Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Fresu, Paolo, trumpet, flugelhorn, composer, arranger; b. Berchidda (SS), Sardinia, Italy, 10 February 1961. His father's parents were Fresu Antonio (b. January 18, 1888, Berchidda (SS), d. April 1970 (Berchidda (SS) and Demuru Maria (b. 1897, Berchidda (SS), d. July 1975, Berchidda (SS). His mother's parents are Mu Paolo (b. March 14, 1890, Berchidda (SS), d. December 10, 1976 (Berchidda (SS), and Meloni Andreana (b. 1898, Berchidda (SS), d. December 26 1940, Berchidda (SS). His father is Fresu Angiolino (Lillino), b. December 26, 1924, Berchidda (SS), Sardinia, Italy. His mother is Mu Maria, b. September 09, 1926, Berchidda (SS), Sardinia, Italy.
Paolo is an Electrotecnics expert (certificate, Sassari - Sardinia) - University (DAMS - Bologna) - Conservatory of Music (Trumpet course - certificate). His school training includes Marching Band (8 years), Pop music (5 years), and Conservatory of Music (5 years, Cagliari - Sardinia). His inspirations are Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, and many others. He learned some recorded solos including two by Miles Davis, his "Round Midnight" solo on 'Round Midnight' and his "Autumn Leaves" solo on 'Miles at Antibes'). His earliest recordings, 'Paraponzi' are tapes at home with Roberto Cipelli (piano), Roberto Bonati (bass), Roberto 'Billy Sechi' (drums), made in Berchidda, 1981.
Fresu began studying the trumpet at the age of eleven while playing in his own town band. After his experience with pop music he discovered jazz in 1980 and began his professional career in 1982; first attending the Siena Seminars and then recording for the RAI (Italian State Radio and Television) under the direction of Bruno Tommaso (Radio 3 'Un certo discorso').
In 1984 he graduated in trumpet studies at the Conservatory of Cagliari (Sardinia) after studying under M Enzo Morandini and attended the University of Musical and Performing Arts in Bologna (DAMS). That same year he received numerous awards, among them: the Radio Uno Jazz award by RAI; the Arrigo Polillo award from the Musica Jazz magazine; and in August 1985 he received the RadioCorriere TV prize and the Citta di Alassio prize. Since then he has always been first in the Top Jazz polls of the magazine Musica Jazz both as best artist as well as group leader, or thanks to his own recording production.
In 1990 he won the prize Top Jazz 1990 as best Italian musician, best group (the Paolo Fresu Quintet) and best record (Live in Montpellier). While in 1991 he received a public acknowledgement from the President of the Regional Council of Sardinia for his own artistic activity and since then many other awards have been given to him, both coming from musical as well as from cultural departments in general (Prize Citta di Ozieri 1996; Prize Concorso Golfo degli Angeli/Lyons di Cagliari 1996; Prize Accademia Mozart in Taranto, 1996; Prize "Roma c'e 2002"; Prize "Banari Arte 2003" and many others). Important highlights are the "Freedom of the city of Nuoro" (2001) and the same honour for Junas (France) (2003).
He has taught Musical Education at the Scuole Medie Statali and for more than fifteen years he has been actively involved in the didactic aspects of his art.
Since 1985 he has been a teacher at the Siena Jazz International Seminars and by the Nuoro Seminars; and since 1993 he has held the EEC specialization courses of Siena Jazz. Moreover, from 1987 to 1991 he has been a teacher at the courses of the Jazz University of Terni. From 1988 he has taught at the CPM of Siena jazz; from 1990 to 1995 he taught at the San Lazzaro courses and from 1993 to 1994 at the Th. Monk Courses in Vicenza.
