festival that they didn’t realize I was missing. But here it is, I would never give such a hole if it had been a work engagement of “Raffaele Costantino”.

Returning to the festival, you will play on 23 November in the suggestive setting of Forte di Fenestrelle, a unique place. How are you preparing for this date and what kind of DJ set will you bring?

It will be a truly cathartic moment. First of all, Forte di Fenestrelle is a crazy place, a real wall on a mountain. A place with a very dark atmosphere, which in my opinion lends itself perfectly to my music. And then it is very high up in the mountains but you can see the sea, a bit like the place where I was born, I am originally from Sila in Calabria and we are suspended between the mountains and the sea. What I will do will be what I always do, as in all the live shows I usually improvise and try to create a remix or synthesized version of what “happens” in my records. I really like that during live sessions people listen to something different because at the end of the day you can listen to the record at home.

Then yes, there will be some samples, some things that in general will be recognized, but I hope that those places and those mountains inspire me the best.

What will happen in the near future, do you have any projects in the pipeline? Does your cheeky alter ego have other surprises in store?

Now I’m focused on two projects, one is the continuation of my latest album “Black noise”, an album in which there are a lot of collaborations, with various artists from the UK and American jazz scene, but the period we’re going through now doesn’t allow us to meet. So at the moment, I am proceeding very calmly. Then it’s coming out, hopefully between March and April, my last effort which I recorded three years ago on the border between Mali and Mauritania with local musicians. This will be my next project.

Article by Giulia Guido and Emanuele D’Angelo

Khalab and Jazz:Re:Found, a live session with African rhythms
Khalab and Jazz:Re:Found, a live session with African rhythms
Khalab and Jazz:Re:Found, a live session with African rhythms
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Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022

Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022

Giulia Guido · 5 days ago · Photography

On a Monday unlike any other, I was walking along a small Florentine alleyway, dimly lit by the sun, until a marvel appeared before my eyes. Piazza della Signoria welcomes me with its beauty, and no matter how many times you have been to Florence, it always seems incredible to think that a place like this can survive the passage of time.
It is here, in the Camera d’Arme of Palazzo Vecchio, that I take my place to discover the new Lavazza Calendar 2022

Last year, Lavazza presented the Calendar under the banner of The New Humanity, inviting us to imagine a future based on a new humanity at a time of uncertainty and fear like few other times in recent decades. It is perhaps in this concept that the theme of next year’s Calendar, I Can Change The World, has its roots. 

In a way, it is as if Lavazza is telling us that it is not enough to imagine and dream of a different future but that we must take action and fight to build it. So, what better place than the city that was the birthplace of Brunelleschi, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Dante Alighieri, Machiavelli, but also Guccio Gucci, Oriana Fallaci and Tiziano Terzani to show how never change will come until each of us dedicates our lives to this cause.

As in any self-respecting battle, we need captains to follow and imitate. Lavazza offers us six of them, six outstanding personalities in their field, six young people who have managed to combine their passion with all the values they believe in. 

The street dancer Shamell Bell, who fights against racism, the marine biologist Cristina Mittermeier, who documents the advancing destruction of the oceans with underwater and other photographs, the Afghan refugee rapper Sonita Alizada, and the musician Ben Harper, who has always been committed to fighting social inequality and climate change. The sextet is completed by Shilpa Yarlagadda, a jewelry designer who supports female empowerment, and land artist Saype

To direct and photograph these six activists, or artivists – as Francesca Lavazza called them when she presented the project – Lavazza entrusted the task to the best director of photography ever, Emmanuel Lubezki


I held my breath, and with me all the press present, as he took the stage. Just a few words are enough to understand that the purity and sensitivity of the images he creates and that we are used to seeing on the big screen are just a reflection of his personality, something I was able to ascertain during the minutes we spent together after the conference and perhaps the main reason why he was chosen to tell the story of the claim “I Can Change The World” with 12 shots. 

Shots that want to, and can, only give the LA to the change we wish to see in the world and of this Chivo – Emmanuel Lubezki’s nickname – is aware. “It would be too pretentious to think that a calendar can change the world”, he tells me, adding “the only thing I can do is amplify the voices of these artists. Each of them is working really hard to change the world. They are deeply optimistic and when you are optimistic you really live your life, believing in what you are doing, and they are doing it. In this case, my job is a humble one and I put myself at their service to tell them who they are and what they do in the hope of setting off positive vibes in those who discover them.


I can sense from the way he talks about it and from the shiny eyes that sometimes betray him that the bond created with the six protagonists of the Calendar is real and deep. Finding out that each of them was shot in different places on the Planet that show both the impact of climate change and the beauty the world we live in has to offer, and that Chivo experienced them all alongside the young activists, even being directed by them, only confirmed my thoughts. “I spoke to them,” he tells me, “we talked and I immediately understood that I shouldn’t work as a photographer, but more like a director of photography, letting myself be directed by them and also being guided by their ideas. This is why we have portraits in close-up, but also photos where the landscape dominates.” 

At this point, it really only takes one look at the photos to understand how the 12 shots create a more complex and structured narrative. “From the desert chosen by Sonita to the Caribbean Sea where I photographed Cristina, all the landscapes we worked in are endangered and shooting these six young people immersed in the beauty and fragility of these places underlines their profound optimism that I mentioned at the beginning. I tried to create a journey through the calendar, through the different places, but also through light“. 

