Italian jazz crea

Italian Jazz Crea (Composition Research – Europe and America) is the new Saint Louis College of Music Project entirely dedicated to research and innovation in jazz composition.

It was born as a spin-off of Italian jazz on the road and expands its dissemination potential in order to distribute an original and experimental Italian jazz music project worldwide. International partners of the project, some of the most important Italian, European and U.S. musical institutions: Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Navarra – Pamplona, Spain; University of North Texas, USA; Umbria Jazz Festival; Auditorium Parco della musica, Rome; Teatro Eliseo, Rome.

As part of the Italian Jazz Crea project, supported by MiBact, Saint Louis aims to promote in Italy, Europe and America the original creations of 8 talented young Italian composers to be performed in Italy by the Saint Louis Big Band and abroad by the resident big bands of the Navarre Conservatory and the University of North Texas.

Italian_jazz_crea

DIRECTORS/ARTISTIC TUTORS

Iñaki Askunze

Iñaki Askunze, A graduate of the San Sebastián Conservatory of Saxophone with honorable mention, Iñaki Askunze teaches harmony, arrangement, composition and big band at the Department of Jazz at the Superior Conservatory of the Basque Country (“Musikene”) and the Superior Conservatory of Navarre (CSMN).

He studied for three years at Berklee College of Music (Boston) taking courses with Joe Viola and Herb Pomeroy and Si, graduating with honors in “Performance” and “Jazz Composition “.
He was the director of the “Iruña Big Band” for 10 years.

Taught harmony and teaching practices at “Taller de Musics” in Barcelona for 3 years.
Today the also directs the Pirineos Jazz Orquestra and has recorded a CD with Randy Brecker as a special guest. This formation played a jazz- flamenco big band project with Chano Domínguez as special guest.
Askunze has played in very important Jazz Festivals in Madrid, Bacellona San Sebastián, Vitoria (where he performed with the famous vocal group Manhattan Transfer).

He has been invited to conduct his Jazz-flamenco arrangements for Big Band by the “Royal Academy of Music” in Aarhus (Denmark), the “Norwegian Academy of Music” in Oslo (Norway), and the “Prince Claus Conservatoire” in Groningen (Netherlands).

Askunze also won the runner-up prize at the “Competition for Composition and Arrangement for Big Band” organized by the Ool-Ya-Koo Cultural Association and the SGAE Foundation in Granada.

Antonio Solimene

Antonio Solimene, a rrangiatore, conductor, teacher. She is the coordinating professor of Jazz Arrangement and Ear Training courses at Saint Louis College of Music, where she is also a member of the Academic Council and Evaluation Core and represents her in AEC (European Association of Conservatories) meetings, during meetings for the PJP (Jazz and Pop Platform).

Along with his teaching activities, he performs as a conductor. Since 2008, he has been director of the orchestral ensembles – Big Band and Combo – at Saint Louis. Since 1993 he has directed TMJB with which he has performed in numerous concerts both in Italy (Perugia, “Umbria Jazz,” from 2003 to 2013), and abroad (Paris, “Le Petit Journal”; New York, “UN Theater”). He has conducted the Mediaset rhythm-symphony orchestra for Sony Music and the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra.
He has made several CDs, among the most representative:

  • “Eneiro,” as composer and pianist for Ricordi;
  • “Standard Naples,” “Authorized Notes,” “Piedigrotta and Surroundings,” as director and arranger for TMJB published by Music for Music;
  • Live in studio” with the Saint Louis Big Band for the “Jazz Collection” series.

He has collaborated with many musicians, among them: Stephane Grappelli, Lew Soloff, Gorge Masso, Maxime Saury, Paolo Fresu, Lucio Dalla, Stefano Bollani, Maria Pia De Vito, Pietro Condorelli, Rosario Giuliani, Javier Girotto, Daniele Scannapieco, Marcello Rosa.

Richard De Rosa

Composer, arranger, conductor and teacher. Richard De Rosa, a Grammy Award nominee, is currently director of Jazz Composition and Arranging at North Texas University and is the artistic director of American Jazz Venues (AJV). From 2012 to 2016 he conducted and arranged for the prestigious WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany.

During his prolific career, his compositions and arrangements have embraced a wide variety of writing styles and have been heard on stages around the world, in television and film, on Broadway, in videos, audiobooks, and numerous albums.

“Neil,” his original work for Big Band, earned a 2016 Grammy nomination for “Best Instrumental Composition” and is included in Lab 2015, recorded by the One O’Clock Lab Band.