He held courses and Master Classes in various Italian cities as well as abroad. Among them: Pordenone, Palermo, Bari, Matera, Pisa, Segni, Sassari, Cagliari, Porto Torres, Ozieri, Brescia, Siracusa, Marsala, Benevento, Accademia Chigiana in Siena (Contemporary Music Course by F. Donatoni), Atlanta (Georgia States and Georgia Teach University), Boston (Berkley School), Melbourne (Victoria School of Arts), Pecking (Conservatory of Music), Nijmegen (Holland), Eilat (Israel), Martinica (France/DOM), Sevilla (Spain), Grand Junction (Mesa State College - Colorado, USA) and Chicago (Nortwestern University of Illinois, USA).
He has played periodically in Contemporary Music orchestral groups (M. Nyman, G. Schiaffini, R. Laneri, P.L. Castellano, T. Popoli, M. Dalpane, T. Calvisi, A. Doro), Ritmo-Sinfonica and the RAI Orchestras, as well as in the Big Band of Mario Raia, in the Orchestra of the Barga International Competition, in the G.O.N. - Grande Orchestra Nazionale Italiana and in antique music groups (Accordone). He works moreover with the "Orchestra jazz della Sardegna", the "Chicago Orchestra" directed by Bill Russo, the "Orchestra Civica of Milan", who - during 2003 - dedicated to him a large retrospective and the "Nohuslan Big Band" from Sweden, directed by Lars Jansson.
He works as a journalist by various music magazines and has held radio broadcast for the RAI. He also writes for the theatre: having often collaborated with the Spanish mime Joan Minguell; with the 5th Inner Voices (Alghero, 1986); Oltre (Beyond) (Cagliari, 1986); Mamut (Barcelona, 1987); Concerto per un attore (Concert for only one actor) (Salerno 1988); Sfera (Sphere) (Barcelona/Sitges, 1990); in duo with Furio di Castri in Sotto il sole di Mezzogiorno in una terra austera e dura (Under the midday sun in a harsh and austere land) (Bologna, 1993); Urlo (Scream) (Nuoro/Cagliari, 1993) under the direction of Marco Gagliado; Interazione (Interaction) in trio with A. Salis and Furio di Castri in Sant'Anna Arresi (1997); he has also worked with the poet Patrizia Vicinelli and with Joan Minguell by putting on stage Majakowski, the 13th Apostle produced by Michele Schiavino performing it in various poetic Festivals (Parma '88, Salerno '89, Milan '89, Spoleto - the two World Festival '89); once again with Furio di Castri and the American poet Al Young in Jazz and Poetry/Milan '97. Dated 1999 is the edition by Bompiani of the Rap di fine Millennio (End of the millenium rap) by the poet Lello Voce and the meeting with the writer Stefano Benni for Sconcerto together with the cello player Paolo Damiani and also with the writer Massimo Carlotto about the project 'Le Irregolari'. In 2000, he collaborated with the theatre Company "Actores Alidos" from Cagliari and their version of "Medea". In 2001, he collaborated with the Irish poet J. Montague and in 2002 there were collaborations with writers Marcello Fois and Flavio Soriga and. In 2003, he collaborated with the actress Piera degli Esposti (Crucifixus Festival) and the actor Paolo Rossi (Berchidda/Time in Jazz Festival)-
He also collaborates dancing performances: Verdi Colline (Green Hills) by Paolo Damiani (Rome, 1984); A Mar Mediterraneo by Flavia Buccero-Movimentinactor (Pisa-Sassari, 1993) and Ogni donna una sera diversa (Every woman a different night) (Turin, 1994) by Giorgio Rossi/Sosta Palmizi together with Furio di Castri; Anaglifo by Roberto Zapppala-Balletto di Sicilia (Sicily Ballet) (Messina, 1996/97); and Janas (Sassari, 1997) performed for the Chamber Orchestra of Bologna; the Internos Quartet, the singer Tomasella Calvisi and the Su Cuncordu 'e su Rosariu choirs for the ASMED with the choreography by Enrica Palmieri and the arrangements by Claudio Scannavini.
