Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
D'Andrea, Franco (Francesco)
D'Andrea, Franco (Francesco), keyboard player; b. Merano, Italy, 8 March 1941.An only child, his father was Emilio D'Andrea (b. Rome, 1912; d.1972) and his mother, Carla De Tecini (b. Merano, 1915), played piano as an amateur.
Primarily self-taught, he was initially inspired by a Louis Armstrong record, then listened to Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard, Benny Goodman, Erroll Garner, and Oscar Peterson. D'Andrea started playing piano at 17, after some expreriences with trumpet and soprano sax. His main influences as a developing pianist were Bobby Timmons, Victor Feldman, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Jaki Byard, Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Lennie Tristano, Cecil Taylor, Martial Solal, Paul Bley, James P.Johnson, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly. He has been busy working with visiting American musicians and cutting free and jazz rock dates since the '60s.
His earliest sessions came with F. Tonani, then Nunzio Rotondo (in 1963 at RAI, Rome) and Gato Barbieri. Then he recorded with Franco Ambrosetti, Giorgio Azzolini and Giovanni Tommso, plus Gianni Basso and Enrico Rava. D'Andrea formed the Modern Art Trio in 1968 with Franco Tonani and Bruno Tommaso and four years later played with the jazz rock group Perigeo. During his career Franco D'Andrea played with many important jazz musicians as Pepper Adams, Barry Altschul, Gato Barbieri, Don Byas, Conte Candoli, Jon Christensen, Palle Danielsson, Joe Farrell, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, Slide Hampton, Mark Helias, Daniel Humair, Jimmy Knepper, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Victor Lewis, Dave Liebman ,Joe Lovano , Albert Mangelsdorff, Hank Moebly, Paul Motian , Jean Luc Ponty, Enrico Rava, Frank Rosolino, Max Roach , Aldo Romano, Martial Solal, John Surman, Toots Thielemans, Charles Tolliver, Miroslav Vitous , Bobby Watson, Kenny Wheeler , Fode Youla ("Africa Djole"), etc.
He joined Rava's quartet in 1979. In 1978 he formed his own trio with Dodo Goya and Bruno Biriaco, taking on at the same time solo piano concerts as well as an intensive teaching activity. In 1981 he founded a quartet, with Tino Tracanna, Attilio Zanchi, Gianni Cazzola. In 1986 the percussion player Luis Agudo and then the trombonist Glenn Ferris, the percussionist Naco and the vibraphonist Saverio Tasca joined the band. Recently he formed with the trumpet player David Boato and Naco a new trio named "Current Changes."
He's been teaching since 1978. His main collaborations have been with Seminari Senesi di Musica Jazz (Siena, Italy) since 1978, (jazz piano, workshops); Libera Scuola di Musica ( Vicenza, Italy), in the early 80s (jazz piano); Centro Didattico Musicale (Milano, Italy), since 1983 to 1986 (jazz piano); Centro Professione Musica (Milano, Italy), since 1986 (jazz piano and workshops); Thelma Yellin High School of Arts (Tel Aviv, Israel), (Master Class); and AMR (Geneva, Switzerland), (Technique of Improvisation Stage). He's been teaching jazz at the Conservatory of Trento (Italy) since 1993. He's been a member of the Board of Examiners at the Klubschule Migros' Jazz Department (St. Gallen, Switzerland), since 1990. He's been a member of the Jury at the "Concours International de Piano Jazz Martial Solal" (Paris, France), in 1989.
He made tours all over in Europe (including Estonia and Russia) and in Cameroun, Canada, Israel, Japan, Tunisia and USA. He composed about 120 tunes, 70 of which recorded. He has won many awards, appeared on radio and TV in several countries, and taught at Siena Jazz. He lives in Milan and his children are Stefano (b. Rome, July 16, 1967) and Silvia (born Milan, August 30, 1976).
Modern Art Trio: Modern Art Trio; From East to West; Claudio Fasoli, Franco D'Andrea: Jazz Duo; Nuvolao; Dialogues with Superego (1980); "Es" (1982); Made in Italy (1982); Franco D'Andrea with Barry Altschul and Mark Elias: My One and Only Love (1983), No Idea of Time (1983); Quartet Live (1985); My Shuffle (1985); Kick off; Volte (1989); David Liebman, Franco D'Andrea: Nine Again; Enrosadira (1991); Franco D'Andrea Trio; Paris-Milano; Lee Konitz, Franco D'Andrea: 12 Gershwin in 12 keys; Airegin (1992); Flavours; Current Changes; Live in Perugia
F. Tonani: Night in Fonorama (1964; F.D.'s first recording, w. Gato Barbieri, F.Ambrosetti); Perigeo: Five albums, including Genealogia; Quatre: Quatre, Earthcake (1991)
Videos, radio and television broadcasts:
"Dall'Africa allo Swing. La poliritmia nel linguaggio jazz", Ed. Carisch, Milano, Italy, 1996; Also numerous appearances on radio and TV
Books by him:
26 Compositions - Ed. Crepuscule, Milano 1982
Enciclopedia Comparata delle Scale e degli Accordi (co-author Attilio Zanchi),
in the educational collection of Centro Professione Musica - Ed. Carish, Milano 1992
Daniel Soutif: L'enfance d'Andrea, in: Jazz Magazine (Apr.1982)
C.M. Maletto: L'Italian Style conquista l'America, in: Musica Jazz (Jan.1984)
Valerio Corzani: Franco D'Andrea, Dado Moroni, Enrico Pieranunzi, in: Blu Jazz (1989)
Sylvain Siclier: Rencontres. Herve Bourde et Franco D'Andrea, in: Jazz Hot (Oct.1992)
Maurizio Franco: Franco D'Andrea, in: Musica Jazz (Mar.1993)
Franco D'Andrea: Al piano con te stesso, in: Musica Jazz (Jan.1996)
Stefano Galvani: Franco D'Andrea, in: Jazz Podium (Jul/Aug.1997)
Franco D'Andrea: Vent'anni dopo. La trama s'infittisce, in: Musica Jazz, (Apr.1998)
Franco D'Andrea won many prizes: the "Italian Critics' Award" in 1979 and in 1981; the "Radiouno Jazz Prize" in 1982; the "Top Jazz Award", launched by Musica Jazz magazine, as best Italian musician in 1982, '84, '85, '86, '87; the "Top Jazz Award", for best Italian record in 1984 and in 1986 and 2002; the "Top Jazz Award" for best Italian group in 1986.
Franco D'Andrea - Via Pietro da Cemmo, 3 - 20100 - Milano - Italy
Contact: Unisono - Via Pomba 4 - 10123 - Torino - Italy
Fax: (++39) 11 8126644