Gianluigi Giannatempo

Gianluigi Giannatempo, an award-winner in various Jazz Composition and Arranging competitions (Barga Jazz, Writing in Jazz in Sassari, Euro Jazz Writing Contest in Paris, Roccella Ionica, scholarship from Manhattan School of Music in New York) has composed and arranged for symphony orchestras, string quartets, Jazz Orchestra, choirs, string orchestras, brass quintets….

His pieces have been performed in Italy, France, China, the United States, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Russia, Argentina, Brazil, and England by ensembles such as: the Jazz Orchestra of Sardinia with Paolo Fresu, Javier Girotto, Cinzia Tedesco; the Veneto Jazz Festival Orchestra with John Mosca, Dick Oatts, Cecil Bridgewater; The Euro Jazz Big Band of Paris; the Chicago Jazz ensemble, the Western Illinois University Big Band, the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra with Dee Dee Bridgewater; the Big Band of the Superior Conservatory of Music of La Coruna (Spain) with Rosario Giuliani; the Rhythm Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo, Brazil; the Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari; the Orchestra Sinfonica della Magna Grecia; the Colours Jazz Orchestra conducted by Massimo Morganti; the Solstice String Quartet (London); the Exit Orchestra conducted by Marco Tiso; the Italian Big Band; the Apulian Orchestra with Paolo Fresu; the Atem sax quartet; the Saint Louis Big Band; the Pessoa quartet; the Iatalsax quartet; the Forma Jazz Orchestra with Dee Dee Bridgewater; and others.

ORCHESTRE

CSNM Big Band

Group created in 2005 as an ensemble subject for students in the Jazz Department. It brings together students who excel in the different instruments related to this style: trumpets, trombones, saxophones, guitar, piano, double bass, bass guitar, drums and voice.

Since its inception, it has performed concerts at the Civibox and Civican in Pamplona, participated in the UPNA Jazz Festival, in the “Jazz on the street” cycle with Bob Sands, accompanied trombonist Marshall Gilkes, singers Sabine Kuehlich, Elisabetta Antonini and Deborah Carter, percussionist Ron Van Stratum, flutist Jorge Pardo, trumpeter Kurt Weiss, pianist Iñigo Ruiz de Gordejuela, composer Jere Laukkanen, etc.

The big band’s classical repertoire consists of arrangements of standards and original compositions specifically created for the group by its Director Iñaki Askunze, professor of Arrangement, Composition and Big Band at the Center.

Saint Louis Big Band

It fully respects the classical big band structure i.e., 4 Trumpets, 5 Saxes, Trombones, Rhythm Section, 6 choristers.
The lineup, formed in September 2007, has to its credit participation in many prestigious jazz festivals such as Villa Celimontana Jazz, Atina Jazz, Brindisi in Jazz, Nick La Rocca Jazz Festival, and numerous collaborations with internationally renowned artists such as Kurt Elling, Peppe Servillo, Gegè Telesforo, Rosario Giuliani, Daniele Scannapieco, Marcello Rosa. Javier Girotto chose the Saint Louis Big Band to perform and record songs from his project “Escenas en Big Band.”

Three O’ clock Lab Band

The Three o’clock Lab Band is a large jazz ensemble which includes five saxes, five trumpets, five trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums and percussion players. The band holds rehearsals Monday through Thursday from 3:00 pm to 3:50 pm. The director of the Three o’clock Lab Band is Tanya Darby.

Javier Girotto

Javier Edgardo Girotto – Argentine saxophonist, composer and arranger. Born in Córdoba, Argentina, to a family of Apulian origin on his mother’s side and Venetian on his father’s, he began his own business in 1980 before moving to Italy in 1991.

Here in 1994 he formed Aires Tango (along with Marco Siniscalco on double bass, Alessandro Gwiss on piano and Michele Rabbia on percussion), with whom he toured extensively throughout the peninsula, recording 10 albums; at the same time he also started some parallel projects with other musicians.

COMPOSERS / ARRANGERS

Gabriele Ceccarelli

A Italian Jazz crea, class of 1993, studied piano, composition and jazz arranging at Saint Louis College of Music. Although his background is strongly rooted in tradition, with genuine curiosity he turns his gaze to the most diverse musical worlds, from folk to early music.

His works are a euphoric, optimistic and protean depiction of everyday suggestions, introspective and retrospective visions, in an incessant and confidential narrative flow.

Salvatore Di Piazza

Salvatore Di Piazza, an eclectic guitarist, born in 1988, has numerous collaborations with artists such as Alex Britti, Francesco Tricarico, Gatto Panceri, and Nikolas Metaxas.