He has taken part in the live accompaniment of some films: among these: La Fanciulla di Amalfi composed by Paolo Fresu Quintet commissioned by the Midnight Movie Festival of Salerno (1989); Rapsodia Satanica for the Musica e Immagine Laboratory of the University of Bologna; Ossi di seppia and Le eta della vita for the Nuoro and San Lazzaro courses; Silent Movie by Mel Brooks in Matera (1992); Regen by J. Ivens for CinemaZero in Pordenone; Una giornata in Barbagia and Pastori a Orgosolo by Vittorio de Seta for the Nuoro Seminars (1996); Fievre by Louis Delluc for the Dunkerque film Festival (1998) as well as others (short films by Melieu, Man Ray, Lumiere and others) in duo with Furio di Castri.
He has also used other artistic means (painting, sculpture, installations, video, etc.) with various groups collaborating with artists such as P. Sciola, T. Casula and F. Piras, S. Ravo, P. Cossio Gomez, Ben Djab Ahmed, S. Benni or getting inspiration from Sardinian artists such as the sculptor Costantino Nivola (Nuoro/Orani, 1994) and the speaker/intellectual Pietro Casu (Time in Jazz/Berchidda, 1995).
In the field of the image, to be remembered are the sound tracks for Naufraghi del desiderio produced by RAI under the direction of M. Schirru (1993); One Absolutely Normal Day in East Berlin by Roberto Tarallo (Turin/Berlin, 1992) sound track composed together with Flavio Piras (1996); I semi di pietra (1999) by Pinuccio Sciola with Pierre Favre and La Valle del Tirso (1999) by Bianca Laura Petretto and the Vietnamese guitar player Nguyen Le, sound track by Fresu with Salis and Di Castri.
Dated 1994 is Sonos 'e memoria about the Sardinian cine-news of the '20s, directed by Gianfranco Cabiddu and the collaboration of the most well known musicians belonging to the Sardinian tradition (Luigi Lai, Elena Ledda, Su Cuncordu 'e Su Rosariu of Santulussurgiu and others) with its presence to the Mostra del Cinema in Venice (1995) with several tournees in France, Belgium, Brasil and Argentina; Scalabrun always with Furio di Castri and recorded at 1750 meters of altitude; In viaggio con Patrizia by Alberto Grifi. Moreover he has taken part as soloist in the sound track of the film Il figlio di Bakunin (1987) by the director Gianfranco Cabiddu and produced by Giuseppe Tornatore and the sound track of the film Il Prezzo directed by Rolando Stefanelli and recorded with the Paolo Fresu Quintet in 1999. In 2002 is signed by Fresu (with Dhafer Youssef, Teo Ciavarella and Sonia Peana) the original soundtrack of the TV-movie "Operazione Kebab" filmed by Enrico Carlesi. Moreover, in 2003, are important points the nomination of his soundtrack for the movie "Il piu crudele dei giorni" (Ferdinando Vicentini Orgnani) presented for "Cannes Movie Festival Nastri d'argento" prize and the soundtrack of "L'Isola", filmed by Costanza Quatriglio inserted in the "quinzaine des realizateurs", always for Cannes Movie Festival.
Since 1988 he has directed the artistic lines of the International Festival Time in Jazz of Berchidda and in 1994 he has created the European Competition for young jazz groups Eurojazz in the town of Oristano. He is also the artistic director of the Jazz Seminars in Nuoro, since 1989 and of the connected festival "Jazz a Nuoro", in which was involved several times with some multimedial events ("Ossi di Seppia", "Mingusiana", "Vorrei essere un Melograno", "Take the "Green" Train"', "Deledda, i linguaggi di un Secolo", "Lollove - Il Village del Jazz", "Musicaquatica"). In 2002 and 2003, he was art director of "Massimo Urbani Prize" in Urbisaglia.
