Piano Endeavors

                                                                      Pic Courtesy - www.ceccarelligiovanni.com

Giovanni Ceccarelli is an Italian pianist, composer, arranger and artistic producer. His numerous musical projects vary from piano solo to quartet, from jazz to songwriting, from concerts to performances and live soundtracks. Giovanni has released nine albums as leader or co-leader, one of which was nominated for the “Latin Grammy Awards”. Giovanni Ceccarelli, was part of the trio of musicians ( Marcello Allulli (sax), Giovanni Ceccarelli (piano) and Matteo Fraboni (drums)), who have composed and played live for the cine concert, around the film 'Cenere' (Ashes), which was screened & performed at the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata.


                                                   Pic Courtesy - Amlan Biswas
How did you start playing piano?

I started playing piano at the age of 7, when my best school friend encouraged me to take piano lessons with him in my hometown. I grew up in a musical environment, because my father loves music: he listened to all styles of music, organized chamber music concerts, and practiced different musical instruments.

Who and what do you consider to be your musical influences?

I love listening to music and my tastes are very wide and diverse, including jazz, chamber and symphonic, baroque, classical Indian, Brazilian, Cuban, folk, pop, rock music, and more. Certainly my music listening shaped the way I feel, conceive, play, and compose music. The pianists I truly love are Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Tom Jobim, Dr. John, Glenn Gould, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. Other very important influences in my way of making music are certainly the Beatles, João Gilberto, Miles Davis, and Johann Sebastian Bach.


                                                  Pic Courtesy - www.ceccarelligiovanni.com
You have released several albums. How do you decide what to put on an album?  Do you wait for inspiration to knock you upside the head or do you sit down and say, “It’s time to work on some new music”?

I prefer working on specific musical projects, rather than just assembling a series of tunes. Each album is for me a coherent work, starting from which musicians to involve, in what direction to go concerning the music to compose and/or arrange where to record, and so on. It is never a cerebral process which brings me to releasing an album, but rather a special encounter, or a strong wish to collaborate with some musician, or the will to put on a record some music that I have been performing.

                                                 Pic Courtesy - www.ceccarelligiovanni.com
I have found it really interesting that many of the composers I know have very different processes when it comes to naming their pieces. How do you do it?

Usually I first compose the music, and then I make a home recording of it. At this point I sit down and listen, and suddenly the music evokes a place, a feeling, a person, a concept, or a state of mind. The right title comes up easily at this point.


What has been the most memorable project for you so far?

I feel very happy and grateful for having the chance to play with some wonderful musicians and human beings, and for taking part in some very special groups and projects. Certainly my group InventaRio, which was founded by my friend Ferruccio Spinetti and myself, is a very dear one to me. Our second album in collaboration with the great Ivan Lins was nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in 2014. I also cherish my long time collaboration with my friend Marcello Allulli. Our Live soundtrack to silent movie "Cenere", which we are presenting on tour in
                                   Pic Courtesy - Amlan Biswas
India with Matteo Fraboni, has brought us to performing throughout the world. I also have the chance to collaborate with a great musician, the bandoneon player and composer Daniele di Bonaventura. Our album "Mare Calmo" is my latest one and first to be released as a CD plus a DVD.


What future projects can we look forward to?

I have plenty of projects in my pocket: recording a duo album with Marcello Allulli, group InventaRio's third album, a songbook of original compositions with singer/lyricist Michela Lombardi, plus other remarking recording projects which involve me as a pianist, composer, arranger, and artistic producer.

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