In addition to his teaching, live and studio activities, he is currently busy making his first solo record and finishing his studies in composition and arrangement at Saint Louis College of Music in Rome our guest at Italian Jazz crea.

Filippo Minisola

Class of 1991, graduated with honors from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music in jazz piano in 2016. Currently pursuing studies at Saint Louis College of Music in the Two-Year Program in Jazz Arrangement and Composition will be a guest speaker at Italian Jazz crea.

His love for composition stems from his earliest years of study and is contaminated by the most disparate musical matrices, ancient and modern, folkloric and cultured, with a special, primal focus on lyricism and songwriting.

Milena Nigro

Milena Nigro holds a diploma in jazz singing from Saint Louis College of Music in Rome, where she passionately deepened her study of jazz arranging for orchestra and guest choir in Italian Jazz crea.

Her innate curiosity has led her to look beyond the traditional language of jazz, exploring the Italian jazz tradition, with a work on Armando Trovajoli, and deepening her study of jazz of European roots, whose fascination and influence she is influenced by. Over the years he has developed his own personal style that is the result of relentless research work.
In 2014 she won the International Competition of Arrangement and Composition for Jazz Orchestra “Bargajazz” for Section “C”.

Since 2014, he has been conducting and writing arrangements for the “Saint Louis Voices Section,” a vocal section of the “Saint Louis big band,” directed by M° Antonio Solimene. He has written arrangements for several jazz orchestras both in Italy and abroad, collaborating with many artists such as Javier Girotto, Peppe Servillo, Gegè Telesforo, Nina Pedersen.

Riccardo García Rubí

Riccardo Garcia Rubi was born in Rome in 1994. He approached music at an early age, at the age of seven he began studying clarinet and then switched to guitar.

He obtained in 2013 the “Edexcel National Diploma, Bachelor of Art in Contemporary Pop Music” at the Music Academy in Rome, in 2016 the “Three-year degree in jazz guitar at Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia Roma” (grade 30/30) and is currently enrolled in the Second Level Biennium in “Jazz Composition and Arrangement” at Saint Louis College of Music.

Versatile guitarist specializing in flamenco guitar works with various dance companies performing in various theaters both in Italy and abroad. He is also often the author of the music for the above performances. In the sphere of pop music, he has been collaborating for years with singer-songwriter Marco Greco (with whom he also recorded his first record “Live in studio”). He has always combined his studies and work with teaching at various private music schools in the capital.

Alessio Sacco

Class of 1990. Fascinated by different genres of music, from Prog to Blues, from Eurocolto to Rock, he graduated from Saint Louis College of Music with a degree in Pop Guitar, where he was fortunate enough to get close to Jazz and delve into it.

He was born during those years with a love for composition and arrangement, which were always tied together by a fundamental element: songwriting.

EVENTS CALENDAR

8 March 2018

All Night Combo & What Women Play

A Italian Jazz creates the three orchestral ensembles conducted by Antonio Solimene, who for the occasion will relinquish the podium to the talented students of the Level II Biennium in Jazz Composition and Arrangement, all together on the Monk Club stage for an extraordinary “All Night Combo.” Simultaneously, the photo exhibition “What Women Play,” 24 photographic portraits of women in music, by the photographers of the “Ritratto d’autore” project coordinated by Giacomo Mearelli, will take place.

Italian Jazz crea (Composition Research – Europe and America) is the new Saint Louis College of Music Project entirely dedicated to Research and Innovation in jazz composition. It was born as a spin-off of Italian jazz on the road and expands its dissemination potential in order to distribute an original and experimental Italian jazz music project worldwide.

International partners of the Project, some of the most important Italian, European and U.S. musical institutions: Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Navarra – Pamplona, Spain; University of North Texas, USA; Umbria Jazz Festival; Auditorium Parco della musica, Rome; Teatro Eliseo, Rome.

All ‘Italian Jazz creates under the Project, supported by MiBact, Saint Louis aims to promote in Italy, Europe and America, the original creations of 8 talented young Italian composers, which will be performed in Italy by the Saint Louis Big Band, and abroad by the resident Big Bands of the Conservatory of Navarre and the University of North Texas.

Concert starts h 21:00, Monk Club – Via Giuseppe Mirri, 35

All Night Combo

Guests at Italian Jazz crea with over 40 musicians on stage
– 3 combos: Little – 2 woodwinds, rhythm section, 1 voice; Medium – 3 woodwinds, rhythm section, 2 voices; Saint Louis Big Band – 10 woodwinds, rhythm section, 2 solo voices and vocal section.

