"Good drummers keep the rhythm but outstanding ones color it. Cappellato is an artisan, whether exploiting a persuasive hip hop beat or providing a melodious song-like solo where he carefully manipulates every inch of his kit."
Mark F. Turner (Allaboutjazz)
After a wonderful gig at London Jazz Festival via Jazz Re:freshed that took place last November, my longest living project will be featured in Milano for the first time ever, thanks to legendary dj and producer Gerardo Frisina (Schema Records) who kindly invited us to open a new “concert + Dj set” series at Dude Club, one of the most acclaimed venues in the city. Keeping the same line-up has been pretty impossible due to everyone’s schedule, yet having different members keeps the music and energy fresh. So, here’s the line up for this upcoming show:
Camilla Battaglia (voice, percussion)
Piero Bittolo Bon (flute, bass clarinet, alto sax, electronics)
Alfonso Santimone (fender rhodes, piano, synthesizers)
Marco Privato (double bass)
Tommaso Cappellato (drums, percussion)
I’ve been collecting vinyls since I was a little kid but only in recent times I’ve decided to use my musical knowledge to play them in public and it’s something I enjoy more than I’ve ever expected. Every month I select records at Ex Wine Bar, a small and cozy bar in my hometown, an event I called "Music You Won't Dance To", selecting new and old music I keep discovering during my musical journeys. As of this month I will start another residency for a web radio run by a bunch of young music lovers and djs called Rocket Radio Live based in Verona, home of the “Roots” collective.
Jan. 08 “Eternalrhythm +” - Rocket Radio Live - Verona (IT)
Jan. 22 “Music U Won’t Dance 2” - Ex Wine Bar - Padova (IT)
JAZZ IN BOLOGNA
In the past few years I’ve had a special relationship with this lovely city where I often get to play with some of my favorite jazz players. Starting last fall I began a few residencies in different clubs thanks to the intervention of Mr. Claudio Piazzi (also known as Count Crazy), a jazz aficionado who convinced some club owners to follow the example of different venues in New York where musicians are granted a fixed gig so that a group sound can be developed, just like in the old days. Following are my Bologna dates in January.
Jan. 04 Nico Menci Trio - Cantina Bentivoglio, Bologna (IT)
Jan. 12 Emiliano Pintori Trio - Barazzo Live, Bologna (IT)
Jan. 18 Nico Menci Trio - Cantina Bentivoglio, Bologna (IT)
Jan. 23 Barend Middelhoff "Eddie Harris Project" - Bravo Caffe', Bologna (IT)
MAURICE LOUCA #SaluteTheParrotTour
Joining Egyptian musician and producer Maurice Louca Trio has been one of the highlights of my 2015. Playing this new and wonderful music has brought so much inspiration and a chance to explore wonderful places in the Middle East and all over Europe. Following up on our tour last fall we’ll be gigging once again throughout Europe this time along with another great project that Maurice is part of - the Dwarfs Of East Agouza - featuring visionary Canadian guitarist Sam Shalabi and legendary multi-instrumentalist, a member of Sun City Girls and founder of Sublime Frequencies Records, Alan Bishop. Here’s our schedule with links to facebook events:
Jan. 28 - Oceanen, Göteborg (SE)
Jan. 29 - Inkonst, Malmö (SE)
Jan. 30 - CTM Festival, Berlin (DE)
Feb. 02 - Worm, Rotterdam (NL)
Feb. 03 - OCII, Amsterdam (NL)
Feb. 04 - Recyclart, Brussels (BE)
Feb. 05 - Karlstorbahnof, Heidelberg (DE)
Feb. 06 - Sudpöl, Lucern (CH)
Feb. 07 - Bee Flat, Bern (CH)
Feb. 08 - Cave 12, Geneva (CH)
Feb. 09 - Instants Chavires, Paris (FR)
Feb. 10 - La Lieu Unique, Nantes (FR)
Feb. 12 - Kunstencentrum Belgie, Hasselt (BE)
Feb. 13 - Vera, Groningen (NL)
Feb. 14 - Baustelle, Leipzig (DE)
Here's a clip from our show in Dortmund during our last tour:
CTM BERLIN OPENING CONCERT
While touring with Maurice Louca I will also be involved in the opening concert of CTM Festival in Berlin, one of the most prominent international festivals dedicated to contemporary electronic, digital and experimental music. The 2016 edition will be curated by Rabih Beaini, my long time friend and partner in crime, who will be presenting a specially commissioned project called ‘The Red Right Hand’ with the help of trumpet players Liz Allbee and Mazen Kerbaj, guitarists Sharif Sehnaoui and Sam Shalabi, singers Sofia Jernberg and Rully Shabara and drummers Daniele De Santis and yours truly.