Since 1983 he has steadily appeared in the following groups: P. Damiani, R. Ottaviano, T. Ghiglioni, B. Tommaso, G. Tommaso, M. Cafiero, E. Rava, A. Romano and others. He directs at the moment, besides his own quintet (with Tino Tracanna, Roberto Cipelli, Attilio Zanchi and Ettore Fioravanti) sometimes sextet with the presence of GL. Trovesi or the Belgian Erwin Vann, the Duo Fresu-Di Castri; the Open Trio (with Di Castri and John Taylor); the P.A.F. Trio (Fresu.Salis.Di Castri); the quartet still with Di Castri plus the Norwegian pianist Jon Balke and the Swiss drum-percussionist Pierre Favre and the Paolo Fresu Angel Quartet (with Nguyen Le, Furio di Castri and Roberto Gatto) sometimes together with the singer Ornella Vanoni, the pianist Jon Balke or the accordion player Antonello Salis. He moreover steadily works with the Palatino Quartet (Ferris, Romano, Fresu, Benita); the Celtic Procession with J. Pellen; the Marchand-Pellen-Fresu Trio; the Contes du Viet-nam of the guitarist Nguyen Le; the Internos Quartet, the Treya Quartet about Gabriel Faure's music with the australian piano player Peter Waters and the Tanit group performing with them an intense activity in Italy and abroad. Heartland is a 1999 project carried out with D. Linx, D. Wiessels, P. Danielsson, J. Christensen and the Strings Orchestra. Very important are the collaboration with the "Blue Note Orchestra della Sardegna" around the Gunther Schuller re-transcripted music of "Porgy and Bess" following the Gil Evans and Miles Davis version of the opera signed by George Gershwin and the collaboration with the local Orchestra of Vicenza: with this orchestra he performed "Sketches of Spain" under the direction of Maria Schneider in the magic atmosphere of the oldest "Teatro Olimpico" of Vicenza, the oldest indoor roman theatre in the world, builded by Andrea Palladio. More than this, the new "Devil Quartet" with Bebo Ferra, Paolino Dalla Porta and Morten Lund and several important collaborations with Roberto Cipelli, GianMaria Testa, Dhafer Youssef (in duo or in the new trio with the Norwegian guitar player Eivind Aarset), the saxophone quartet "Sax Four Fun", and with the pianists Alain Jean-Marie, Bojan Zulfikarpasic, Nico Morelli, Michel Grailler and Uri Caine.
His list of collaborations includes such Italian musicians as F. d'Andrea, G.L. Trovesi, G. Gaslini, E. Rava, B. Tommaso, A. Salis, G. Tommaso, M. Urbani, E. Pieranunzi, M. Giammarco, P. Damiani, G. Manusardi, T. Ghiglioni and others and European and American ones such as K. Berger, K. Wheeler, J. Taylor, D. Liebman, D. Holland, Ph. Woods, M. Mengelberg, H. Benning, T. Oxley, D. Humair, A. Romano, P. Favre, Tamia, G. Mulligan, B. Brookmayer, A. Mangelsdorf, J. Zorn, P. Danielsson, R. Beirach, A. Lande, J. Abercrombie, H. Merril, J. Christensen, G. Ferris, J. Bergonzi, C. Bauer, J. Kuhn, A. Pinho Vargas, Farafina, M. Portal, R. Galliano, Jon Balke, R. Towner, T. Gurtu, G. Shuller, Jeanne Lee, D. Linx, D. Wissels, JM. Machado, Riccardo del Fra, L. Jansson, Jim Hall, Lew Soloff, P. McCandless as well as others; plus some European Orchestras such as the French Orchestre Nationale de Jazz (Paris/Olympia and Turin/Lingotto), the NDR - Orchestra of the Hamburg Radio (Pecking) and the italian Instabile Orchestra.
