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Dan Kinzelman: Stream of Consciousness


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I like to think of improvisation as problem solving in real time
U.S. born saxophonist and clarinetist Dan Kinzelman first moved to Italy in 2005 and over the last decade has grown to become an ever-present figure in Italy's flowering underground jazz scene thanks to his central role in some of the country's most interesting and original projects: leader of Dan Kinzelman's Ghost, co-founder of collective trio Hobby Horse and its recent expansion into a sextet (Ghost Horse), he is also active as a sideman with projects like the Francesco Ponticelli Quartet and Simone Graziano's Frontal.

All About Jazz: You were born and raised in the United States, but you are now so deeply rooted in the Italian scene that some of us simply think of you as an Italian musician. How did you end up moving here?

Dan Kinzelman: It was simply a series of coincidences that brought me here, which aligned with my desire at that time of my life to throw myself into new experiences as the opportunities presented themselves. While studying for my bachelor's degree I discovered a passion for foreign languages thanks to an introductory course in German. At the same time I was starting to listen to a lot of ECM records in the school's music library, which at the time were not so easy to come by in the USA with the exception of Keith Jarrett and a few others. I'd had access to a handful of ECM records in my father's record collection, but he had practically stopped collecting after meeting my mother, so his collection had slowed drastically in the late 1970s. In any case, I was deeply attracted to what seemed to me like a profoundly different and more mysterious approach to sound as an autonomous musical element, and its influence on compositional and improvisational choices. It felt new to me, even though we are talking about records from the 1970s and 1980s. When I graduated in 2004, I felt like I needed a break from the university, but I felt like I needed a change of scene and lots of time to practice. So I decided to move to Europe, initially Germany because I already had a basic grasp of the language, and because in the meantime, ECM had assumed a mythical status in my mind. In Germany I met Emanuele Maniscalco, and immediately fell in love with his playing. Later that summer, he invited me to Italy to play for the first time, and in the course of the next six months he introduced me to many friends and musicians including Giovanni Guidi. With both Emanuele and Giovanni I felt an immediate and profound friendship, and I returned to Italy several times to tour with both of them. In late 2004, Giovanni was beginning to organize his first project as a leader and wanted me to play winds, but he told me clearly that this would be possible only if I moved from Germany to Italy. So in the spring of 2005 I packed everything I owned and flew from Cologne to Bergamo, first on a tourist visa, then a student visa, then a visa for work as a manservant, and finally now I have an artist visa.

AAJ: You ended up in Foligno, a town of 60,000 inhabitants in central Italy. Can you talk about how and why this happened?

DK: Foligno is Giovanni's hometown, and I'd traveled there for rehearsals during the first few tours with his band. In the summer of 2005 I returned to the city for the first year of the Young Jazz Festival, a festival he directs which has been seminal in helping give credibility and visibility to original projects led by musicians of my own generation. On that occasion, Foligno seemed like a paradise to me: a small town nestled in the green hills of Umbria and filled with enthusiastic young people who organized this beautiful festival, pulsing with vital energy. This sensation, together with my deepening friendship with Giovanni (who also helped me navigate the bureaucracy necessary for my visas), made it an easy choice. In the following years, our musical and artistic relationship blossomed as well, and it's hard for me to imagine how different my musical life would be had I not shared those formative years with him. In addition to all the new music I discovered thanks to him, in the first several years I performed almost exclusively with Giovanni, including my first chances to perform in serious concert venues and festivals. This kind of experience was totally different than the cafe and wedding gigs I had been doing in the US, and I think these opportunities deeply changed the way I thought about my work and my musical goals.

AAJ: I know what you mean. A lot of young musicians are having a hard time finding opportunities to play in serious venues. There is an incredible amount of quality music being made, but it's a hard road for emerging musicians in Italy.

DK: I no longer think of myself as a young musician, and since starting to teach at Siena Jazz in 2016 I have done a lot of thinking about the path my career has taken, and how different it will be for young musicians attempting to break through today. I meet a lot of amazing young musicians in Siena, including a handful of musicians who are already deep into writing and producing outstanding records. The quality of projects among musicians in their mid-20s in Italy is growing at an incredible rate, but unfortunately artistic directors in Italy often seem totally oblivious, or in some cases they don't have the freedom or courage to take the risk of programming unknown artists. The result is that if you don't have someone with serious credibility to whisper your name in the ear of the people who matter, you're out of luck.

