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Roberta Gambarini: Making Listeners Fall 'So In Love'

By Published: October 12, 2009

Gambarini toured much of the summer with the Roy Hargrove big band in Europe and is part of a Dizzy Gillespie birthday celebration at New York City's Blue Note in late October. Her schedule is heavy throughout the year, including dates overseas.

"I have a lot of future desires. It's a matter of organizing the schedule," says Gambarini. "I would like to work more with Paquito D'Rivera

Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
. (A few years ago) we had started putting together songs for a project, which would have some Cuban songs—kind of an eclectic mix. But we didn't have the time because we were both all over the world. I want to try to get together with him again and talk about that project.

"Generally, I would like to do more music from Latin America. By that I mean boleros, Cuban music, especially the romantic, melodic songs of those areas. I love also Argentinean music, mostly tango and Astor Piazzolla

Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
1921 - 1992
, so who knows."

At the Umbria Jazz Winter festival, between Christmas and New Year's Eve, she is involved in a program doing Italian songs from between the 1950s and 1960s, "songs that have a heavy influence of American music and standards. They can work well in a jazz context. It's going to be fun."

"It's a dream come true," she says, looking back again at her dreams to become a singer and how things have come to pass. "The main thing that really shocks me every time is ... I was at the Hollywood Bowl last week. It was big band night and I was singing both with Roy Hargrove's big band and the Dizzy All-Stars big band. I was up there on stand with James Moody, Jimmy Heath

Jimmy Heath
Jimmy Heath
sax, tenor
, Claudio Roditi
Claudio Roditi
Claudio Roditi
—all people I used to go and see. It's a great experience. I went to see James Moody with my parents when I was 9. That's still the greatest thing. I still have to pinch myself. It's all really incredible."

Granted, but it's all well earned.

Selected Discography

Roberta Gambarini, So In Love (Groovin' High/Emarcy, 2009)
Roy Hargrove, Emergence (Groovin' High/Emarcy, 2009)
Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, I'm BeBoppin' Too (Half Note Records, 2009)
Roberta Gambarini, You Are There (Groovin' High/Emarcy, 2007)
Roberta Gambarini, Easy to Love (Groovin' High, 2006)

Photo Credits

Page 1: John Kelman

All Other Photos: Courtesy of Groovin' High Records

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