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Take Five with Andrea Domenici

Take Five with Andrea Domenici

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About Andrea Domenici

Born and raised in Lecco , Italy, Andrea Domenici is a jazz pianist and composer who has been living in New York since 2012. A 2016 graduate from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Domenici has studied with great piano players such as Benny Green, Barry Harris, Benny Green, Dado Moroni, Rossano Sportiello and Mario Rusca.

Since moving to New York, Domenici has collaborated and shared the stage with: Harry Allen, Wynton Marsalis, Gary Bartz, Louis Hayes, Kenny Washington, James Morrison, Etienne Charles, Eddie Henderson, Billy Drummond, Peter Washington, Roy Hargrove, Carol Fredette, Billy Harper, Dave Glasser, Charles Tolliver, Wayne Escoffery, David Kikoski, Dave Douglas, James Carter and many more. Andrea Domenici has performed in the most prestigious venues of New York City: Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Smalls, Mezzrow, Smoke Jazz Club, Zinc Bar, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, etc. Andrea Domenici has played all over the world. In 2017 he played at the Festival Internacional de Música in Cancun, Mexico. Andrea Domenici was also called to do a week residency at the prestigious Marrians Jazzroom in Bern with The David Adewumi's Quartet.

Andrea Domenici recently graduated from The Juilliard School with MM in Jazz Studies. He recently released his debut album Playing Who I Am (Abeat Records, 2019) which features Peter Washington on bass and Billy Drummond on drums.



Teachers and/or influences?

Bud Powell, Hank Jones, Barry Harris, Sonny Clark, Erroll Garner, George Shearing, Bill Evans, Kenny Barron and Dado Moroni are probably my biggest influences.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

Jazz has always been present in my life since I was very little. My father is a huge Errol Garner fan and I used to listen to Garner's record when I was in kindergarten. I played drums along with those records but my real love was for the piano. I could not envision myself doing anything but playing the piano.

Your sound and approach to music.

I want to be lyrical and, at the same time, have a very strong rhythm. All the pianists I quoted earlier have the ability to play a ballad with true passion that can make you cry and they can play lines that can make you dance.

Your teaching approach:

Depending on the level of the student, I like to know what records my student is listening to and plan the lessons based on the material of the record. For instance if one student is listening to "Dolphin Dance" by Herbie Hancock from the album Maiden Voyage (Blue Note, 1956) I want him to learn the tune (melody and changes) possibly by ear and then check how the rhythm section is playing, how Herbie Hancock is soloing, comping and try to emulate what he is doing. Everything is on the record and I believe that learning how to play should be based on listening and then understanding the theory.

Favorite venue

I truly love Mezzrow. I believe it is the jazz club with the best acoustics. The piano truly sings in that room.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I don't know, I know how much music is contributing in my life. I become a better listener everyday and I meet new people everyday because of jazz. Music always brings something new and fresh in my life.

Music you are listening to now:

I am deeply listening to Sonny Clark. I do love the album entitled Sonny Clark Trio with George Duvivier and Max Roach (Time Records, 1960) and Blues in The Night (Blue Note, 1979). Sonny Clark's phrasing is astonishing.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

I don't honestly know, I do not believe there is formula to answer this kind of question but I am sure that more people would be interested in listening to jazz if jazz musicians played music that comes from their hearts more than from their brains. What I desire to do is to be true to myself. I want to be able to play a melody with feelings and to be able to make people dance and feel good either with my comping or soloing.

Your dream band:

I would love to play in a rhythm section with Ron Carter. I love his time, feel, lines and ideas. I am also a huge fan of Harry Allen and I hope to record with him some day.

Did you know...

I started as a drummer when I was 9 years old because I had a terrible piano teacher before and I wanted to change air, then when I was 15 I realized that I loved the piano so much that I wanted to spend my life playing it.

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