Original compositions and unreleased arrangements by students in the Saint Louis Two-Year Second-Level Program in Jazz Composition and Arrangement

SAINT LOUIS BIG BAND

Winds:
Antoni Kuzak, 1st alto sax, Luis Alberto Enguita Pràdanos, 2nd alto sax, Luigi Acquaro, 1st tenor sax, Francesco Maresca, 2nd tenor sax, Mauro Massei, baritone sax, Luciano Pischetola, trombone, Mario Caporilli, 1st trumpet, Edoardo Impedovo, 2nd trumpet, Giuseppe Scrima, 3rd trumpet, Ivan Iacobellis, 4th trumpet, Giulio Bozzo, 5th trumpet
Rhythmics:
Francesco Sposato, Leonardo Pruneti, piano, Lorenzo Taddei, Guido della Gatta, guitar, Andrea Di Renzi,,, Giuseppe Di Pasqua, bass, Daniele Natalini, Lorenzo Lupi, drums

MEDIUM COMBO

Repertoire dedicated to ’70s rock with original arrangements
Voices:
Francesco Sacchini, Federica Capretti
Winds:
Davide Vispi, alto sax, Emanuele Ciocca, tenor sax, Giuseppe Scrima, trumpet
Rhythmics:
Martina Lucignano, piano, Simone Sabbatini, keyboards, Leonardo Carfora, guitar, Nicola Girella, guitar, Flavio Vegliante, bass, Matteo Bussotti, drums

LITTLE COMBO

Traditional pop revisited with a modern twist guests at Italian Jazz creates
Lucrezia Cesaroni, vocals, Emanuele Ciocca, alto sax, Giuseppe Scrima, trumpet, Andrea Boccale, piano, Marco Valentini, guitar, Rafaele Lombardo, guitar, Alessio Lima, bass, Simone Lanzillotti, drums
*Admission to the exhibition and concert is free, but conditional on the subscription of the ARCI Roma Membership Card (€5.00). The card is valid until September 30, 2018, and entitles the holder to discounts and concessions at many stores, museums and cultural events.

23 March 2018

Closing Act: The Rode Quartet

The internationally renowned saxophonist and composer will conduct at the Italian Jazz crea the orchestral ensemble formed by the young talents of Saint Louis, usually conducted by Antonio Solimene, in the performance of several pieces of his own composition, inspired by the works of Federico Garcia Lorca, which combine the most traditional jazz with sounds with a Mediterranean flavor, giving the audience a taste of his sophisticated arrangements.

Closing Act: The Rode Quartet, Valentina Ramunno – Piano and Voice, Luca Taurmino – Drums, Riccardo Alexander – Bass, Luca Bellanova – Guitar

Elegance Café – Via F. Carletti, 5 h 21:30, free admission

Saint Louis Big Band

Winds:
Luis Alberto Enguita Pràdanos, 1st sax alto, Paolo Rosato 2nd sax alto, Luigi Acquaro, 1st sax tenor, Francesco Maresca, 2nd sax tenor, Luca Padellaro, sax baritone
Marco Severa, transverse flute
Elisabetta Mattei, 1st trombone, Stefano Coccia, 2nd trombone, Augusto Ruiz Henao, 3rd trombone, Federico Proietti, bass trombone
Mario Caporilli, 1st trumpet, Edoardo Impedovo, 2nd trumpet, Ivan Iacobellis, 3rd trumpet, Giuseppe Scrima, 4th trumpet
Rhythmics:
Francesco Sposato, piano, Lorenzo Taddei, guitar, Andrea Di Renzi, bass, Thomas Valente, percussion, Daniele Natalini, drums

Supersax

directed by Mauro Massei
Antonio Ottaviano – Alto Sax, Massimiliano Raffa – Alto Sax, Alessandra Chichiarelli – Tenor Sax, Giorgio Nuzzo – Tenor Sax, Stefano Zaralli – Baritone Sax, Luca Prost – Piano, Paolo Evangelisti – Bass, Kasra Salehi – Drums, Iñaki Askunze.
A graduate of the San Sebastián Conservatory of Saxophone with honorable mention, Iñaki Askunze teaches harmony, arrangement, composition and big band at the Jazz Department of the Superior Conservatory of the Basque Country (“Musikene”) and the Superior Conservatory of Navarre (CSMN).
He studied for three years at Berklee College of Music (Boston) taking courses with Joe Viola and Herb Pomeroy and Si, graduating with honors in “Performance” and “Jazz Composition “.

