Home » Jazz Musicians » Roberta Gambarini

Roberta Gambarini

Born and raised in Turin, Italy, to music loving parents (who had actually first met at a jazz concert), two-times Grammy nominated singer Roberta Gambarini grew up constantly listening to her father’s record collection. Her first vocal inspiration was the music of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, but she soon discovered Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday,and Carmen McRae, as well as gospel and blues artists such as Mahalia Jackson and Bessie Smith. At age 12 she began studying clarinet, but realizing the versatility and talents of her clear alto, she moved to voice, singing and performing in clubs by the time she was 17.

In 1998, Gambarini received a scholarship to study for two years at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Barely 2 weeks after setting foot on american soil for the first time, Roberta surprised the jazz world by being one of the runner-ups in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition.

With this recognition as a springboard and the assistance of some of the greatest musicians in the world, who immediately appreciated her talent and invited her to perform with them, she quickly became a fixture on the international jazz circuit, appearing in major concert halls, Festivals and clubs around the globe ( Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl , Jazz at Lincoln Center , the North Sea Jazz Festival, and many more) .

As a result, Roberta has had the good fortune to appear in concert and record with such Giants as Dave Brubeck, James Moody, Hank Jones, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Michel & Randy Brecker, Jimmy Heath, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Cobb, Al Foster, Slide Hampton, Frank Wess, Harold Mabern, Toots Thielemans, Paquito D’Rivera, Chucho Valdez, Mark O’Connor, Cyrus Chestnut, Percy Heath, Ron Carter, Johnny Griffin, the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars Big Band, Billy Higgins, Cedar Walton, Ray Drummond, George Cables, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Burrell, Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra, and many others.

Roberta’s first American release ‘Easy to love’, earned the accolades of fans and critics alike and prestigious Grammy nomination, as did her third, ‘So in love’ ,which was also awarded the Grand Prix du Jazz Vocal 2009 by the Jazz Academy of France.

She was twice named the “Female Jazz Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association (2007 & 2009 ). One of the most important music figures of the 20th century, the late Benny Carter, cited Roberta as his favorite singer. James Moody, the legendary saxophonist and singer, was Roberta’s mentor and teacher, and introduced her to many of the major venues in the world.

Read more

Tags

10
Album Review

Roberta Gambarini: Easy To Love

Read "Easy To Love" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


In 2007, All About Jazz reviewer Michael Caratti wrote: “This debut outing from Roberta Gambarini sees the Italian-born jazz vocalist pair up with two star-studded rhythm sections and legendary tenor saxophonist James Moody, to present what has to be one of the best vocal jazz albums of the decade. Opening with Cole Porter's classic title track Gambarini's exquisite tone and masterful rhythmic phrasing are immediately on display in the first a capella section. The gradual addition of bass and brushes ...

7
Live Review

Roberta Gambarini At Dazzle

Read "Roberta Gambarini At Dazzle" reviewed by Geoff Anderson


Roberta Gambarini Dazzle Denver, CO January 7, 2023 Let me be frank. I'm often dismayed when I see a new album from a promising new jazz artist and review the song list and it's all jazz standards. Don't get me wrong, many of the songs composed in the first half of the 20th Century are the finest songs ever written. But, as jazz standards, they've been performed a lot. In fact, that's part of the ...

324
Live Review

Roberta Gambarini and Convergence

Read "Roberta Gambarini and Convergence" reviewed by Geoff Anderson


Roberta Gambarini and Convergence Dazzle Nightclub Denver, CO Februay 6, 2010 (First Set)Roberta Gambarini played Denver last year with a piano trio. She returned in early February this year for a three night stand with double the support, backed this time by the six piece Convergence. Gambarini can carry a show with minimal backing, but the high powered Convergence added considerable texture, variety and plain old fun.Gambarini had just left ...

543
Multiple Reviews

Roberta Gambarini: Learning to Love Jazz

Read "Roberta Gambarini: Learning to Love Jazz" reviewed by Samuel Chell


Not long ago a veteran Chicago jazz disc jockey played a track from a female vocalist's new CD only after complaining on the air about the seemingly unending stream of new recordings by female singers sent to his notice each week. The exception to his policy not to play them was due, he explained, to the sender's being a close friend and loyal listener of the show.From the evidence, the radio announcer's observations about the number of vocal ...

983
Interview

Roberta Gambarini: Making Listeners Fall 'So In Love'

Read "Roberta Gambarini: Making Listeners Fall 'So In Love'" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


It's been an out-of-the-ordinary career trip for Roberta Gambarini--a trip that's seen her go from a young girl in Italy, scatting along with records by American singers Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, to struggling to get singing gigs in her native land, to grabbing an opportunity to come to the United States, to gaining recognition by respected elders like Benny Carter, James Moody, Clark Terry and nonagenarian pianist Hank Jones, who has proclaimed her “the best jazz singer to emerge ...

360
Album Review

Roberta Gambarini: So In Love

Read "So In Love" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


In his book The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide, music writer Scott Yanow presents a list of the 30 most important jazz singers. One name most likely to join that group, Yanow believes, is that of Roberta Gambarini. Very quickly, this talented Italian singer has established herself as an artist to be considered seriously in the same manner that Anthony Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, is considered.

Born in Torino, Italy, Gambarini came to the United States in 1998 ...

258
Live Review

Roberta Gambarini at Dazzle's in Denver

Read "Roberta Gambarini at Dazzle's in Denver" reviewed by Geoff Anderson


Roberta Gambarini Dazzle Nightclub Denver, Colorado June 19, 2009The really great ones make it sound easy: like walking down the street, nothing to it. That applies to instrumentalists as well as singers. Vocalist Roberta Gambarini unequivocally falls into that category. Friday night at Dazzle, Gambarini showed why she's garnering increased attention in the jazz world and why many people are placing her in the very top rankings of female jazz vocalists.

Read more articles

"With all due caution about overstatement, let me say that I don’t know of a better pure jazz vocalist than Roberta Gambarini." —Roger Crane, All About Jazz. "This CD [You Are There ~~ Roberta Gambarini & Hank Jones - 2008] promises to be one of the better vocal releases of 2008." —Suzanne Lorge, All About Jazz. "R-O-B-E-R-T-A G-A-M-B-A-R-I-N-I .....remember this name. She'll be the best singer around for quite a while." (James Moody) "Gambarini is a true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae." (Boston Globe) "Gambarini is a gem...an urbane, swinging singer with a voice so pure and a phrasing so silky, it seems to flow like water from a spring." (Seattle Times) "...blessed with superb musicality and an intuitive grasp of jazz vocal elements..." (Los Angeles Times) "Amazing stuff....all of it." (Don Heckman, LA Times) "Gambarini is the real deal." (Steve Eddy, OC Register) “She is a vocal virtuoso, and nearly everything about her singing is perfect - her intonation, her ear for harmony, her vocal tone, her time

Read more

Primary Instrument

Vocals

Location

New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

So In Love

Decca Music Group
2009

buy

You Are There

Decca Music Group
2008

buy

Easy To Love

KOCH International Jazz
2006

buy

Videos

Similar

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.