There is a gleam of hope in a handful of festivals and clubs in Italy who are working hard to create opportunities and visibility for new bands and less well-known musicians, and when this kind of project is well curated, there is definitely a positive response and a lot of curious young people come out to see shows. There's no shortage of interesting music being made, but promoting and programming it is not easy, and requires courage, intelligence and deep conviction on the part of organizers, as well as long-term support by sponsors and public funds.

I am hopeful that the more cautious or traditional festivals (which, unfortunately, are often the biggest and most 'important' ones) will take note of the groundswell which is happening among some of the more adventurous venues and begin programming younger bands. In my opinion, this is the only hope that we have to gain traction with a younger and more vital audience and regain cultural relevancy.

In the long term, I hope that Italy will invest some serious resources in promoting Italian jazz abroad. Italy has always had plenty of great musicians, but the error in the past has been to promote a tiny handful of the most famous ones, leaving emerging musicians in the cold. This means the vast and active underground remains completely under the radar for most Italians, and for almost all concert programmers around the globe. An excellent example of how this can be done well is Norway, which (to my knowledge) supports emerging bands with tour funding, while commercially successful artists are expected to be self-sufficient.

Unfortunately this tendency to push big names rather than cultivate a plurality of projects and musical directions has a long tradition within Italy as well. There is a lot that could be done to promote critical listening and audience development, but this is work for organizers, artistic directors and promoters, and it takes time and courage. There is so much happening in Italy right now, but nobody knows because most organizers and programmers seem to be following an old model: this can be pretty frustrating to watch, although some things do seem to be changing in recent years.

AAJ: Indeed, it seems like the most common strategy for festivals in Italy is to push one big name in the hope of drawing a huge audience, but this is a dangerous practice. Listeners already know the artist, and thus arrive expecting to receive a known musical product, which they will then compare to their musical expectations. This seems more appropriate in the field of pop music, and the result is a gradual decay in critical listening and the audience's openness and desire for surprise, as well as a loss of interest and apathy on the part of listeners who do want to be stimulated and surprised. But to return to your own work, you explained how you arrived in Italy, but you haven't explained why after living your whole life in the birthplace of jazz, you now find yourself living and working in a country where jazz arrived much more recently and doesn't have a particularly central role. Do you ever regret your decision?

DK: No, I think it would be very hard for me to return the USA now. I didn't know it at the time, but over the years I have realized that I found something here that I was seeking desperately: a work environment that allows me to nurture and invest in projects in the long term. It's hard for me to imagine how any of my bands could have survived the first year or two in the USA. I have no doubt that we would have had to substitute members at a high percentage of the concerts, and this is an insurmountable obstacle for the kind of musical specificity that interests me, which is possible only if the band members are always the same.

AAJ: That brings us to the topic of your own projects, which you began developing not long after moving to Italy.

DK: To be honest I didn't initially feel a need to lead my own projects—this desire developed gradually, although I received regular encouragement in that sense from a musicians, agencies and record labels in the first few years. As I gained experience and matured I gradually became more conscious of my own interests and desires, and this led to a desire to start a band of my own to explore the musical consequences of this growing awareness with people I trusted. I had already been touring for years with Giovanni as well as Enrico Rava (Under 21, Tribe, PMJL) and Mauro Ottolini (Sousaphonix), and I was fascinated by the profound changes in the music which inevitably occurred every time we had to perform with a substitute. Equally important were offstage relationships, which ended up revealing themselves (often decisively) in the music as well. With these factors in mind I began trying to organize projects, going through numerous iterations, some of which never got further than the first rehearsal. Eventually I ended up with Hobby Horse, the first band I started which I feel has arrived at maturity, and the longest-lived project I have ever had.

AAJ: How did Hobby Horse start?

DK: I had a quartet which I liked, my first real band, with David Boato on trumpet, Francesco Ponticelli on bass and Armando Sciommeri on drums. Unfortunately it was extremely difficult to rehearse and tour because we lived so far apart. This made it hard to meet and play regularly, which for me is a crucial aspect in developing a band. As this became clear to me I decided to move on to a new project. I knew I wanted a trio because I had always loved the freedom I got from playing with no harmonic instrument, and the added benefit was that it was simpler and cheaper to tour with only three musicians. In that period Joe Rehmer, a bassist and friend from university whose playing I loved, had decided to move to Italy. I knew I wanted him on bass, now all we needed was to find the right drummer.

