Composition is the soul of music

Marco de Tilla deepens his musical studies under the guidance of numerous teachers, including Rino Zurzolo, Ermanno Calzolari, Furio Di Castri, Piero Leveratto, Dario Deidda. He teaches jazz double bass for many years at the Conservatories of Naples and Potenza and works as a teacher with Ismez (National Institute for Musical Development in Southern Italy). He takes part to several workshops and master classes with internationally renowned musicians such as Dave Holland, Larry Grenadier, Bruno Tommaso, Paul Jeffrey, Scott Colley, Dick Oatts, Antonio Sanchez, Danilo Rea, Franco D'Andrea, Paolo Fresu, Maurizio Giammarco etc. He usually plays in different bands, from the trio to the big band, also collaborating with well-known musicians including Antonio FaraĆ², Norma Winstone, Paolo Fresu, Sarah Jane Morris, Chuck Findley, Javier Girotto, Emanuele Cisi, David Alan Gross, Andrea Pozza, Roberto Gatto, Adam Rudolph, Gabriele Mirabassi, Don Moye, Nico Gori, Maurizio Giammarco, John Arnold, Flavio Boltro. He recorded about forty jazz albums as sideman and three of his own: "A Little Present", "By the Waves" and "Suoni Italiani". His name is often present in exhibitions and festivals in Italy and abroad. He plays for example in New York (USA), Damascus and Aleppo (SYRIA), Berlin (GERMANY), Calcutta, New Delhi and Bangalore (INDIA), Prishtina (KOSSOVO), Marseilles (FRANCE) and lots of italian cities. Recently he performed at the ICCR, Kolkata as a part of the Giuliana Soscia Indo Jazz Project.

When did you start playing your instrument and what or who were your early passions or influences?

I started to play piano at age of 8. At 16, I started to play electric bass and to play rock with some school friends. When I was 18, music became the most important thing in my life: together with my teacher Rino Zurzolo (bassist of the great Neapolitan singer Pino Daniele) we decide to let me try the double bass, and I fell in love with the instrument..

Which project or moment was the turning point in your professional life?

My professional life has been always full of many different bands and musicians. I rpredominantly played Jazz from the beginning of my career. I used to play every day with somebody and to know more musicians as possible...and after so many years its still the same for me.

            Royal Thai Consulate General, Kolkata
What do improvisation and composition mean to you?

Composition is the soul of music. A good composition makes everything wonderful...and it can also change the life of a person. A composition is like a landscape and it can be breathless. The improvisation is what you do in front of that landscape. So it can means good things if you, for example, loving a woman in that time. Or means bad things if you are left behind by her. So the improvisation is what do you do with a composition, what it means for you.

What do you think of the current jazz music scenario?

I love the actual New York jazz scene. All the musicians like Gerald Clayton, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gretchen Parlato (just to name a few) are continuing to evolve that music. I think jazz is still now live more than ever and are growing up strong in the new generations.

What would your advice be for double bass students in approaching a new classical piece? 

My advice is to look and study to the "less important" things: to work well on every breath, on every single note. The key is to be patients and constants, without being in a hurry to become somebody. Another advice is to find your way to love the study in a musical way, instead to study scales and exercise without sense.

Can you tell us about future projects you are currently working on?

There is a project with my wife, a very good singer, in which we play Italian and Neapolitan songs in a jazz-soul way. Her name is Virginia Sorrentino. You can listen something here:


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