This choice should not come as a surprise, as Lubezki is internationally recognized precisely for his meticulous and perfect use of natural light. “Well – he confides – I have to say that the use of natural light came from the directors I work with, in particular Terrence Malick, who called me to work with him to make a film entirely with natural light. Thanks to his knowledge of the behaviour of natural light, but also of photography, we were able to make four films together using only natural light. For Revenant it was different and I think it was interesting for Alejandro to explore this world and understand how to move and work during the day with respect to light. But it wasn’t me who had the initial idea.” Nevertheless, this stylistic imprint has now become his signature and we can find it within the Calendar as well, in fact he added “In this particular case, I incorporated natural light into the Calendar because I thought it would give a purer result, which would help me incorporate the characters within the landscape, although sometimes I used flash. For Saype, for example, I had to. His picture was taken between three and four in the morning in Alaska and it was so dark that I had to use lights“. 


As mentioned a few lines above, the one created by Lavazza and Emmanuel Lubezki is a voyage of discovery of the world we occupy for the short time of a lifetime and which we are taking too much for granted. To some, the choice of entrusting the production and art direction to a cinematographer used to working in the film industry may raise eyebrows. If, however, you dig deeper and look at Chivo’s Instagram profile (you can find him as @chivexp, the name given to him by Steven Soderbergh), the circle is closed and all doubts are cleared.
As one of the 500,000 people who follow him, I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to ask him what he thought of Instagram, suddenly finding myself talking to a 56-year-old person who probably understands better than me and many young people what the right use is. “I started using Instagram both because I wanted to know what it was about, but also because, having two daughters, I was worried about the effect it has on young people. Gradually I began to discover an encyclopedic aspect and it became a place to find incredible photographs, dancers, choreographers, painters, musicians, artists. Finally, it also became a place to meet people, Saype I met through Instagram.”

Our meeting concludes by agreeing that smartphones have, to all intents and purposes, changed the way we take photographs, but that if the result is to live outside the screen of a phone then you have to rely on other tools. “If you’re going to print photos, say the size of those for the Lavazza Calendar, you’ll probably need a higher quality camera“. 

I take my leave with the knowledge that I have just had one of those once-in-a-lifetime encounters and one phrase keeps ringing in my head, “I Can Change The World”. 

Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022
Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022
Three-time Oscar winner Lubezki signs the Lavazza Calendar 2022
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Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes

Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes

Buddy · 4 days ago · Photography

Joshua Rhodes is a Californian photographer present on Instagram with the accounts @fuzzyaxolotl and @fuzzyanalog.

His images are charged with solar eroticism: pin-up style models, portrayed with irony and sensuality, with a vintage style that seems to echo the editorial taste of Playboy and a certain 70s erotic cinema.

The statuesque bodies of blonde models shine in the sun on perfect beaches, emerge from the water of the ocean or crystalline pools.

Natural shots, delicate and glossy lights.

Check out a selection of his shots here, follow him on Instagram and on his personal website.

Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes
Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes
Erotic and sexy photography by Joshua Rhodes
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The world’s best nature photography of 2021

The world’s best nature photography of 2021

Tommaso Berra · 4 days ago · Photography

After the ranking of the best astronomical and microscope photographs of 2021, these days the best wildlife photos of the last year have also been awarded. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a competition organized by the Natural History Museum in London, now in its 57th edition.
There are many aspects that make extraordinary the 100 photos in competition, taken by professional photographers or amateurs and selected from 50 thousand proposals. On the one hand, the technique used and the patience in waiting to take the perfect shot, unrepeatable in many cases. On the other hand, the unusual point of view, which brings viewers closer to unusual natural events or animals that are difficult to approach, such as the shot of the spider as big as a human hand or the “selfie” taken by a grizzly bear in front of the carcass of a deer in the United States.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest is divided into 19 categories, from which the two winners have been announced. Laurent Ballesta, who specializes in aquatic photography, won the Adult Grand Title Winner with an image capturing some camouflaged groupers in French Polynesia emerging from a cloud of eggs and sperm. It took the French photographer five years of night diving to capture this moment, which occurs only during the July full moon period.
The other winner of the wildlife photo contest was Vidyun R. Hebbar, just ten years old, who was awarded the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his image of a spider wrapped in its web, taken in Bangalore, India.

foto naturalistiche |
The world’s best nature photography of 2021
The world’s best nature photography of 2021
The world’s best nature photography of 2021
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Female portraits by Marat Safin

Female portraits by Marat Safin

Giulia Guido · 4 days ago · Photography

Women are the protagonists of the shots by Russian self-taught photographer Marat Safin. Lonely women, women in the house, in the kitchen or lying on the bed, women immersed in nature, free among the high grass, women looking in the car or immortalized in spontaneous poses. 

Marat’s female portraits convey a sense of calm, intimacy. 

The warm light that we find in all her shots immediately gives the family atmosphere, giving us an air of home, of familiarity. 

In our gallery you can find a selection of her shots, to find out more go to the Marat Safin’s Instagram profile

maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
maratneva Marat Safin |
Female portraits by Marat Safin
Female portraits by Marat Safin
Female portraits by Marat Safin
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