UMBRIA JAZZ and ITALIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PRESENT:
Stefano Bollani Trio
315 West 44th St
New York, NY, 10036
Doors 10:30 PM / Show 11:00 PM
Stefano Bollani Trio
At the age of six, wanting to become a singer, Stefano Bollani would accompany himself on the family keyboard. A few years later, he recorded a cassette of himself singing and playing, which he sent to his idol Renato Carosone, along with a letter explaining his dream. Carosone replied advising him to listen to a lot of blues and jazz, and so Bollani did.
His first record was the second volume of the jazz encyclopaedia published by Fratelli Fabbri. At age 11, he enrolled at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory of Florence, where he received his diploma in piano in 1993.
At age 15, he tread the boards professionally, playing mostly pop, at the same time studying under Luca Flores, Mauro Grossi, and Franco D'Andrea whose seminars he attended at Siena Jazz.
In 1996, he met Enrico Rava at the Teatro Metastasio in Prato who immediately invited him to play in Paris with him: "You're young, you don't have a family. Take the risk, give up pop and devote yourself full-time to the music you love." Taking Rava's advice, Bollani backed out of Jovanotti's tournée and flung himself into jazz, language of improvisation and freedom. His upswing was marked by rapid laps: from the important, and continuing collaboration with mentor Enrico Rava to his affirmation with a referendum held by Musica Jazz magazine (best new talent 1998); from directing his Orchestra del Titanic (with numerous concerts to its credit and two recordings for the Via Veneto label) to making records and performing tribute-shows to pop music of the past (Abbassa la tua radio with, among others, Peppe Servillo, Irene Grandi, Marco Parente, Elio from the Storie tese … and Guarda che luna! with Gianmaria Testa and Banda Osiris), right up to winning the Premio Carosone, usually awarded to singers, in September 2003 in Naples. They caught on to Stefano Bollani even in Japan. Swing Journal, the country's most authoritative jazz publication, awarded him the New Star Award in 2003, the first time for a European musician. Besides his "historical" collaboration with Rava, he has played with countless others, including Richard Galliano, Gato Barbieri, Pat Metheny, Michel Portal, Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Han Bennink, Paolo Fresu, and appeared on the world's most prestigious stages (from Umbria Jazz to the Montreal Festival, from Town Hall in New York to the Scala in Milan). His music often frequents irony, an evident characteristic of all of his work, some of it quite bizarre and offbeat, like Gnosi delle fanfole, a recording in which, along with songwriter Massimo Altomare, he set to music the surreal poetry of Fosco Maraini (1998), and Cantata dei pastori immobili, a sort of musical oratory for four voices, narrator and piano, on texts by David Riondino, published in a slip-case by Donzelli (2004). He has done four recordings for the French, Label Bleu: Les fleures bleues, 2002, a homage to writer Raymond Queneau, recorded with Americans Scott Colley on the bass and Clarence Penn on the drums, the solo recording Smat smat, 2003; Concertone, 2004, a composition for jazz trio and symphonic orchestra with the arrangements and direction of Paolo Silvestri and, finally, I Visionari, the first recording with his new quintet formed by Mirko Guerrini on the sax, Nico Gori on the clarinet, Ferruccio Spinetti on the double bass, and Cristiano Calcagnile on the drums.
In 2003 he began playing with Danish musicians Jesper Bodilsen and Morten Lund, recording with them for Stunt Records, Mi ritorni in mente and, in 2005, Gleda, Songs from Scandinavia. For the "Racconti di canzoni" series, he published L'america di Renato Carosone (Elleu, 2004), a tribute to the history of swing and jazz in Italy and, especially, to his idol Carosone. This past May, the Jazz series of the weekly magazine LEspresso, released the first Italian CD of his trio with Ares Tavolazzi and Walter Paoli. The previous discs had been released only for the Japanese label Venus Records. For his ingenious and sparkling character, and his natural gifts as an entertainer, Stefano Bollani earned the cover of the weekly magazine Topolino (this past May), the only Italian jazz musician to measure himself against Fethry Duck! September 2006 marked the contemporary release of Piano Solo, the first CD in his name for ECM, which immediately rose to the top of jazz sales charts and landed the 31st place in the SorrisieCanzoni chart, and his first novel, La sindrome di Brontolo, published by Baldini Castoldi, Dalai.
