Minus One

The MINUS ONE Festival was born as an ideal continuation and extension of the Italian Jazz On the Road project: after exporting the new Italian jazz to Europe, Saint Louis now aims, with Minus One, to reach more distant destinations, going beyond the European borders.

The first edition of the Minus one festival project, supported by MiBact and SIAE (Bando S’Illumina 2018), lands in February 2019 in Tbilisi, Georgia, where Saint Louis has found in the G. Sarajishvili State Conservatoire an ideal, receptive and proactive partner, as well as a socio-cultural context that is rapidly expanding and opening up to the outside world.

“Minus One” because the Italian Artists will leave for Georgia in basic or reduced formation to be supplemented by local musicians in order to make cross-cultural collaboration deeper and more deeply rooted, allowing for a real and intensive exchange rather than a passive enjoyment of a finished product. All declined into a week of evening double concerts, afternoon rehearsals and master classes, and nightly jam sessions.

The ensembles selected to participate in the Project are among the most innovative proposals born and raised in the St. Louis area:

  • Student and alumni groups such as Stephen Minder and Dumbo Station
  • Young and innovative faculty projects such as Atrio. e Nicola di Tommaso Quartet
  • Zadeno Trio, winner of the European Jazz Contest 2017
  • Paolo Damiani‘s new project “New Band” featuring the great maestro joined by graduates of Saint Louis and the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia.


Zadeno Trio

Claudio Jr De Rosa – saxophone, Alessio Bruno – double bass, Jacopo Zanette – drums.

Guests at Minus one festival Zadeno Trio, an ambitious lineup born in the Netherlands in the summer of 2014, is a project led by Neapolitan saxophonist Claudio Jr De Rosa and completed by Alessio Bruno on double bass and Jacopo Zanette on drums.

The trio’s sound, predominantly marked by a traditional post-bop idiom, has over time acquired elements of great modernity, first being influenced by trios such as those of Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, and Elvin Jones and later by ensembles led by musicians such as Chris Potter and Joshua Redman.

The three musicians, coming from different musical backgrounds, met in Holland, and have performed in about 90 concerts in Italy, Belgium, Holland, and Romania. Winners of a number of international awards (“Prehistoric Spa Award,” won during the Jazz Festival “Jazz by the Pool 2014” in Montegrotto Terme), they recorded and released for “Emme Record Label” their first record, “Holes in the Ground” in February 2016. The next record work is scheduled for January 2018.

All musicians participate in the project as composers and arrangers, continually bringing in new blood, ideas and musical material. Zadeno Trio, not having a harmonic instrument in its staff, makes constant reharmonization and rhythmic/harmonic interplay two fundamental elements of its sound.

On November 20, 2017, they won the European Jazz Contest, an international contest for young jazz artists held by the Saint Louis College of Music. On the jury is an international panel of musicians and experts such as Enrico Intra, Paolo Damiani, Stefano Mastruzzi and many others.

Liliko Korkotashvili
Special guest di Zadeno Trio

I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1998.
Music has always been a part of my life, so I enrolled at the Tbilisi Conservatory of Music in the classical music department – classical flute – and studied there from 2009 to 2016. As soon as I finished the course, I decided to continue my studies in the Jazz Department as a singer.

In 2017, I had the opportunity to take part in the Erasmus+ project, studying at the Siena Jazz Academy in Italy.

I have participated in several musical projects, gaining multiple experiences, including performing at popular and famous festivals in Georgia such as “Tbilisi Kavkaz Jazz” and “Tbilisi Jazz festival.”

Love Through My Eyes

Stefano Minder, vocals, Antoni Zygmunt Kuzak, alto sax, Lorenzo Nanni, piano, Alessio Renda, bass, Emanuele Della Cuna, drums

Guest at the Minus one festival Stephen Minder presents “Love Through My Eyes.” Always engaged with songwriting between Jazz and Soul, the singer and pianist Stefano Minder presents his first CD “Love Through My Eyes”. Through his continuous research in the field of music, Stefano undertakes several ways to experiment with new methods on how to use the voice, to recreate colors and new worlds.

Its motto is: “The voice is a full-fledged instrument, capable of expressing deep feelings that no other instrument can do. It is directly connected with the soul and becomes its audible expression; transforms the invisible into visible, creates new sounds and colors, transforms an emotion into music. The voice is an instrument to be discovered, subject to continuous evolution and expansion. An expansion that goes beyond our imaginable limits”.

Lasha Deisadze
Special guest Stefano Minder’s “Love through my eyes.

Lasha Deisadze is a virtuoso Georgian guitarist renowned for his technical mastery and musical sensitivity. With a career spanning various genres from classical music to jazz and rock, Deisadze has captivated international audiences with his dynamic and engaging performances.

