Maria Pia De Vito - vocalist, composer, arranger
Maria Pia De Vito is a standout in the contemporary European jazz scene. She began her on-stage activity in 1976 as a singer and player (plectra, percussions, piano) in research groups committed to ethnic music as well as ethnic and non-ethnic polyphony, mostly related to the Mediterranean, Balkan and South-American areas.
Since '80 she has been active in the jazz sphere, collaborating steadily with musicians like John Taylor, Ralph Towner, Rita Marcotulli, Ernst Rejiseger, Paolo Fresu, Norma Winstone, Steve Swallow, Gianluigi Trovesi, David Linx, Diederik Wissels and gigging with musicians having the calibre of Joe Zawinul, Michael Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Eliot Ziegmund, Cameron Brown, Steve Turre, Maria Joao, Ramamani Ramanujan, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Nguyen-le and many others, participating to the most important international festivals, and running European and overseas tours.
After 15 years of jazz practice, a long work on the great American songbook, on scat and be-bop, the first trespassing into free form and the meetings with European jazz, since ‘94 she begins a new phase of her work with the project Nauplia, conceived and directed together with Rita Marcotulli. The recovery of vocal textures from the deep matrixes of the sound, which will see the encounter between the hybrid of jazz and the multi-shaped peculiarities of Neapolitan singing ("Nauplia", "Fore Paese", "Triboh")The work about improvisational possibilities of the voice in contact with several cultural contexts becomes the matrix of her "new course", whose first step is "Phonè", a work about the voice preceding the language, about the rhythm and the dance in their different cultural inflexion; it's a project which marks the beginning of the collaboration with John Taylor.
Since 1996 she has collaborated with the British composer Colin Towns; with his Big Band, the "Mask Orchestra." She played live at the major festivals in England and Germany including the remarkable exhibition at the Queen Elizabeth Hall of London with the "Mask Symphonic" (70 musicians) and the participation of Norma Winstone.
In 1997 there's the birth of the trio with John Taylor and Ralph Towner, with which she recorded the CD "Verso", did several tours in Italy and a long European tour during 2001. In that year the name of Maria Pia has been lauded, by the most celebrated signatures of American jazz press, in the category "BEYOND ARTIST" of the 49th DOWN BEAT CRITICS POLL; in this list, her name appears near the ones of outstanding artists such as Caetano Veloso, Joni Mitchell, Cesaria Evora, Olu Dara, Carlos Santana, Uri Caine and Marisa Monte. This very important acknowledgement has definitively catapulted her to an international level.