He has played in the most important Italian and International Festivals, in all the continents and in prestigious places such as the Olimpya and the Salle Pleyel in Paris; the Blue Note in New York or in the Konzerthall in Wien. In the fall of 2003, he was invited to play in the "Music Biennale" of Venezia directed by Uri Caine. He has recorded more than 220 albums, about thirty of which by his own name, the others with international collaborations. He has taken part in mixed recording projects such as Ethnic jazz-music (Cordas et Cannas, Tanit, Sardegna oltre il mare, Nguyen Le, Trilok Gurtu, Jorge Pardo, Sonos 'e Memoria, Trasmigrazioni, Soriba Kouyate); New Age (Popoli/Dal Pane, P.P. Marocco, Alice) and Poetry (Minguell/Vicinelli/Al Young/Voce) and pop music (Ornella Vanoni, Ivano Fossati, Vinicio Capossela). Many are the recordings for the Italian and International Radios and Televisions (in 1990, he has produced Risultanze for the AudioBox-Radio Tre in Matera; in 1992, the week of the European jazz award for the German Radio in Baden Baden, and in 2000 the 'Nordic Meeting 2000' for Swedish Radio in Gotebourg).
It is always in 1996 that in Pescara the first world performance of Porgy and Bess by Miles Davis and Gil Evans are commissioned to him, under the direction of Gunter Schuller and he recorded this opera in 2000 in Sassari with the Orchestra jazz della Sardegna. Other important commission (in 2002) related with the "mediterranean sound" is the project called "Ethnographie", dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the IRSE (Regional Ethnographic Museum of Sardinia). As a producer he works for the record Argilla by Ornella Vanoni (1997) for the Warner/CGD together with Beppe Quirici and in the fall of 2003 he was the art-director of "Canzoni-Poesie del Novecento", one of the biggest events of the german Ruhr-KulturTriennale.
In 2000 he won the prize Top Jazz 2000 of the magazine Musica Jazz as best record Shades of Chet recorded with the trumpet player Enrico Rava.
Some of his compositions have been published in the book The first 63 jazz compositions by artists recording for Splasc(h) and in the book 49 Compositions edited by Senz'H are included all Paolo Fresu Quartet and Sextet compositions from 1984 until 1994.
He lives in Paris, the Tosco-Emiliano Apennine near Bologna and Sardinia and is the President of the Cultural Association Time In Jazz in Berchidda, which organizes the homonymous Jazz Festival as well as other important cultural events.
Ostinato (1985); Paolo Fresu Quintet /D. Liebman: Inner Voices (1986); Mamut (1987); Qvarto (1988); t Live in Montpellier (1990); Ossi di Seppia (1991); Ballads (1992); Live in Lugano (1992); Ensalada Mistica (1994); I Disertori (1994); Night on the City (1995); Onyx jazz Club (1995); Trasmigrazioni (1996); Utopia 6 X 30 (1996); Wanderlust (1997); Angel (1998); Metamorfosi (1999); The Italian Years (1999); Melos (2000); Porgy and Bess (2001); Kind of Porgy and Bess (2002); Here be changes made (2002); Scores! (2003)
Fresu-Di Castri-Tattara: Opale (1989); Artisti vari (Fresu-Cossu): Mi ritorni in mente (1990);
