Jovanotti is probably the biggest pop star you’ve never heard of, unless of course you happen to be Italian. Over the years, he's evolved into an Italian Bruce Springsteen or Bono - an iconic pop star who takes on issues from AIDS to poverty in Africa. Back home, he sells out stadiums and churns out number one hits like L'ombelico del mondo.
We caught up with Jovanotti on his first trip to San Francisco, where he played the Stern Grove Festival, a long-running series of free summer concerts.
Now on "Quick Hits," Jovanotti sings some impromptu ballads and tells Marco Werman about bicycling through Iran. Discover Jovanotti, and don't miss our backstage slide show by Yuli Weeks and a fan's appreciation by Italian journalist Carola Mamberto.
Don't miss other Quick Hits starring Dengue Fever, Charles Bradley & Sharon Jones, Helene Grimaud, Jovanotti, KT Tunstall, Meklit Hadero, Ozomatli, and Seu Jorge. For more info visit the Sound Tracks website.
Stern Grove Festival, San Francisco, July 25, 2010. A crowd gathers to hear Italian pop star Jovanotti in what poets call "the cool, grey city of love."
Backstage at his Stern Grove Festival concert, Jovanotti peers out from his dressing room to share a joke with his longtime bass player Saturnino Celani.
A woman arrives early to stake her claim to a good spot for the afternoon concert in the park near the Pacific Ocean. Jovanotti attracts many stylish fans.
Sound Tracks "Quick Hits" director of photography Serene Fang and assistant Japhet Weeks prepare to shoot the Jovanotti concert and interview his fans.
An Italian couple, Sara Pirami and Enzo Carrone, anticipating the performance. For a generation of Italians, Jovanotti is as familiar as Bono or Bruce Springsteen.
"Quick Hits" reporter Marco Werman walks offstage after introducing Jovanotti to a cheering crowd. Werman is also the host of PRI's "The World" on public radio.
Jovanotti, whose real name is Lorenzo Cherubini, struts his stuff on stage, while his band’s Brazilian drummer, who calls himself "Meia Noite" (Midnight), plays on.
Some 10,000 people attended Jovanotti's Stern Grove Festival concert. The energetic Italian superstar quickly got them up on their feet and dancing.
Jovanotti dances at Stern Grove. No one has more fun at a Jovanotti concert than Jovanotti himself. He's a tireless entertainer. Once a teen idol, he retains a playful charm.
Jovanotti sings on stage at Stern Grove in his signature half-spoken, half-sung style.
Audience members get into their groove at Jovanotti’s Stern Grove Festival concert in the outdoor San Francisco amphitheater.
The sun never came out, but Jovanotti was drenched with sweat from singing & dancing. Like his idol James Brown, Jovanotti can claim to be "the hardest working man in show business."
At one point during Jovanotti's grand finale - dance party anthem "L'Ombelico Del Mondo"- he plunged into the crowd. Here he climbs back on stage.
Jovanotti, towel in hand, walks offstage at the end of his concert followed by his American tour manager, Mark Gartenberg.
Sound Tracks "Quick Hits" reporter Marco Werman celebrates backstage with programming director Judy Tsang after the concert. Jovanotti played to a near capacity crowd.
Take a peek backstage as Jovanotti prepares to dazzle the crowd at San Francisco's Stern Grove Festival. The Italian pop star is known for a unique musical style that mixes singing with spoken words. The energetic crowd sings and dances to old favorites and new hits.
All photos by Yuli Weeks, a freelance photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Weeks' photos have appeared in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
To see more of her work, visit www.sollskenmedia.com.