vittorio mezza trio
This event happens on May 4, 2017.
From Rome Italy
Vittorio Mezza (piano)
with George Koller (bass) + Ben Riley ( drums)
celebrating the famous Napoli melodies -his new cd ”Napoli jazz songs”
May 2 Jazz Bistro -Toronto
May 3 Artword Artbar – Hamilton
May 4 Manhattans – Guelph
Vittorio Mezza is considered one of the most interesting and original pianists of the Italian jazz scene. Born in Maddaloni (1976), an ancient village north of Naples, Vittorio moved to Rome in the mid-nineties to further his musical studies at the renowned Santa Cecilia Conservatory, just as a new generation of Italian jazz musicians was coming to the fore. There he earned a BA in Jazz Studies, graduating summa cum laude.
Vittorio continued his training in Europe and the U.S. with courses and master classes, including at the Berklee Summer School and at Umbria Jazz. Ultimately, he completed a two-year Masters at the Fondazione Siena Jazz, a world-renowned program that has been training jazz musicians for more than three decades. Having studied at the highest level with internationally acclaimed musicians, such as Dave Liebman, John Taylor, Franco D’Andrea, Stefano Battaglia, David Sanborn and Paolo Damiani, Vittorio had the opportunity to perform at many European jazz festivals in different line-ups and formations, from duo to full-scale orchestra. A dedicated jazz educator himself, he has been teaching ‘Jazz Piano’ at Santa Cecilia since 2007. His jazz piano compositions have won critical acclaim and several prestigious awards, enabling him to publish his first collection of original scores in 2006. Five more would follow, fashioning a unique musical language somewhere between jazz and contemporary music.
He opened the concert for the Wayne Shorter Quartet, the “Festa della Musica” in Rome and the Jazz Festival of Bitonto, (where he opened the concerts respectively for the Peter Erskine Trio and for the Mike Stern Band in 2007) and the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown (South Africa) in 2016. He was semi-finalist at the TIM in Marseille (France). Also, he was the only Italian pianist to compete in the Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition 2005.
In the United States he performed with Dave Liebman, Mike Stephans, Tony Marino, Tony Moreno, Marc Mommaas; in Canada, in trio with Alec Walkington and Dave Laing (McGill University of Music of Montreal) and in trio with George Koller and Davide Di Renzo (Toronto); in Germany with David Milzow and Tarek Husseini; in South Africa with Mark Ginsburg, Romy Brauteseth, Kevin Gibson, Judy Campbell, Justin Binek, Mike Campbell, Micu Narunsky, Maurice Gawronsky, Ian Smith, Sphelelo Mazibuko, Andreas Tschopp, Justin Bellairs. He also performed at the legendary Deer Head Inn – Pennsylvania (USA), at the Upstairs Jazz Club in Montreal and at Lula Lounge Jazz Club in Toronto (Canada). He took part in the International Festival in Grahamstown (South Africa).
A decade into his jazz career and already well-known as a composer, performer and educator in Italy, Vittorio felt the time was right to express his Neapolitan identity through music. With a bouquet of traditional Neapolitan tunes under his arm, he is coming to Toronto to record his most alluring project so far: “NAPOLI JAZZ SONGS. “I believe there’s no place on earth where there has not been somehow quoted a refrain of a Neapolitan song,” Vittorio says. “I see the process of introducing improvisation into the seductively sonorous structure of the “canzone napoletana”, and maintaining its artistic uniqueness and aesthetics, as something immensely delicate and, at the same time, exhilarating.” For this project Vittorio chose to work with two versatile Canadian jazz musicians: bassist George Koller and drummer Davide DiRenzo.
Vittorio’s earlier recording projects, whether for piano solo, duo or trio, are an excellent display of his extraordinary versatility and artistic depth. His latest, Mezza Milzow Project (Abeat Records 2014), recorded with German saxophonist David Milzow and drummer Ettore Fioravanti, and Convergence with saxophonist Mark Ginsburg (Australia) are a superb illustration of where contemporary European jazz is headed.
He has worked as music consultant and composer for RAI Television and holds a teaching position at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory and in several Conservatories in Italy.
Vittorio was also selected as a Yamaha Artist for Italy. Equally skilled on piano and other keyboard instruments (Hammond B3 and Fender Rhodes), he often performs on major Italian radio and television networks.