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Margherita Fava

Margherita Fava, is a pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and educator based in Knoxville, Tenn.

She was born on October 16, 1995, into a family of classical musicians in the small village of Follina in northeast Italy. Her parents are baroque specialists, her father a violinist and her mother a cellist and singer.

Fava started piano lessons at 10, picked up the electric bass as a teenager, and at 17 enrolled in a summer jazz program in nearby Venice sponsored by The New School from New York. One day she learned by ear Miles Davis’ solo on “So What” from Kind of Blue. It changed her life. 

 “It was the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me!” she says. 

 A scholarship to Michigan State brought Fava to East Lansing, where she studied piano with Xavier Davis and came into the orbit of the charismatic bassist Rodney Whitaker. After graduating with a degree in jazz studies, she earned a master’s degree in music at the University of Tennessee, studying piano with Eric Reed and composition with Greg Tardy. 

She currently collaborates with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra on various projects like the concert series “NXT GEN” and the Knoxville Jazz Workshop.

In August 2022 she released her first EP of original music entitled “Okra/Search of the Unknown”, available on bandcamp.


Album Review

Margherita Fava: Tatatu

Read "Tatatu" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Ventottenne veneta di formazione classica, la pianista Margherita Fava è stata fulminata dal jazz nel 2013, quasi per caso, e da allora ha coltivato la sua formazione in quella direzione, trasferendosi negli U.S.A. prima con una borsa di studio, poi stabilmente, insegnando. Ed è negli Stati Uniti, nell'Ohio, che ha registrato questo suo primo disco, prodotto dal bassista Rodney Whitaker, poi missato a New York ed edito in Italia da Caligola. I tre quarti d'ora di musica di ...

Album Review

Margherita Fava: Tatatu

Read "Tatatu" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Italian pianist Margherita Fava comes across as a mature composer and a sensitive performer on her captivating debut Tatatu. Based in Knoxville Tennessee, USA, Fava is a consummate musician and educator whose unique set of talents is on full display here as she leads a quartet on two covers and six of her poetic originals. For instance, her “Tidal Waves" has a mystical atmosphere. Over the rhythm trio's percolating refrains saxophonist Greg Tardy lets loose a lyrical melody ...

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Michael Dease, MSU Professor of Jazz Trombone

“Margherita is an outstanding and positive presence in her ensembles and environment, and this has undeniably attributed towards her progress as a young player to watch.”

Randy Napoleon, MSU Professor of Jazz Guitar

“When I call her for gigs, she might know my tunes better than I do if I don’t carefully prepare! Her commitment and depth of purpose lead me to predict big things from her.”


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Caligola Records


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