The referendum among the journalists of the American magazine Downbeat of 2007 ranks him eighth among the jazz new talents and third among the young pianists in the world. The critics of the Allaboutjazz magazine in New York appoints him among the five most important musicians of 2007, beside monstres sacrés like Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins. In December of the same year, in Vienna, he is awarded with the Europejazzpreis, as european musician of the year. His last work is an incursion in the popular Brazilian music, "Bollani carioca", a CD recorded in Rio de Janeiro with important local artists. Together with them, he performed in several cities of Brazil and has been the second musician in the world to play a grand piano in a favela in Rio, on the 1st December 2007. The first to do that was Antonio Carlos Jobim. He's been author and conductor of a comic radio show about music for Radiorai3, the national cultural radio channel (Il dottor Djembè) and has also created a live tv show featuring noteworthy guests named Sostiene Bollani (2011) which was a huge success on Italian television.
Music has no real boundaries for him. That' s why he continues to seek out new collaborations, even in the classical field (performing and recording concertos for piano and orchestra by Poulenc, Ravel and Gershwin) or in pop music.
Prizes 2007 The American magazine Allaboutjazz voted him as one of the 5 most important musicians of the year (next to giants like Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins) 2007 European Jazz Pries in Vienna as Best European Jazz Musician of the Year 2009 Paul Hacket Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland 2010 Laurea ad Honorem from the Berklee School of Music.
2002 Les fleures bleues (Label bleu) with Scott Colley and Clarence Penn
2003 Smat Smat (Label Bleu)
2004 Concertone (Label Bleu) with The Orchestra della Toscana, arrangements by Paolo Silvestri
2006 I visionari (Label bleu) with his band I Visionari plus Petra Magoni, Mark Feldman and Paolo Fresu
2006 Piano Solo (ECM)
2008 Carioca (Emarcy/Universal) with Marco Pereira, Jorge Helder, Ze' Nogueira, Monica Salmaso and other Brazilian musicians
2009 Stone in the water (ECM) with Jesper Bodilsen and Morten Lund
2010 Rhapsody in blue (Decca) with the Gewandhaus Orchester from Leipzig, conducted by Riccardo Chailly
2011 Big Band! (Verve/Universal) with the NDR Big Band from Hamburg, arrangements by Geir Lysnec
2011 Orvieto (ECM) w/h Chick Corea
2012 The sounds of the 30s ( Decca) S. Bollani/R. Chailly/ Gewandhausorchester
The Danish bass player, composer, producer and educator Jesper Bodilsen was born January 5th 1970 in Haslev, Denmark.
As 3 a year old he moved to Silkeborg with his parents and older brother and there he stayed until he was 18 years old.
No one in his family were playing music. But as a 8 year old kid he found an old trumpet at the loft of his grand parents farm and he was immediately interested in trying to make music with the old horn. At the age of 10 he was admitted as a member of the school brass band there he learned to play the cornet and read music.
In 1984 Jesper got his first bass - an electric bass - and one year later he joined a pop/funk band and played his first professional gig short after. He was admitted at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark in 1991 where he studied for 5 years and ended up with a Diploma degree in June 1997. The same year as he received The Memorial Bursary of Edward Eriksen and was hired to teach at the academy.
While studying at the school in Aarhus Bodilsen also worked as a professional musician. In June 1994 he was asked to perform at two All Star Concerts at the Riverboat Jazz Festival together with American drummer Ed Thigpen and pianist Duke Jordan. These concerts was a kind of breakthrough for Bodilsen and in the years to come he was peforming with other great jazz artists like James Moody, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Horace Parlan, Jimmy Heath and Phil Woods. Often at the legendary jazz club BENT J in Aarhus.
In 1995 Bodilsen moved to Copenhagen and he was immediately asked to join the Erling Kroner Dream Quartet. He was touring with different Aarhus and Copenhagen based bands in the years to come when he in 1997 met Ed Thigpen again. Ed Thigpen wanted him in his trio and together with pianist Carsten Dahl the trio recorded their first album “It´s Entertainment” in 1998. The album was nominated for a Danish Grammy and won the JazzSpecial Prize “Album Of The Year”. Bodilsen was playing and recording with Thigpen until 2010 - a collaboration that lasted 13 years and the music is well documented on 6 album releases.
Jesper Bodilsen has always been interested in producing music, finding interesting musicians to perform with and create new constellations. He has been a co-producer for Danish vocalist Katrine Madsen for more than a decade but in 1999 he started his first band “Scandinavian Summit”. They recorded 2 albums and did tours in Europe, SE Asia, China and Australia. He started his own music production company in 2002 and until now he has produced more than 15 albums, recorded and performed with many great artists.
In 1998, 2002 and 2004 Bodilsen was asked to perform at the prestigious Jazzpar Prize concerts and in 2002 the prize winner was italian trumpet player Enrico Rava. Bodilsen did 4 concerts with Rava, Stefano Bollani, Gianlucca Petrella, John Abercrombie and Morten Lund and after the final concert in Copenhagen he asked Bollani and Lund if they would be interested in playing together again. One year later (in march 2003) they did the first trio tour and their first recording for Stunt Records “Mi ritorni in mente”. The first issue of this trio album was released as Jesper Bodilsen Trio.