The video of Iñaki Askunze and the CSMN Big Band: Saint Louis Big Band

The Saint Louis Big Band at Italian Jazz crea conducted by Antonio Solimene is an orchestral formation that fully respects the classical big band structure.
The lineup, formed in September 2007, has to its credit participation in many prestigious jazz festivals such as Villa Celimontana Jazz, Atina Jazz, Brindisi in Jazz, Nick La Rocca Jazz Festival, and numerous collaborations with internationally renowned artists, such as Kurt Elling, Peppe Servillo, Gegè Telesforo, Rosario Giuliani, Daniele Scannapieco, and Marcello Rosa. Javier Girotto chose the Saint Louis Big Band to perform and record songs from his project “Escenas en Big Band.”

23 April 2018

Festival SPECIAL GUEST
PAOLO FRESU & SAINT LOUIS ENSEMBLE conducted by Antonio Solimene

“THE MUSIC INSIDE” Teatro Eliseo, via Nazionale,183, Rome h 21:00

Paolo Fresu opens the 2018 edition of the Special Guest Festival, presenting on the Eliseo Theater stage “La Musica Dentro”-from his 2009 book-with his most famous compositions, accompanied by a large 12-piece ensemble. Paolo Fresu in concert with the Saint Louis Ensemble directed by Antonio Solimene, for Special Guest 2018, the second edition of the Festival born from the collaboration between the historic Saint Louis music school and the prestigious Teatro Eliseo and as part of the Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. project.

At the Italian Jazz crea the renowned trumpeter will perform his original compositions arranged in an orchestral key by Luigi Giannatempo for a large 12-piece ensemble. The repertoire spans a fairly wide span of Fresu’s career and consists of historic pieces, such as “Fellini” and “Opal,” along with more recent compositions, the result of the internationally renowned trumpeter’s many collaborations. A varied repertoire that ranges from jazz to music rooted in Sardinian folklore, as well as compositions with a more distinctly European scope.

Saint Louis Ensemble conducted by Antonio Solimene
Special Guest Paolo Fresu

Maurizio Leoni, alto saxophone and flute, Gabriele Pistilli, tenor saxophone and soprano saxophone, Luigi Acquaro, tenor saxophone and clarinet, Luca Padellaro, baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, Mario Caporilli, trumpet, Antonio Padovano, trumpet, Giuseppe Panico, trumpet, Elisabetta Mattei, trombone, Federico Proietti, bass trombone and bass tuba, Andrea Saffirio, piano, Fabrizio Cucco, bass guitar, Alessio Baldelli, drums
Arrangements by M° Luigi Giannatempo

Saint Louis Ensemble

Rhythmic and 9 woodwinds — the beating heart of the group — the Saint Louis Ensemble directed by Maestro Antonio Solimene is formed within Saint Louis by uniting together the best talents of the historic Roman music school into a single orchestral formation to accompany the most important artists of the Italian and international music scene in concert.

Paolo Fresu

He has recorded more than 350 records of which more than 80 are under his own name or in leadership and others with international collaborations, often working with ‘mixed’ projects of Jazz-Ethnic Music, World Music, contemporary music, light music, early music, collaborating with M. Nyman, E. Parker, Farafina, O. Vanoni, Alice, T. Gurtu, G. Schüller, Negramaro, Stadio, etc., among others.

21 June 2018

“Jazz Factory “special guest Javier Girotto and the Saint Louis Big Band
directed by Antonio Solimene

Creations and sounds from St. Louis’ second-tier Department of High Specialization, an all-Italian excellence.
Artists, composers, creatives of our time, the Saint Louis Jazz Factory is a craft workshop of sound, where the musical idea becomes ink on the score, then music, then the reverberation of an emotion. A research work of refined merit, appreciated and recognized throughout Europe, wherever the Jazz Factory has directed its energetic harmony, a trait d’union between tradition and avant-garde.

On the stage of the Italian Jazz creates the Saint Louis Big Band, dragged by the enthusiasm of M° Antonio Solimene, with the extraordinary participation of Javier Girotto, who will be interpreting his most famous songs in a totally new guise created by the arrangers of the Jazz Factory, who will also present their own original compositions.

Creations and visions by: Gabriele Ceccarelli, Riccardo Garcia Rubi, Filippo Minisola, Milena Nigro, Fabio Renzullo, Alessio Sacco, Matteo Rossi
Italian Jazz crea (Composition Research – Europe and America) is Saint Louis College of Music’s new Project entirely dedicated to research and innovation in jazz composition in order to distribute original and experimental Italian jazz music worldwide.
The June 21 evening at the Auditorium is the first stop on an international tour that will bring original compositions and innovative arrangements of Javier Girotto’s pieces to be performed by the resident Big Bands of the Conservatorio Superior de Navarra, Spain and the University of North Texas, USA.