His ability to express emotions through guitar strings makes him an outstanding musician, celebrated for both his technical precision and deep emotional interpretation.

feat. PixFoil

The “Atrio.” was born out of a deep friendship connected to music with respect to all styles.
A passion for jazz is combined with a search for simple melodies and rhythmic energy, with an eye toward contemporary musical genres.

The formation was established in 2013. His work focuses on the creation of original pieces, through which musicians undertake a search for rhythmic solutions based on the concept of subordination and metric modulation. Parallel to this process, they give their personal tribute to tradition by working on songs from the jazz and popular world.

They immediately propose an intense live activity, flanking live shows in Roman clubs with participation in National and International reviews and festivals.
2015 saw them perform at the Open Jazz Festival in Palermo, Festival Del Jazz in Mantova, Locus Festival in Locorotondo, Jazzit Festival in Collescipoli, Piccolo Festival Animato in Rome (Opening at Radiotrio), Unesco World Jazz Day at La Casa Del Jazz in Rome.

Between September and December they embark on a mini European tour touching on Helsinki, Maastricht and Aalborg as part of the “Italian Jazz On The Road” initiative.
On Sept. 9 they perform at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome, recording live their first Album produced by Camilla Records with guests Rosario Giuliani AND Javier Girotto.

2016 opens with the B-Jazz Festival Competition held in Leuven, Belgium. They pass the selection by entering the top 6 projects out of more than 150 proposals from all over Europe, ranking fourth with excellent recognition from the public and critics.

Parallel to writing and composing Trio pieces, they engage in collaborations with artists from diverse musical backgrounds, such as Serena Brancale and Javier Girotto.


PixFoil is the “Avatar” of Luca Spagnoletti in his various reincarnations of electronic music. PixFoil can manifest itself, depending on the ‘occasion, in various formations or simply ” a solo” but maintains its experimental, minimalist and glitch nature.

This is supplemented with abstract visual narratives generated by mixing images of exclusive synthetic generation with images of various analog origins. PixFoil proposes a recovery of the authors’ experience as instrumentalists and live improvisers, supplemented by the background of experimenters in electronic composition; This ensemble is underscored by synchronisms and visual chromes induced by the same sound suggestions, a reciprocity that manifests itself as an indissoluble union between the different languages.

Lasha Sakvarelidze
Special Guest of Atrium and Pixfoil

Born in Kutaisi, Georgia, in 1992.
Between 2002 and 2007, he studied music at Conway Middle School and Boone High School in Orlando, Florida. In 2016 he earned a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance from the Newpark Music Center in Dublin, Ireland.
In 2018 he studied at the Siena Jazz Academy, in Italy with Erasmus + through the Tbilisi State Conservatory. He has been a regular member of the “Reso Kiknadze Quintet” since 2016.

Paolo Damiani
“New band”

Paolo Damiani – double bass and music, Simone Alessandrini – saxophone, Daphne Nisi – vocals, Francesco Fratini – trumpet, Andrea Molinari – guitar, Fabio Sasso – drums

It is proposed at the Minus one festival. This new project includes young musicians who are now well established and leaders of their own ensembles. Here they are led by Paolo Damiani, composer, cellist and director of the S. Cecilia Jazz Department. The repertoire features original compositions by Paolo Damiani, characterized by an original melodic vein rooted in the ethnic music of Southern Italy and Italian Opera.

In the pieces, while strongly structured, counterpoint lines tend to generate open and flexible sound spaces in which breath and sudden gesture dance freely and joyfully. The songfulness of the compositions never gives up research, understood above all as curious listening, invention, astonishment, ironic wandering, pleasure, enjoyment.”

The “New Band” project is representative of the large collectives of graduate and undergraduate students that Maestro Damiani involves in his own projects, producing music with them and taking them on tour as in the case of the National Jazz Young Talents Orchestra. As with the Orchestra, Saint Louis supports and encourages these types of projects, finding them to be highly formative for students as it provides them with the opportunity to interface with great Masters in highly professional situations.

It was for this very reason that in 2016 Saint Louis Management through its label Camilla Records released, “Ma che ci fanno le foglie negli armadi,” which featured Maestro Damiani accompanied by the National Jazz Orchestra Giovani Talenti.

Nicola Di Tommaso 4tet

Nicola Di Tommaso – guitar, Giuseppe Romagnoli – double bass, Francesco Fratini – trumpet, Matteo Bultrini – drums

A guest at the Minus one festival, Nicola Di Tommaso quartet amazes with great consistency and jazz awareness, with original compositions that, while leaving plenty of room for innovation and stylistic contamination, are rooted in the strength and stability of great jazz. Its musicians are among the leading names of the new Italian scene, distinguished by their style, technical ability and originality.