In 2004 Bodilsen was awarded with the Django d'Or Prize as “Performer of the Year” and that same year the trio recorded their second album “Gleda”. Now all the names of the trio was on the cover. The album was no. 4 on the Italian Jazz Charts in 2005 and nominated for an Australian Bell Award 2006 for “Best International Jazz Album”. From the start the trio was touring around Europe playing clubs and festivals like the Umbria Jazz festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and the legendary Birdland in New York.
After “Gleda” they recorded with singer Katrine Madsen. The album is called “Close To You” and was nominated for a Danish Music Award as “Best Vocal Jazz Album”.
Then 4 years went by before they recorded again. This time on the highly estimated ECM label and with producer Manfred Eicher. The album “Stone In The Water” was acclaimed the best trio recording of 2009 by several jazz magazines around the world. Two of the songs on the album was composed by Bodilsen and that same year he went in the studio with Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius, Peter Asplund on trumpet and the Finnish vibraphone player Severi Pyysalo to record a new album mainly with his own songs. The album “Short Stories for Dreamers” was released in 2010 and was praised for its calmness and lyrical mood. Recently Bodilsen has also been a part of the succesful TV-shows “Sostiene Bollani”. In the fall of 2011 the trio, with Bollani being the host, did 6 shows brodcasted on the Italian national channel RAI 3.
Besides touring around the world, recording albums and teaching at the conservatories Bodilsen has also spent more and more time on composing music. “Scenografie” is his new album released with his music - displaying his skills as a composer, bandleader, bassplayer and producer.
World-class bassist - Jesper Bodilsen toured all over the world and music critics wrote:
“Like NHOP, Bodilsen possesses a warm sound, great dexterity, virtually faultless intonation and an aura of calm even in the midst of volcanic eruptions. He is a lyrical player whose supple lines unfold with ease” (JAZZTIMES, US)
“Jesper Bodilsen’s bass playing continues the theory that Denmark is the home of great bassists” (The Age, AUS)
“Stone In The Water finally gives the trio the international exposure it deserves - it's the year's most sublime piano trio recording, where silence and the power of understatement are as definitive as the virtuosity that underscores this group's uncanny empathy. (Allaboutjazz.com US)
Morten Lund is considered one of Europes most talented and in demand jazzdrummers today. Allready having appeared on more than 120 recordings, and toured with some of the biggest names in jazz, he is definately a very established name - often being praised for his unique musical and melodic approach to playing drums - much like fellow drummers Brian Blade or Jefff Ballard.
Morten was born into a highly musical family in Viborg, Denmark - a mother who was a flute player and a father who played both drums, trumpet and guitar and was avery active part of the city´s music scene organising concerts and festivals. Morten picked up the drumsticks at age 6, and has never looked back since. The first 12 years of intense studies was focused 100% around classical percussion playing, and this would build a strong foundation when Morten after graduating High School finally decided to focus merely on drumset playing
Morten played his first professional gig at age 11, and was always the one who was "in demand" for almost any type of gig.
Morten was accepted at The Royal Academy of Music in 1993 and then things started rolling really fast. Morten was soon hired to be drummer in one of Denmark´s best big bands - The Klüvers Big Band. He stayed with the band and recorded several award winning albums. It was also during his college years, that he met and teamed up with bassist Jesper Bodilsen - student of the late great NHØP. Together they would become a new rhythm section team that was- and to this day often is compared to the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre house combo: NHØP and drummer Alex Riel.
Since moving to Copenhagen in 1996 - Morten Lund has now climbed to the very top of European Jazz drummers. Morten today co-leads one of the worlds great piano trios with Jesper Bodilsen and Italian sensation pianist Stefano Bollani. They have recorded 3 albums together and played some of the worlds most prestigious festivals and stages, and they record exclusively for the ECM label.
Morten has performed, toured and recorded with top names like: Stefano Bollani, Enrico Rava, Ulf Wakenius, Paolo Fresu, Eddie Gomez, Nguyen Lee, Lars Danielsson, Cæcilie Norby, Sinne Eeg, Iiro Rantala, Lars Jansson, Jakob Karlzon, Nils Landgren, Tore Brunborg, Antonello Salis, Nico Gori, Fred Hersch, Tom Harrel, John Taylor, Bobo Stensson, Anders Jormin and many many more.
in 2006 Morten received the prestigious "Ben Webster Award" in Copenhagen. Morten is sponsored by the DRS Drums company and Meinl Cymbals.