"Maverick of Sax-Tech" - Gianni Denitto

Gianni Denitto is a proud artist of Universal Music Italy, Roland Europe, Rampone & Cazzani Italian Handmade Saxophones and ‘One of the best Italian jazz musicians according to the charts of “Musica Jazz” magazine. Gianni Denitto has a wealth of experience in jazz, classical, electronic, sound design and rock music. Gianni completed a Bachelor Degree with honours both in classical music and in jazz after 11 years studying at the Conservatory in Torino, Italy. From 2013 he started traveling around the world playing his solo saxophone performance with electronics, doing jazz concerts with local musicians and teaching in music academies and universities. He also collaborated with the Italian Institute of Culture in Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai and Delhi, Pretoria; Italian Embassy in Beijing and Dakar; Kolkata, Perth and Canton Italian Consulates. Abhijit Ganguly spoke to Gianni about his musical life.
When did you know that you wanted music to be your life?

When I was around 16 years old, I didn't like my regular studies in accountancy; four times a week, during the afternoon I was at the Music Academy to work hard practicing music. Soon some bands started to call me. Soon I had my first concert. It was wonderful, pure adrenaline! So I decided to try choosing the path of becoming a professional musician. It was really hard to realize the dream, many times I had big problems with money and with parents too. But now they are happy.

Over the last decade, we have seen significant usage of technology in music. Your take on that?

I always loved technology and computer music, since 1996. I had my first computer and I tried to compose songs, even without saxophone just with loops and keys etc. I also play piano and guitar. I have collaborated with dancing and acting companies making music for their shows.  Then I focused on jazz music for 6 years. No technology. Now, with the brain on a sofa project, I tried to make a shake of all my experiences in music, and electronic music surely plays a big part of the project.

With all of the locations you have had the opportunity to perform in and different venue types, have you been able to establish a favorite place to perform?

Of course not! Every venue has his own flavour, taste, and it's good to change it. It’s like one day pasta, other day pizza, then rice. I like small venues like clubs, big festival stages, and theatres, non-conventional stages like museums or design spaces.
The main thing is to play in a place where people can focus on the music and enjoy. I hate places where live music is just a background.

Do you have any advice for the multitudes of young saxophone students who are sitting in practice rooms around the globe, wondering what their next move should be?

Charles "Bird" Parker, Jr, American jazz saxophonist is my greatest influence. I would quote him-“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, there’s no boundary line to art. You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”

Apart from working on your albums, you've been busy working in a variety of different collaborations. What interests you in collaborations?
Yes, I like jazz and world music.  I have traveled in many countries, but in Italy there are lots of artists from all over the globe. Actually I am performing a lot with Kora Beat, a quintet half Italian half Senegal (West Africa). Kora is an African harp, it creates sound which is magical. Hoping to bring this project to India!!

What projects are you excited about right now?

I will record one section of my new album, the acoustic trio. It will be a double CD, one acoustic one electronic: Saxophone Double bass and drums. Every song will have a guest artist living in Torino but originally from another country. We will play traditional songs from all over the world, and guest's composition too. In Torino there is also a great tabla player from Manali!

The electronic one will be "Brain on a sofa” like, but I am inviting musician that I met all around the globe to improvise on my music, original music. This new album wants to fix this traveling period of my life.

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