The trio’s sound, is characterized by the strong interaction between guitar and the rhythm section. Indeed, the guitar ties in perfectly with the musical idea of the rhythm, developing the thematic material with counterpoints and melodic interlocks. Matteo Bultrini’s drums and Giuseppe Romagnoli’s double bass create a solid and powerful rhythm section that, aware of tradition, bases its playing on modern polyrhythms.

Stylistically, the trio’s music approaches contemporary American jazz and, without forgetting its origins, fits into the groove of its most recent transformations, adding a European breath.

In the songs there is an alternation of thematic lyricism and more complex atmospheres, in which various musical styles coexist. Improvisation, nurtured by the skillful interplay among the musicians, remains the defining and predominant element, complementing the group’s sound.

Joining the trio is the trumpet of Francesco Fratini, a young Italian jazz star.

Guest at the Minus one festival REZO KIKNADZE
Special Guest of Paolo Damiani “New Band” and Nicola Di Tommaso 4tet

Tenor and Soprano Sax, Duduk and electronics

He studied classical philology at Tbilisi State University . He played saxophone in the Georgian TV Big Band and the Conservatory Jazz Quintet, performing at various festivals in Tbilisi, Tallinn, Vilnius. In 1986-90 he studied composition and traditional Georgian music at the Tbilisi Consevatory.

In 1992-94 he was part of the improvisation ensemble ‘New Sonanza’ and collaborated with “tatoeba – theatre dance grotesque,” a German-Japanese traditional dance company. Since 2000 he has collaborated with TanzOrt Nord, a contemporary dance company in Lübeck. In 2002, he created the ‘Resolution Group,’ an improvisational ensemble of electroacoustic music.

In 2007 he co-organized the Swiss-Georgian festival ‘close encounters’. He is currently Professor of Electroacoustic Music at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia and the Dean of the Tbilisi State Conservatoire. He has played as a saxophonist and electronic musician all over the world. He is a composer and co-author of multi projects in dance, visual arts, poetry, film and theater.

Dumbo Station

Paolo Zou – guitar, Benjamin Ventura – piano and keyboards, Stefano Rossi – bass, Davide Savarese – drums

Guest at Minus one festival Dumbo Station was born in October 2015 from the meeting of Paolo Zou (guitar), Benjamin Ventura (piano and keyboards) and Stefano Rossi (electric bass). The chemistry between the three, musical and otherwise, is evident from the start, and is further strengthened by the addition of Davide Savarese (drums) to the group.
The group immediately embarked on an intense concert activity, becoming the resident band of the Roma Groove Session, a musical reality that has taken hold in the Roman music scene since 2016, inspired by the multi-stylistic jams of northern Europe.

Thanks to this collaboration, the group has the opportunity to accompany weekly artists from the jazz/soul/hip hop music scene (some of the artists accompanied: Gregory Hutchinson, Rosario Giuliani, Danno Colle Der Fomento, Maurizio Giammarco, Dario Deidda, Michele Papadia, Fabio Zeppetella, Pierpaolo Principato, Stefano Sabatini, Phil Aelony, Davide Shorty, Lello Panico and Antonello Sorrentino).

Parallel to its concert activity, the quartet has been engaged since its inception in the production of its debut album, which includes exclusively original songs. The result is an extremely eclectic work, ranging from modern jazz to traditional jazz, funk to gospel, and even nu soul and Hip Hop/Rap; all while keeping interplay and improvisation as cornerstones.

The record work, titled “Tirana Café,” was recorded in May (2017) at Enrico Furzi’s “La Strada recording Studios” (with the participation of Davide Shorty, Maurizio Giammarco, Vincenzo Presta and Elvio Ghigliordini), and was released on January 25, 2018 by Alfa Music.
The group’s most recent activities include a mini-concert tour with well-known jazz saxophonist Rosario Giuliani and participation as a finalist in the B-Jazz International Contest.

The group recently concluded the summer tour introducing “Tirana Cafe,” the vinyl reissue of which is now available in collaboration with Tuffkong Records.
In the meantime, Dumbo Station is devoting itself to writing its next record work, as well as two new projects that will be unveiled during 2018/2019.

Tornike Abuladze
Dumbo Station Special Guest

Sax Alto

Born in Kutaisi, Georgia.
Since 2017, he has been studying at the Tbilisi State Conservatory and playing in many local events in different ensembles, together with fellow students and established professionals.



Minus One – Italian Jazz on the Road… to Tbilisi | Day one
Minus One – Italian Jazz on the Road… to Tbilisi | Day two
Minus One – Italian Jazz on the Road… to Tbilisi | Day three
Minus One – Italian Jazz on the Road… to Tbilisi | Day four
Minus One – Italian Jazz on the Road… to Tbilisi | Day five


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