Javier Girotto

Javier Girotto Argentine saxophonist, composer and arranger. Born in Córdoba, Argentina to a family of Italian descent, he started his own business in ’80 before moving to Italy in ’91. Here in ’94 he formed Aires Tango together with Marco Siniscalco on double bass, Alessandro Gwis on piano and Michele Rabbia on percussion, with whom he toured many times throughout the peninsula, recording 10 albums;
He has to his credit collaborations with Rita Marcotulli, Enrico Rava, Paolo Fresu, Gianluca Petrella, Bebo Ferra, Antonello Salis, Gianni Coscia, Peppe Servillo, Angà Diaz, Furio Di Castri, Tony Scott, Arto Tuncbovacivan, Michel Benità, Carlo Rizzo, Aldo Romano, Luis Agudo Maurizio Gianmarco, Stefano Battaglia, Michel Godard, Anouar Brahem, Gianluigi Trovesi and many others.

Saint Louis Big Band

The Saint Louis Big Band consists of:
Trumpets
Antonio Padovano, Edoardo Impedovo, Giuseppe Scrima, Giulio Bozzo, Ivan Iacobellis
Sax
Antoni Kuzak, Francesco Soldano, Francesco Maresca, Maurizio Leoni, Mauro Massei
Trumpets
Elisabetta Mattei, Stefano Coccia, Sergio Saudelli, Palmiro Del Brocco
Rhythm section
Daniele Natalini drums, Andrea Di Renzi bass, Lorenzo Taddei guitar, Francesco Sposato piano
Voices
Valentina Ramunno, Giacomo Campolo

22/27 September

University North Texas – Texas, Denton

Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. is the Saint Louis College of Music project that is bringing young musicians, arrangers and composers to the stage of prestigious conservatories, theaters and festivals in Italy and abroad in collaboration with established artists and conductors such as Inaki Askunze, Richard De Rosa, Paolo Fresu and Javier Girotto.
As part of the project, supported by MiBact, Saint Louis has committed to promoting in Italy, Europe and America, the original creations of 8 talented young Italian composers, performed in Italy by the Saint Louis Big Band conducted by Maestro Antonio Solimene and abroad by the resident ensembles of the Conservatory of Navarre and the University of North Texas.

The last leg of the international tour will see 6 young Saint Louis home-grown composers and arrangers conduct the local big band of the Pamplona Conservatory of Music, prepared by Basque saxophonist Inaki Askunze, already a guest in Rome during previous phases of the project.
Creations and visions by: Gabriele Ceccarelli, Riccardo Garcia Rubi, Filippo Minisola, Milena Nigro, Fabio Renzullo, Alessio Sacco, Matteo Rossi
Italian Jazz C.R.E.A (Composition Research – Europe and America) is Saint Louis College of Music’s new Project entirely dedicated to research and innovation in jazz composition, in order to distribute original and experimental Italian jazz music worldwide.
The June 21 evening at the Auditorium is the first stop on an international tour that will bring original compositions and innovative arrangements of Javier Girotto’s pieces to be performed by the resident Big Bands of the Conservatorio Superior de Navarra, Spain and the University of North Texas, USA.

The 6 protagonists: Gabriele Ceccarelli, Filippo Minisola, Fabio Renzullo, Alessio Sacco, Milena Nigro, Riccardo Garçia Rubi

With them, the “captain” of the Project, Maestro Antonio Solimene, who constantly supported the 6 composers in the preparation and finalization of the pieces of the repertoire, which in this case consists of arrangements of original pieces by the great Argentine saxophonist Javier Girotto, special guest of the evening.

From November 12 to 14, the composers will rehearse the pieces with the local Big Band, and then crown the trip with a final concert on the evening of November 15, open to the public and organized in conjunction with the opening night of the Congress of Spanish and International Conservatories, hosted by the Pamplona Conservatory itself.

INTERVIEWS.

Antonio Solimene

Thanks to the visibility and European contextualization achieved with Italian Jazz on The Road, Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. was born, expanding its popularizing potential in order to distribute original and experimental Italian jazz music worldwide.