In one of the last shows in quartet, Sciommeri wasn't available and Giovanni Guidi suggested I call Stefano Tamborrino. I didn't know Stefano but I trusted Giovanni so I called him. I met him several weeks before the show at his house in Florence to do a rehearsal in duo because meeting in quartet would have been impossible. At the time, Stefano didn't read music, but he took written notes in a notebook as I explained the pieces and played them for him. A few weeks later we played the show, and Stefano killed it! Evidently, he'd studied the notes from his notebook—I was amazed by how prepared he was, and by his drumming, but above all by his approach to my music and to his role in the group. I had never played with someone who played in that way before; it was like opening my front door and finding a different city outside.

Until that day I had always unconsciously compared drummers I was considering calling to my reference 'ideal' drummer, but suddenly it felt to me like that concept didn't matter anymore. Stefano offered such a wild mix of things that my 'ideal' drummer would never have done, because he wouldn't have thought to do them. He had amazing control of the drum set, but he was unpredictable. Totally self-taught, he tended to take wild risks, and he believed in what he was doing. It wasn't easy to play with him, and at times I even hated some of his choices, but from the start I always respected the thought process which had generated those choices, and this pushed me to try new things as well. In any case, the show went great, and at that point I decided to move on from the quartet to form a new trio with Stefano and Joe.

AAJ: So Hobby Horse was initially your project?

DK: The initial idea was mine, but the group rapidly developed into a collective project. This is extremely important to me because it means that everyone is contributing ideas and energy to the project and the resulting sum is much greater than its parts, in my opinion. I feel very lucky to have stumbled into a long-term collaboration with such musicians, and I am certain that my approach to music and to my instruments today is, in many senses, the result of the experiences we have shared over the last 8 years. A large part of what I do musically I discovered because I have spent a lot of time on stages and in the studio with them, trying things out. If Joe and Stefano are holding the net, I'll jump off any cliff. And this goes for all the projects I'm in now—I have gradually found myself concentrating on the bands I really care about, and that I feel really care about me, but the relationship I have with Joe and Stefano is particularly special to me because we have been working together for so long and there is such a deep feeling of trust and immediate communication. We know each other really well by now, and up to a certain point, I can imagine what they will do in a certain situation. But even now after hundreds of shows, they continue to surprise and push me.

We're at a point now with the trio where it's pretty hard to say which songs were written by whom, because most of the time we show up at rehearsals or recording sessions with really sketchy, skeletal ideas, and then they develop and take shape in the studio, with everyone contributing in a very fluid way. The result of this is that none of us can be substituted: if any one of us is not available, we don't take the concert. Our roles at this point are so specific to each of us that our music would be impossible to play with another musician, so we just don't do it. This exemplifies what I was saying before about the scene in Italy: in a lot of places in the world, the necessity of calling substitutes makes it impossible to do something so specific: you need to have music where a sub can play the show after one or two rehearsals, but my goal is to make each musical project a world unto itself, which is constructed and takes its shape from the unique characteristics of the musicians who play in the band. With other musicians, that world cannot exist in the same way.

AAJ: In the case of Hobby Horse this aspect is clearly visible, because the music you play is absolutely unique, and difficult to describe or define. Describing music by genre is always reductive, but in your case it seems truly impossible because your music draws on a vast number of musical languages while at the same time remaining clearly and immediately identifiable as your own.

DK: That's very nice to hear, because it feels that way to us too, and perhaps this is what we are most interested in: expressing something personal regardless of the musical language we are using. I feel like during these 8 years we have developed a shared musical ethos which is expressed through our choices in a natural and organic way, often without the need for us to discuss things ahead of time.

AAJ: Can you explain your artistic goals in more detail, and talk about the way you attempt (with a certain success) to realize them?

DK: I'd like to start by saying that talking about music is inherently difficult, because music is its own world. It cannot be completely described by words, which can serve as metaphors at best. This is why I have such a hard time telling people what kind of music I make, or would like to make. I even have a hard time verbalizing or rationalizing to myself why I am attracted as a listener to certain kinds of music. For the same reason I have never attempted to consciously direct the kind of music I want to make according to words or categories. My approach generally works more like this: I find some musicians I trust and we start working together, and, gradually, we figure out what we are doing and where we are going. This is exactly how Hobby Horse works. The wide variety of influences you hear when you listen to Hobby Horse is born out of the variety of music that each of us listens to at home, and a lot of times what you hear on the records or on the concerts is the result of something that we tried in a studio or on a stage, sometimes as a game or a joke, but then just ended up feeling right, or even beautiful. So the result is a sort of wild mix of things which come from a lot of different sources, but the way we digest and reuse them means they become ours.

