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Paolo Fresu

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Biography of Paolo Fresu

Paolo Fresu was born in Sardinia in 1961. He began studying the trumpet at the age of eleven while playing in his town band. Following his experience with pop music he discovered jazz in 1980 and began his professional career in 1982, first attending the Siena seminars and then recording for the RAI (Italian State Radio and Television) led by Bruno Tommaso. In 1994 he graduated in trumpet studies from the Conservatory of Cagliari (Sardinia) after studying under Enzo Morandini and attended the University of Musical and Performing Arts in Bologna (DAMS).

That same year he received numerous awards, among them: the Radio Uno Jazz award by RAI, the Arrigo Polillo award from the Musica Jazz magazine, and in August 1995 received the Radiocorriere TV prize. Since then he has always been at the top in the 'Top Jazz polls' and surveys both as best artist and group leader or best recording artist (in 1990 he was elected the best musician, the Fresu Quintet - best group and Live in Montpellier - the best record). In 1996 he received two news awards in Paris: the Bobby Jaspar prize from the Académie du Jazz and the Django d'Or for best European musician.

Fresu has taught music in a variety of schools and for years has been actively involved in the didactic aspects of his art. Since 1985 he has been a professor at 'Siena Jazz national Seminars' and since 1987 at the Jazz University courses at Terni. Since 1989 he has conducted the winter courses in Siena and seminars in Nuoro. In addition, he has conducted classes in various cities such as Pordenone, Bari, Matera, Pisa, Sassari, Bologna, Vicenza, Brescia, Boston (USA), Atlanta (Georgia, USA), Melbourne (Australia) and Beijing (China).

He has been artistic director of the Time in Jazz festival in Berchidda since 1988, EuroJazz-Concorso internazionale per giovani musicisti europei in Oristano since 1994 and also Jazz Seminary in Nuoro since 1989.

He plays periodically in orchestral groups performing contemporary music by composers such as M. Nyman and G. Schiaffini and he also composes music for the theatre, for poetry, for dance and for Radio/TV/ video and film with past performances at Parma, Salerno, Milano and Spoleto-Festival of Two Worlds.

Paolo Fresu has recorded some 130 albums, eleven of which are under his own name. He has taken part in many innovative recording projects from jazz to popular and new age music. On these albums he has collaborated with many great Italian musicians inclucing D'Andrea, Tommaso, Trovesi, Gaslini, Pieranunzi, Giammarco, Damiani and top European and North American musicans such as K. Wheeler, J. Taylor, D. Liebman, T. Oxley, Trilok Gurtu, D. Humair, A. Mangelldorff, P. Favre, M. Portal, G. Mulligan, D. Holland, Ph. Woods, B. Brookmayer, J. Zorn, P. Daniellson, R. Beirach, J. Abercrombie, T. Gurtu, G. Shuller, N. Winstone etc. He also performs and records with his own ensembles - the Paolo Fresu Quintet and Sextet, Paolo Fresu-Furio di Castri Duo, The Open Trio with Di Castri and J. Taylor, P.A.F. with Furio di Castri and Antonello Salis, Fresu-Di Castri-Balke-Favre and Paolo Fresu Euro4th with the Vietnamese guitarist Nguyên Lê.

He has performed at all of the leading Italian festivals and at festivals in France, USA, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, UK, Poland, Russia, Ireland, Canada, Japan, India, Australia, Africa, Israel, China and Brazil.

His compositions have been published by Senz'H Edizioni in 1989 and 1996 in the First 63 jazz compositions by artists recording for Splasc(h)- and 49 compositions by artists recording for Splasc(h).

Publications include Paolo Fresu si racconta, I protagonisti del jazz italiano (also in English) and Archivio di Nuova Scrittura - Milan 1996

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