Pianist/accordionist/saxophonist Maurizio Minardi will launch his new CD "Piano Ambulance" at the Vortex on 18th February, and has a number of UK tour dates in the UK in March. Sebastian interiewed him by email:
LondonJazz News: You are originally from Italy?
Maurizio Minardi: I was born in Cosenza (Calabria) and moved to Bologna 25 years ago, where I completed my study and started my musical activity.
LJN: When did you come to London and what inspired the move here?
MM: I moved to London 2008 to find new inspirations in London because it is such a cosmopolitan and multicultural city.
LJN: Do you still spend time in Italy?
MM: I go back to Italy when I can, mainly to join my family and friends
LJN: You are a pianist / accordionist - do you have a first instrument?
MM: My first instrument is piano (I started when I was 7 years old), second instrument is soprano sax (I started to learn 25 years ago) and 3rd instrument is accordion (I started 6 years ago)
LJN: Why the title Piano Ambulance?
MM: The use of live music in hospitals and nursing homes in England is something that still does not exist in Italy. I was very impressed by some experiences which I was involved as a musician. Never as in this case you can 'observe the beneficial effect of music on people. This album focuses more on expressive connotations, seeking to appeal to the listener on an emotional rather than on an intellectual level.
LJN: You imagine things visually?
MM: I have always had a wish to compose for film and adverts...I like to tell story when I compose.
LJN: Who is in the band and what made you choose them ?
MM: Nick Pini double bass, Jason Reeve drums, Shirley Smart cello. They are not just great and solid jazz musicians, but also musicians with extensive experience in many musical genres (from classical to world music, from gipsy to rock). I have recorded 3 albums with them. I met them all in the time since I moved to London
LJN: What else is coming up for you ?
MM: After the CD Launch at Vortex on the 18th February, from March we start a UK tour (so far 10 dates) supported by Arts Council and Jazz Services.
18 Feb Vortex (London N16)
4 Mar Hull Jazz Club (Hull)
5 Mar Queen's Hall Arts (Hexham)
6 Mar Pound Arts (Corsham)
10 Mar Annie's Jazz (Southend)
20 Mar Gateway Arts Centre (Shrewsbury)
27 Mar Key Theatre Studio (Peterborough)
29 Mar Omnibus Arts Centre (London SW4)
LINKS: Maurizio Minardi's website
Vortex Bookings for 18th February pp