AAJ: This tendency to take unexpected detours or fall down the rabbit hole is interesting, and you can feel it from the audience as it happens.

DK: This is one of the aspects of Stefano's playing that I was immediately attracted to: The desire to try something, even if you risk looking ridiculous, because the reward for that risk is the possibility that you may discover something! And we often do discover things, even if sometimes we just end up looking ridiculous...

AAJ: Speaking of that risk, a few days ago I was speaking to Stefano about the last track of your latest record, Helm, which ends with a loop that repeats for 15 minutes straight with no variation. I must admit I felt puzzled by it, and while listening, I felt like you'd gone a little overboard in your intent to provoke...

DK: This is one case where we took a conscious risk, but it's not a publicity stunt: there are a number of factors at work here. Helm was our first record to come out on vinyl, and we wanted to leave the last track in a locked loop so that the sound would theoretically continue forever unless the listener lifts the needle. This is technically impossible on CD, which is why the CD repeats for an arbitrary amount of time and then shuts itself off, so that voyage towards infinity is something CD listeners can only imagine. In any case, that part of the record is a constant stimulus to the listener, a reminder that she is free to decide how long to listen by pressing stop at any time (just like the vinyl listener).

But beyond the invitation to interact with the medium, there is also a wealth of sonic information within those repetitions. If you listen carefully (I have, numerous times), you begin to notice a thousand small things: that if you move around the room, the sound changes due to the varying acoustic response of closed spaces; that over the course of time, your perception of the sound changes because your brain (or at least mine) can't concentrate for all that time on only one layer (and there are many); that each time you listen you hear and process that loop differently, because perception is an active process, and depends on many characteristics of the listener: her mood, her physical condition, the temperature in the room, all these things contribute to the fact that today she hears the slow repeated beats and tomorrow the whining jet engine noise; and so forth. In general, we want to speak to an active listener, or reactivate the attention of a passive or distracted listener, and I think we managed to do that, judging by the number of people who have contacted us to ask for explanations or to offer opinions (positive and negative) regarding that portion of the record. I'm satisfied that it raised some eyebrows, but more satisfied that it is sparking people's curiosity, and I find it intriguing and mysterious to listen to myself. To those of you who find nothing stimulating or useful in it, I simply invite you to go over and press STOP.

In hindsight, I also find that it fits perfectly with the themes and concepts which influenced the record during the tracking and mixing, and which in some ways inspired it: the expanding role of technology in our daily lives and the concept of the technological singularity.

AAJ: One of the first aspects of your playing that I find striking is your eclecticism: you use such a wide variety of techniques and approaches to the instrument, moving quickly and organically from extended techniques and noise to lyrical melodies, pointillistic fragments and suspensions to torrential and dynamic playing. At the same time, you say you came to Europe due to your admiration for ECM, whose sound seems pretty distant, esthetically, from your current approach. Considering all these factors, how would you describe your playing?

DK: I'll start by talking a little more about how and why I ended up here in Europe, and specifically, in Italy. Obviously I came here, and stayed, because I found work. But in hindsight, I moved to Italy from Germany because I felt that Italy had something important to teach me which went far beyond all the technique and theory I'd studied in college. I studied at the University of Miami, and I think the program was excellent, but like many undergraduate programs in the USA, it was mostly oriented around teaching us basic musical survival skills: how to read and understand musical structure at a sufficient level to play well in a big band or orchestra, and not be embarrassed when you have to take a solo. In Miami there were also a handful of professors and teaching assistants, who were very supportive of original music, but the official curriculum was pretty traditional in content, and the intense pace of study meant there just wasn't much time to think about and contextualize what we were learning. The danger of this type of program is that it tends to flatten out individuality because all students have to run the same technical gauntlet, and in the meantime, you're constantly being told what you're doing wrong and how to do it better. Again, it was an incredibly valuable experience for me and gave me a lot of tools which have served me well throughout my career, but I definitely felt like I needed some air when I finished.

