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In memoriam: Alessandro Giachero

In memoriam: Alessandro Giachero
Francesco Martinelli By

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Prematurely departed Italian pianist, composer and teacher...a panorama of inexhaustible creativity.
Only with a very heavy heart one can write an obituary for a young friend and great musician who left this world suddenly, prematurely and unjustly, leaving his colleagues and pupils, but above all his family, in mourning. It will hopefully be useful to leave a trace of his musical contributions and a lead for future listeners.

Softly-spoken, reserved, much loved by colleagues and students, Alessandro Giachero never threw anything in-your-face—not his music, not his presence, nor his massive talents as pianist, composer and orchestra leader. A master of music, but not of self promotion and self marketing, he left his art to be discovered by the listeners. His passing leaves a huge, unredeemable gap not only in Siena Jazz, but in the Italian music scene at large.

Alessandro Giachero was born in 1971 in the northern Italian city of Alessandria, where he completed his classical studies in the city conservatory, obtaining his diploma in 1994. He discovered jazz afterwards when he realised—in his words—that he "could not play the piano without a score in front." This apparently simple but stunning realization sent him on a path of self-research that included participating in the 1999 edition of the Siena Jazz Summer workshop, and studying for a while in Leeds, UK, where he graduated from the Leeds College of Music ,receiving a special prize in Electronic Keyboard. Inspired by the giants of modern jazz piano such as Bill Evans, Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett—especially Jarrett's European and American quartets of the '70s and '80s—Giachero then discovered European jazz, especially Esbjorn Svensson, Bobo Stenson and Jon Balke. A key passage was also studying in Siena with Stefano Battaglia and then obtaining a Master in Jazz Music And Arrangement, at the Florence conservatory.

In 2001 he began to teach at the Siena Jazz. In 2003 he was appointed head of the Jazz University Department, and more recently he also began teaching in Italian conservatories (Cesena and then Bologna).

Among his most prestigious international collaborations there are the William Parker Resonance Quartet (with Hamid Drake and Daniele Malvisi) and the Anthony Braxton Quartet with Antonio Borghini on double bass and Cristiano Calcagnile on drums, which recorded the Standard Quartet Brussels (2006) 6-Cd box set on Amirani Records.

After meeting with bassist Stefano Risso and drummer Marco Zanoli in Siena they established a long standing trio, called T.R.E., that released several albums over a 18-year-long collaboration.

Among his recorded works his latter records, a panorama of inexhaustible creativity, can be recommended: his solo piano album, Preludi Libro Primo (Abeat 2013); the double Cd with T.R.E, augmented by Stefano Battaglia, Horo (Abeat 2014) and two ensemble records: the strings and electronic-based Passio, by the Alessandro Giachero Ensemble (Abeat 2015) and Live in Pisa (Evil Rabbit 2020) by his young band Sonoria, formed with his ex-students from Siena.

Alessandro Giachero died suddenly of an heart attack in Siena on October 20th, 2020. We are left with things unsaid, silences unbroken, and music that will never be played, but these recordings will gave the listeners a glimpse of Alessandro Giachero's gifts to us all.

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