What do you think of this project?
R: With Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. Director Stefano Mastruzzi wanted to give space to composers and arrangers, and for the first time we crossed the ocean. A dazzling start! Even I would not have imagined that such a project could bring to me, first of all, (because you never stop learning: you are a teacher only if you continue to listen to the change of modern music in the world!) and especially to the children who have had in this past year an enrichment of enormous dimensions, achievable only after so many years of study. Practical, close-to-reality enrichment. It is not to be ruled out that there could also be a second edition of Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. The possibility of undertaking an Erasmus with the University of North Texas has been hypothesized, an exclusive thing with one of the most qualified universities in the entire United States of America that would allow our alumni to enrich their academic path with renewed competence.

With Italian Jazz C.R.E.A., he was a guest speaker at the University of North Texas along with two two-year students in jazz composition and arrangement, Gabriele Ceccarelli and Filippo Minisola.

What are your thoughts on this lived experience for you and your students?
R: To summarize the whole experience is very difficult. The work went far beyond our expectations. The proposed goals were ambitious: to come out of Europe in an international confrontation, with systems and mechanisms far from our routine and, as if that were not enough, in the home of jazz. Basically, we Europeans share a kind of modification of jazz, but by going to America we are confronted with what is the more real, more natural root of jazz. Therefore, it is inevitable to harbor some awe and concern. The children were very well received by the facility, Richard De Rosa was most helpful, an easygoing person despite the fact that his resume makes anyone envious: he has directed and written for the world’s most prestigious entities. He welcomed us with tranquility, with joy, with pleasure. We had a discussion with the orchestras, listened and attended rehearsals as well. There are nine orchestras, consisting of twenty musicians who alternate daily with fifty-minute rehearsals. Just the organization that was there alone was cause for amazement! The seriousness with which the students at the University of North Texas approach this test was truly above my expectations. It is a Campus, a reality that we can share in part, where students live and do not have the variables of the Friday subway strike! The space that was devoted to us was quite large. The boys rehearsed and it was preferred to have Maestro Richard De Rosa conduct the performance of their compositions because the language, the confrontation was already a complex event in itself: to let the boys take practice with that kind of situation and orchestra would have taken a few more days.

Before the departure, there was a skype-class of Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. composers and arrangers with Maestro Richard De Rosa, connecting from Texas. Director of Jazz Composition and Arrangement at North Texas University, Maestro De Rosa was a guest speaker at Saint Louis last year: he conducted the Saint Louis Big Band and gave Masterclasses in composition and arrangement.

What do you think of Master De Rosa’s teaching method? Did you find any differences from the Italian one?
R: Master Richard De Rosa is an authoritative person, but not authoritative. He succeeds with the weight of his expertise to gain absolute attention and credibility. I have taken some of his lectures at the university, the courses are taught in classes with forty to fifty people; then there are sub-teachers, excellent students of the Master who take small groups of five or ten students and do support and in-depth lectures. I noticed a university dynamic almost like you were teaching medicine: the authority professor holds the lesson with power point presentation, great clarity and so much seriousness. Jazz is in their history, it’s a bit like our experience in classical music. For us Europeans there is a musical hierarchy: First classical music, followed by jazz and popular music. For Americans, medicine, jazz music, engineering, are fields all taken with the same rigour and with equal seriousness. We have jazz in national institutions for twenty years, they invented it and therefore have it in their routine.

Also with regard to the performances performed by the texan academic orchestra, did you notice any differences compared to the Italian performances?
R: If an Italian learns to speak English or American, there is always a feeling that he is a speaking European. And that’s how it works for swing and the jazz pronunciation that we learn from them. Inevitably, when we play jazz, we Europeans are emulating. Not to diminish our jazz vision, because we wrote and coined a European jazz music, which has an equally interesting vision. There are also many American musicians who are quite close to a jazz system more of a Euro-cult nature. But it’s like an American playing tarantula: It would not have that fluidity, that naturalness, that lightness and that sense of belonging to the Naples culture. With Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. the comparison assumes value and height of content precisely because we are turning to the source, to the essential root: America. Speaking of pronunciation, of improvement, of swing, of groove, of timing, for Americans is an innate slang. I have seen that M° De Rosa, when he directed the orchestra, never had to spend on improving a pronunciation. Here, during the classes, often many interventions by us teachers are of pronunciation correction, to help our students to understand what is the slang, the swing, the timing of a particular musical step.

In November the last stage of the international tour. This time it will fly to Spain, to Pamplona, and it will be the orchestra of the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Navarra performing the compositions of the students of Saint Louis with the Special Guest Javier Girotto.