When I moved here in 2005, Italy had nothing comparable to the professional training I had received, nor anything similar to what was available in countries like France and Germany. Because of this, I had a pretty serious technical advantage over my peers, simply because I could do a reasonable job of reading and playing a tune I'd never seen before. But these same young musicians had something I lacked: they'd earned their abilities in a myriad of ways, and the lack of assistance and guidance had forced the most talented of them to focus their skills, technical limitations and personal idiosyncrasies into something unique and recognizable. Some of them were seriously lacking technically, but they had spent their entire musical lives developing personality, while I had spent the last four years learning to respect the jazz school rules.

Thirteen years later I can understand and verbalize this, but at the time I simply had a gut sensation that they had something I didn't, but that I desperately needed. After all, throughout the history of this music, the greatest jazz musicians have been admired for their originality, in part born from the unique personal history of each musician and the fact that many of them were explorers, in large measure self-taught. Their approaches and abilities were developed by trying, failing, and trying again until they found a solution. Most of them didn't have access to textbooks telling them how to connect the dots without making mistakes, they had to discover the mistakes themselves, recognize them as such, and decide whether or not they liked that kind of mistake.

I feel like Italy was still somewhat in that phase of its musical history when I arrived here. I think most of my friends and colleagues learned to play, I mean really play, by playing with other people, trying things out, and gradually learning from one another and from their own mistakes. The greatest masters of our craft have always managed to combine technical skill and personality, but the risk of studying jazz in an academic environment is that of learning only the technical side, with little or no attention paid to the development of a personal voice or approach (whether or not this is even possible in an academic setting is another debate). It's simple to teach theory and basic technical skills, especially where you need to work with large groups of students, and in this way students acquire formidable technical tools which allow them to deal with and resolve complex musical problems, but the risk is that they never have the chance to think about how, why and when to actually use those skills, and what the eventual goal of all this studying should be.

AAJ: Can you discuss the importance of ECM to you?

DK: As I said, I had a handful of ECM records at home, and even from that tiny sample of their production, it seemed very different from most of the American jazz I had grown up with, especially because my father's collecting slowed drastically in the late 1970's, so my experience with more recent music was heavily limited (remember that Spotify and YouTube didn't exist yet). Besides this feeling that there was something fresh or modern in those records, I was struck by the way in which the recording and mixing techniques emphasized the timbric choices of the musicians. Timbre and sound is central to all jazz music (and to all music in general), but those records had something unique, a shared sonic esthetic so different from everything else I knew that it seemed like the label had invented (or discovered?) a genre of its own. I was also intrigued by the marked presence of influences from world music (which I sometimes love and sometimes hate), and European classical and contemporary music, which were present in ways I hadn't previously encountered. Two of the first musicians I loved who somehow exemplify this sound for me are Jan Garbarek, who captivated me from the first time I heard his sound, and Kenny Wheeler, who deeply influenced the way I think about melody and harmony.

AAJ: Do you still admire Garbarek's playing or have you moved on?

DK: There was a long period in my life in which I worked really hard to imitate the musicians I most admired, from Stan Getz to Sonny Rollins, to Wayne Shorter and later Garbarek (and many others). I moved on from that phase of imitation many years ago, but I still love listening to Garbarek, and it would be hard for me to imagine how different my life and playing would have been had I not spent a lot of time immersed in his music. It's interesting for me to notice how in the first few decades, ECM was something radically new and revolutionary, while it seems that in recent years it has almost begun to pay homage to its own legacy (although some recent releases have shown a renewed desire to risk and discover). In any case, if I put on an ECM record now, there's a very high likelihood that it will be from the 1970s or 80s, because those were the records that changed music history, and illuminated a new world for me when I discovered them.

AAJ: But now your musical explorations have moved beyond, or in any case, away from that esthetic.

DK: That's probably true, although, as I said before, I don't consciously decide where to go musically, but rather I discover things as I go. And much of what I produce depends heavily on the people I am working with and the context in which I am working.

AAJ: OK, but it's also true that you don't simply blend into the situation, because your presence in a band has a strong influence on the direction the music takes, even if you're not the bandleader. You are not passive, even as a sideman: your contribution is clear and decisively your own.

