The Language Of Jazz.



Enrico Zanisi got the classical degree in piano with the highest mark(10 cum laude). He was awarded the first prize in many music competitions and from the age of 8 he began playing chamber music. His interest in jazz music started at the age of 15; he attended many jazz clinics around Italy studying with K. Werner, J. Calderazzo, L. Grenadier, P. Markowitz, M. Stamm and other great American and Italian musicians.

He has played with several musicians: Sheila Jordan, David Liebman, Andy Sheppard, Stefano Di Battista, Giovanni Tommaso, Francesco Cafiso, Ares Tavolazzi, Roberta Gambarini, Fabrizio Bosso, Anthony Pinciotti, Palo Fresu, Sarah Jane Morris and many others. With his trio he played in some of the most important Festival in Italy (Umbria Jazz, European Jazz Expo, MITO, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Casa del Jazz, Bergamo Jazz, Vicenza Jazz, Trieste Loves Jazz), and in Europe (12 Points in Dublin, Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw, Edimburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, Islay Jazz Festival, Albania, Garana Jazz Festival in Romenia, Oslo, London, Katowice, Rejika,). He also played in Rabat and at the Tanjazz Festival in Tangeri (Morocco), at the Tabarka Jazz Festival (Tunisia), at the International New Dehli Jazz Festival and at the Blue Frog in Mumbay (India), at the Heineken Jazz Festival in San Juan (Portorico) in Harare (Zimbabwe), in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (Istrael), Brasil and Mexico. Recently, he performed at the Jazz Fest 2016 which was held at the  Dalhouse Institute, Kolkata.


What first attracted you to piano?

My parents are both classical musicians and we had an upright piano at home my mother used to teach with. I started playing that piano just for fun when I was 5 and then I began taking lesson with a teacher.

What was the motivation for you to study Jazz?

I started playing jazz when I was 15 because I had the opportunity to listen to an incredible album by Oscar Peterson. I got completely in love with that music so I decided to understand more about it.

Who has musically influenced you the most ?

I have been influenced by many great musicians and composers like J. S. Bach, F. Chopin, C. Debussy, M. Ravel, I. Stravinsky, Art Tatum, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, T. Monk, J. Coltrane, Glenn Gould, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Dream Theater, Radiohead, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli etc...


How do you see the character and the role of piano in the Jazz world?

The piano is one of the most played instruments in jazz, and has had an essential role in this music. Now that jazz is played worldwide with lots of different instruments, piano can be seen as less important but to me still is. I suggest all the musicians to study and play a little bit of piano.


Rhythmical, melodical or harmonical?

All of them, but most of all harmonical.

During your career you played and performed with many artists from different countries.What was your most memorable gig or tour and why?


This year I played in a small jazz festival near Cape North, Norway. It was incredible to see that the sun never went down, we had sun for seven days, night and day.


One school says learn jazz by ear. Transcribe great solos by jazz masters. The other school says the basics can be learned in a classroom from method books. What are your thoughts?

I studied jazz with a great pianist and teacher in Rome, and I remember I transcribed many solos and did lots of homework. Then he also told me I had to go to the jam sessions and playing with other musicians, sharing music together because jazz is a music language you have to learn by playing it. So I guess both things are right.

What do you feel are the most important things for an aspiring jazz musician to spend their time practicing?

I would still prefer to play along the greatest jazz records, practicing the language by jazz masters. Then I would just try to forgot what I learned and try to improve my own skills, because you can't be Charlie Parker today, but you have to be yourself.

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