What do you expect from this experience?
R: Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. was a very rich tour: We invited De Rosa and we went to him, we invited Iňaki Askunze and now we go to him. It’s a 360-degree exchange. They know our world and we know theirs. I know it’ll be different. Going to America we wanted to meet the pure reality of jazz; When we went to Spain we wanted to meet the world of artistic contaminations, because jazz does not mean just jazz of tradition. It has now reached a much broader meaning, in which it embraces a tide of styles, and in this Javier Girotto enters in full title. In Pamplona we will bring Javier Girotto’s songs that follow a tradition contaminated by nuevo tango, Argentine and South American music. All the original songs by Javier were arranged by the two-year-olds in arrangement and composition Gabriele Ceccarelli and Filippo Minisola who will direct the orchestra of the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Navarra during the concert. The evening will be characterized by a synergy of frightening elements: the Argentine culture, the writing of Italian arranger grown up in Saint Louis, the comparison with a Spanish reality thatins points in common with Argentina and that has points in shared with the jazz vision that we met in Texas.

I wanted to tell you an episode that really struck me. There was a time when our Richard De Rosa was trying the piece of Gabriele Ceccarelli with the orchestra directed by the resident director of the Three o’Clock lab Band, who, among other things, will soon be a Berkeley teacher and who was not happy with how the drummer was playing the piece. So she asked Richard De Rosa to go to the drums, called the student drummer, put him next to her and directed the piece. We found ourselves in a situation where the intersection of international skills and creative moments was crazy. That is why there was: the orchestra that was playing a song by an Italian student became a reason for educational integration and amplification, because the song inevitably had Euro-collected influences because the boys brought their universe there. So the director who became a drummer, the student who listened to what the teacher had to say… An opportunity for integration that produced a great emotion for me! Seeing the evolution of the children and participating in the international explosion of their work has been extremely exciting and motivating for everyone!

Filippo Minisola

The experience of Italian Jazz C.R.E.A in America is undoubtedly an adventure that I will always carry in my heart, both for the encounters that involved us in Texas, and for the travel companions with whom we lived it.

One of the most fascinating things was the possibility to immerse ourselves in a distant reality (geographically and culturally!) from ours. The impact of the first visit to the University of North Texas Campus was tremendous: a real city of students and teachers, frenetic, convulsive, passionate, overwhelming, radiating energy and the desire to work and grow together, immersed in a climate of collectivity and community.

Among the thousands of students who flooded the Campus at any time, there were those from the university’s numerous Big Bands. We had the honour of having songs performed by the fantastic guys of the Three O’Clock Lab Band; it was very interesting and instructive to see them working with so much professionalism (despite their young age) and at very intense and frenetic rhythms on tracks that, at times, presented characters far from the “traditional” jazz culture; In fact, as we plunged into their culture, we brought through our music some aspects of ours, with which they had to confront, and this led us to a valuable form of communication.

The true “golden pepper” of our trip was the encounter with Mr. Richard De Rosa, who guided us like a true Cicero among the unlimited spaces of Texas, always characterized by a rare humanity; It was he who directed our songs with acute sensitivity. During his lectures, which we were fortunate to follow, I was impressed by the extraordinary ability to deal with the most technical topics from an exquisite emotional, communicative point of view, always at the juncture between technique and inspiration, creating a splendid synthesis of the art and craftsmanship that make up this trade.

Gabriele Ceccarelli

The trip to America, at the University of North Texas, was first and foremost a beautiful cultural experience: meeting a culture so different from ours was exciting. Living in the Campus, almost as if I were a texan, this was the thing that I liked the most, besides of course the musical, professional aspects.

Difficult to feel part of their world: we have lived the experience as guests, as people who are not familiar with their university dynamics. There everything is completely different from how we are used to living the university. Everyone was pleasantly available, even simply in making us guests participate in what they were doing. We attended two hours of private lectures with Mr. Richard De Rosa which he himself proposed to do, in addition to allowing us to attend some of his academic appointments.

Precise and engaging, the M° De Rosa demanded attention and participation. He’s a great teacher, really one of the best I’ve ever met. Working on my song with the musicians of the Three o’ Clock Lab Band, under the direction of M° De Rosa and with the participation of Mr. Solimene was one of the most beautiful moments of the whole experience. Not only the exhibition itself, but above all the tests! Participating and seeing how the master directs and works was exciting. Meeting a world that is different from yours gives you endless opportunities for growth.

This journey has been a great opportunity for growth even only by looking at what we have been facing. All very stimulating!

FOTO

Italian Jazz C.R.E.A. | Pamplona | November 2018
Italian Jazz Crea in Texas
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