DK: Well as you can see, I'm not afraid to talk. I like to participate in the discussion and say my piece, and this is true in music as well. I think that the musicians who call me as a sideman know this, and they call me because they are interested in that very aspect of my playing. In recent years I have also become much more selective. I'm no longer interested in learning to do everything well, which is something I was constantly instructed to do in college, but experience has taught me that I play better when I feel free to play the way I want to. So I have chosen (and been chosen by) musicians and bands which allow me space to try things, but at the same time they push me to grow and learn. At this point in my career I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing, and I've become less interested in starting new projects because I prefer to dedicate all my energy to developing the projects I already have (as sideman or bandleader) to the highest possible level. This is also because I'm slow in creating new things. I feel like I don't have very many ideas, and many of them aren't very good ones, but one thing I maybe can do is recognize and develop the occasional good idea.

AAJ: This is definitely an important ability. I see a lot of skilled musicians around whose work never seems to quite reach the level of quality that I would hope simply because they scatter their energy in a thousand directions and never dig down deep into any of their projects.

DK: It's a skill I can put into practice simply because I've had the good fortune to meet a group of musicians who share my desire to collaborate, and whose curiosity and desire to grow is a constant inspiration and reminder to me that the journey never ends. I certainly don't pretend to be objective, but I feel incredibly lucky to be part of the nascent underground in Italy, because I feel like this sense of belonging and sharing is pushing each of us to a level that we wouldn't have reached individually.

AAJ: In this sense I think your work with Simone Graziano's Frontal is emblematic: when you joined the band you were initially called to sub for Chris Speed during a tour, but you ended up joining the band permanently, and your presence on tenor has drastically changed the balance and sound of the band. The feeling I have as a listener is now totally different, even when I hear you playing compositions from the original CD which featured Chris on tenor.

DK: I think this is a natural consequence of what I talked about before: The musicians who invite me to join their bands are interested in real, substantive contributions from all the musicians in the band, and they create a musical world where there is a fair amount of freedom built in. Simone trusts me, and he leaves me space because he's interested in seeing what I will do—this trust is central to improvisation in a group like 'Frontal.' I also think that I play my best when I feel that trust, the sensation that I'm free to follow my instincts, and this means risk, because you're putting something personal on the line. It would have been useless to try to replace Chris Speed by playing like him: any attempt to imitate him would have been dishonest, and doomed to failure because I don't know how to play that way (although I deeply admire him as a musician). So the only option was to follow my own instincts, and use my specific skill set to discover and create spaces for myself in music which hadn't been written with me in mind. This wasn't simple for any of us. It took time, and it meant everyone had to kind of readapt, so the sound of the band inevitably changed, but I think the musicians who call me know that this is inevitable. If they're interested in what I can contribute, they call me, otherwise they don't, or after a little while they find someone new because what I do doesn't fit their musical vision.

AAJ: Let's talk about your current and future projects, starting with the recent expansion of Hobby Horse into the sextet Ghost Horse. Was this your idea?

DK: No, it was our bassist Joe Rehmer's idea. He started talking about this a few years ago, initially with the idea of combining Hobby Horse with Dan Kinzelman's Ghost, my wind quartet with Mirco Rubegni, Manuele Morbidini and Rossano Emili. I was initially doubtful because, as I mentioned, I prefer to concentrate all my energy on a small handful of projects, but he kept bringing it up, and at a certain point I began to like the idea.

Two years ago we recorded a new CD with the Rebel Band I directed with Giovanni Guidi, and writing and arranging for a large ensemble reminded me of how satisfying that can be. At the same time, Hobby Horse was gaining a small but loyal following and starting to play better venues after years of hard work. This was encouraging, and our intensive touring schedule was a constant reminder of how easy and natural it felt to work with Joe and Stefano. Around this time I was contacted by Enrico Bettinello, journalist, author and artistic consultant about a new production he would be curating for Novara Jazz. Enrico had already involved me in a dance production for the festival the preceding year, and he was enthusiastic about the idea of producing Ghost Horse, proposing to host us for a short residency and final concert. At that point we began serious discussions about what direction to take with the project, discarding the initial idea of mixing the two existing bands because we were interested in a different kind of sound, and we had some specific ideas about which musicians would be able to create the sonic world we were imagining. After confirming the musicians, we had a few months to write the music, and then the residency: three days of rehearsing and recording and a final concert in a small farm outside of Milan in late May of 2017. We were really happy about the residency and concert, and the project has piqued the curiosity of a number of festivals, so in the meantime we've managed to play another 5 concerts. In May we will be going into the studio to make our first record during Correggio Jazz, like Novara Jazz and Young Jazz, an incubator for new and exciting projects by young musicians over the last ten years.

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