Fresu-Di Castri: Evening Song (1991); Fresu-Minguell-Vicinelli Maiakowski: il 13 Apostolo (1991); Fresu-Di Castri: Urlo (1994); Fresu-Di castri-Taylor: Contos (1995); Fresu-Balke-Taylor-Di Castri: Mythscapes (1995); Palatino Palatino (1996); Fresu-Salis-Di Castri-Piras: The Hands (1996); Fresu-Pellen-Marchand/Texier Condaghes (1998); Palatino Tempo (1998);Trio P.A.F. Live in Capodistria (1999); Enrico Rava-Paolo Fresu: Shades of Chet (1999); Fresu-Di Castri: Fellini (2000); Palatino Palatino: Chap. 3 (2001); Sonos e Memoria: Sonos e Memoria (2001); D. Linx-D. Wissels-P. Fresu: Heartland (2001); Enrico Rava: Enrico Rava Play M. Davis (2002); Various Artists: Pasajes/Passages (2002)
Roberto Ottaviano Sextet: Aspect (1993); Paolo Damiani: Live in Roccella Jonica (1985), Musica mu(n)ta Orchestra Anninnia (1989), Roccellanea (1993), Damiani Opus Music Ensemble Flash Back (1993), Wheeler-Fresu-Taylor-Oxley-Wistone-Damiani
Paolo Damiani ESO: ESO (1994); Giovanni Tomasso: Via G.T. (1986), To Chet (1988), Third Step (1998); Aldo Romano: Ritual (1988), To be Ornette to be (1990), Dreams and Waters (1992); Canzoni (1993); Non Dimenticar (1993), Prosodie (1995); Alice: Il sole nella pioggia (1989), Mezzogiorno sulle Alpi (1992), Sharade (1995), Viaggio in Italia (2003); Ornella Vanoni: Sheherazade (1995), Argilla (1997), ...Adesso (1999), Un panino una birra eppoi (2001); Nguyen Le: Tales from Viet-nam (1996), Nguyen Le Maghren & Friends (1998), Bakida (2000); Huong Thanh/ Nguyen Le: Moon and Wind (1999), Dragonfly (2001); Roberto Cipelli: Moona Moore (1989); Tino Tracanna: 292 (1990); Attilio Zanchi: Early Spring (1997); Cosmo Intini/Gary Bartz: Mu favorite Roots (1990); Big Bang Orch./Ph. Woods: Embraceable you (1990); Tanit: Tanit (1990); Tiziana Ghiglioni Tenco Project (1994); Vinicio Capossela Camera a sud (1994); Valentina Casula: This is Always (1995); Michel Portal: Cinemas (1995); Giorgio Gaslini/Ensemble Mobile: Jelly's Back in Town (1996); Trilok Gurtu: The Glimpse (1997); The Treya Quartet: Gabriel (1998); Jens Thomas: Play Ennio Morricone (1999)
Videos and films:
'Paolo Fresu' di Rolando Stefanelli/Italie 1997
'La Sarditude de Paolo Fresu' di Pascal Vannier/France 3/France, Maggio 1999
'Jazz Time in Berchidda' di Gianfranco Cabiddu/RaiSat-Maganos/Italie 1999
'Paolo Fresu - Un Italiano a Parigi' di Serena Laudisa/RaiSat/Italie 2000
'Jazz e dintorni: Un giorno con... Paolo Fresu' di Francesco Conversano e Nene Grignaffini/Stream/Italie 2001
Books of sheet music edited by Fresu:
The first 63 jazz compositions by artist recording for Splasc(h) Senz'H Edizioni 1989/Italy
Parole e Musica Orsara Musica 1990/Italy
49 Composizioni Senz'H Edizioni 1996/Italy
Paolo Fresu si racconta - I protagonisti del jazz italiano (in italian et englais)
Archivio di Nuova Scrittura - Milano 1996/Italy
www.timeinjazz.it (Festival Time in jazz)
1984: Premio Radio Uno Jazz 'first young italian musician'
1985: Awards Radio Corriere TV 'first young italian musician'
1990: Musica Jazz pool: first italian musician, first record (Live in Montpellier- Paolo Fresu Quintet - Splasc(h) Records), first group (Paolo Fresu Quintet)
1996: Accademie du Jazz Paris 'Prix Bobby Jaspar' (European Musician) for 'Night on the City' record (Paolo Fresu Quintet - OWL/EMI 1996) (France)
1996: Chok Jazzman 'Night on the City' record (France)
1996: Django D'Or 'First european musician' (France)
http://members.aol.com/Jazmusprod (official management)
www.pannonica.it (official management)
www.paolofresu.it (official website)