Roberto Ottaviano is an Italian saxophonist
I started extremely young as a self-taught percussion and flute player, but at the age of five I began to take clarinet classes at the Conservatory of Bari, Italy. Influenced by Lester Young and John Coltrane, I later chose the saxophone. After studying classical saxophone in Perugia with Federico Mondelci, between the end of the 1970s and the early 1980s I attended several workshops taught by Evan Parker and Jimmy Giuffre, undertook harmony and classical composition studies with Walter Boncompagni and attended courses held by Giacomo Manzoni and Luigi Nono. Thanks to a fortuitous encounter with Steve Lacy, I decided to focus on the soprano saxophone. During a stay in the United States, I studied jazz composition and arrangements under Ran Blake, Bill Russo and George Russell.
I played in a local big band featuring guest musicians such as Buck Clayton, Ernie Wilkins, Benny Bailey and Sal Nistico. Later I have been a member of Andrea Centazzo's Orchestra, which featured guests such as Gianluigi Trovesi, Theo Jörgensmann, Franz Koglmann, Carlo Actis Dato, Radu Malfatti and Carlos Zingaro.
I have participated in projects with Franz Koglmann, Georg Gräwe, Ran Blake and Tiziana Ghiglioni. In 1983, I released my first album (Aspects - Tactus Records), with Giancarlo Schiaffini, Paolo Fresu and Carlo Actis Dato. In 1986 I formed a quartet with Arrigo Cappelletti. In 1988 I founded the brass ensemble Six Mobilies.
I have released more than ten albums as a leader, especially on the Italian label Splasc(H) Records.
Since 1979 I have collaborated with numerous jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Farmer, Mal Waldron, Albert Mangelsdorff, Chet Baker, Enrico Rava, Barre Phillips, Keith Tippett, Steve Swallow, Irene Schweizer, Kenny Wheeler, Henry Texier, Paul Bley, Aldo Romano, Myra Sant'Agnello, Tony Oxley, Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennink, Mario Schiano, Trilok Gurtu and Pierre Favre's Canto Drums. I have played in many American and European jazz festivals such as the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Donaueschingen Music Festival, the Berlin Jazz Festival and the Willisau Jazz Festival.
As a music teacher I have, among other things, taught at Woodstock, NY and the Conservatories of Mexico City, Vienna and Groningen, as well as in Urbino, Cagliari, Florence, Rome and Syracuse. I am the author of the book, The Sax: Instrument, History, Techniques, published in F. Muzzio Editore. Padua in 1989. I also teach jazz music at the Niccolò Piccinni Conservatory in Bari.