Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Tonolo, Pietro (Guido)

Tonolo, Pietro (Guido), tenor saxophonist; b. Mirano (Venice), Italy, 30 May 1959. His father's parents were Guido Tonolo born in Mirano (1883-1949) and Giuseppina De Dona, born in Spinea (1886-1970); his mother's parents: Fridolin Herzog born in Zurich (c.1891-1976) and Caterina Giovanna Ivanovich born in Venice (1895-1973). His father's uncle (Severino Tonolo) played bass flugelhorn and cello as an amateur. His father born 28 Nov. 1919 in Mirano, mother born in Venice, April 1923; his siblings, all born in Mirano, are Paolo (1953-1954; died in infancy), Marcello (6 Jan 1955; jazz pianist), Caterina born 13 Oct 1957.

He started classical piano lessons at 5, switched to violin at 8 till 1977, privately for five years, then at the conservatory of Padova. He became interested in jazz in the early 1970s and began tenor saxophone in 1975. His first favorites were Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Coltrane, and most lasting influences were Sonny Rollins, Sal Nistico, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Joe Henderson, Thelonious Monk. He learned many solos by them, Lester Young and Don Byas.

Moving to Milan in 1979, he worked with Franco D'Andrea, Luigi Bonafede, Gianni Cazzola quartet (with Fulvio Sisti and Marco Vaggi), Larry Nocella, Massimo Urbani, Guido Manusardi. From 1981 to 1986 he was often a member of Enrico Rava's group. In the summer of 1982 he played for the Gil Evans Orchestra's Italian tour, and at Sweet Basil in New York in 1984/85 and at the Umbria Jazz Festival in 1987. In 1983 he began leading groups, mostly with Luigi Bonafede on drums, Piero Leveratto on bass and Sandro Gibellini on guitar and worked with Kenny Clarke, Sal Nistico, Chet Baker (in New York at Lush life in 1985), Lee Konitz, John Surman, George Lewis, Joe Chambers, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland and Steve Swallow. In 1986 he began an ongoing association with the Roman pianist Rita Marcotulli in a duet and a quartet with Enzo Pietropaoli and Roberto Gatto, including in spring 1988 concerts in North Carolina.

Since 1988, he has worked with Henri Texier's group in France, Italy, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Martinique, Santo Domingo, Trinidad, Israel, Syria and Egypt. Around then he also began working with Enrico Pieranunzi (concerts in Italy and in Germany: Hamburg 92 and Leverkusen 95), Giovanni Tommaso, and playing and writing for the big band Keptorchestra and the sax quartet Arundo Donax. He regularly performs at Umbria jazz and other Italian festivals including Clusone 87 with Peter King, Stan Tracey, Furio Di Castri on bass, Clarke Tracey, playing Monk's music. He has played with various groups at festivals in Berlin, Warsaw, Nice, Paris, Vienna, Amiens, The Hague, Ankara, Izmir and Tel Aviv. He has often appeared on television and radio broadcast.

His daughter Zoe was born in Venice 1995 January 17 (her mother Cecilia Poli, has been his wife since September 1 1997). His sister's daughter Anna was born in Mirano June 3 1996.

Quartet, Quintet, Sextet (1985); Un Altra Galassia (1987); Slowly (1991); Simbiosi (1995); Amigdala (1997); Un Veliero All1orizzonte (1997); Disguise (1997); Monologues Solo Sax (1997)
As sideperson:
Guido Manusardi: A Bridge Into The New Generation (1981); Enrico Rava: Andanada (1983); The Band Reunion: Flight Charts & Plans (1988); The Big Band Keptorchestra: Keptorchestra (1992); Joe Chambers: Alliance (1993); Giovanni Tommaso: Over The Ocean (1993); Henri Texier and Aldo Romano: Tresse (1993); The Big Band Keptorchestra: Sweet Sixteen featuring Steve Lacy (1994); Gap Band: Tribute To Nino Rota (1995); Marcello Tonolo: Music On Poetry: Days (1995); The Sax Quartet Arundo Donax:  C1era Una Volta (1996); Giovanni Tommaso: Strane Stelle Strane (1996); The Big Band Keptorchestra: Miss Etna featuring Joe Lovano (1996); Steve Swallow: Ricercar Scintille (1997)

Contact information:
Pietro Tonolo, castello 5176 
30122 Venezia (Italy)
telefax 0039 (0)41 5227768
e-mail tutord@tin.it

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