Doubtlessly one of the most fiery jazz quartet I’ve been a part of, this band features some of my favorite musicians on the planet, Carlo Atti on tenor saxophone, Fabrizio Puglisi on piano, and bass player Stefano Senni. The combination of musical wisdom, depth, vision and expression makes it so that no matter what repertoire is played, new ideas arise every time. The music refers to the works of John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and others belonging to the so called “New Thing” of the 60’s.
Feb. 29 - Torrione, Ferrara (IT)
Mar. 01 - Cantine de L’Arena, Verona (IT)
NEW YORK CITY
It’s been more than four years since I last played at the renowned “Smalls Jazz Club” in NYC. Last time there I was with a bass less trio featuring Don Byron and Fabrizio Puglisi. I’m still not sure about the upcoming line up depending on people’s availability but I’m sure it’ll be an exciting one. While in the city I will also be celebrating my 40th birthday (on April 2) with a gig at the wonderful Bar Lunatico in Brooklyn run by my musician friends Rosita Kess and Richard Julian. Looking forward to catch up with all my friends there!
Apr. 01 Tommaso Cappellato 4et - Bar Lunatico, Brooklyn (USA)
Apr. 06 Tommaso Cappellato 4et - Smalls Jazz Club, New York (USA)
Just want to give a hint (without being too specific) on a couple of upcoming releases this year on two very special labels. I’m really thrilled about this and I will say more about it on my next post! Meanwhile you can check my Bandcamp page for old releases and other albums I appear on.
Thanks for reading, wishing everyone a prosperous, positive and peaceful 2016!
So much anticipation for two special shows in November! The first one will take place in Los Angeles on November 6. It's my first time on the West Coast and I couldn't have a better start there than playing with two incredible musicians and dear friends. I'm talking about genius keyboardist, dj and producer Mark de Clive-Lowe and long time friend and school mate during our days at New School University, bass monster Brandon Owens. We'll be playing mostly original material from Mark's latest album "Church" and we're going to be joined by a couple of very special guests, vocalists Nia Andrews and Dwight Trible. This will take place at Blue Whale, home to some of the best live acts cruising through LA.
On November 19 I will return to London to play Mau Mau Bar for Jazz Re:freshed night as part of the London Jazz Festival showcasing new and old music with a brand new version of Astral Travel. I'm so excited to welcome in the family one of my favorite pianists on earth Fabrizio Puglisi and multi reeds instrumentalist Achille Succi, a wonderful musician I've known for a long time but whom I never had a chance to play with before. Vocalist Camilla Battaglia, a young promise for the international vocal jazz scene, and veteran Astral Travel member bassist Marco Privato will also be present for this special occasion. The plan is to come up with new material and record an album in the new year. We'll keep you posted on our page https://www.facebook.com/astraltravelmusic.
Unfortunately our show in Manchester on Nov. 17 has been cancelled due to technical reasons. We apologize with those of you who were planning to come see us and hope there will be soon another chance. You can always check out the SHOWS page for more news on my upcoming gigs.
Starting this year I've been part of a great new project performing the music of visionary Egyptian producer Maurice Louca who recently published an album entitled "Salute The Parrott" on acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Khyam Allami's label Nawa Recordings. The album has already been appreciated throughout the Arab world, Europe and the Americas with multiple stars reviews and putting a lot of attention on Maurice's works.
The music is a blend of Shaabi (a form of popular music evolved from Baladi in the second half of the 20th century in Cairo), combined with elements of experimental, electronic, rock and traditional acoustic middle-eastern music. To get an idea of what it sounds like:
Following up recent performances in the Middle-East including Beirut and Batroun (Lebanon), Dubai (UAE), Amman (Jordan) and Ras Sudr (Egypt), the trio comprised of Maurice (keys/electronics), Bashar Farran (electric bass) and myself (drums) will be touring 15 dates back to back throughout Europe starting mid September 2015.
Here are the exact locations.
For Maurice Louca's activities and dates click on these websites:
Two shows announced in the UK for ASTRAL TRAVEL this coming November.
November 17 2015 BAND ON THE WALL - Manchester (UK)
November 19 2015 JAZZ REFRESHED / LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL - London (UK)
Camilla Battaglia (voice)
Ty Le Blanc (voice)
Achille Succi (reeds)
Fabrizio Puglisi (piano & sytnhs)
Marco Privato (bass)
Tommaso Cappellato (drums)
Here's a brand new video from a recent performance of Harry Whitaker's "Black Renaissance" with a medley of "Body, Mind & Spirit" and "Magic Ritual" contained on the original album.
April 15 2015 - TakeFive Bologna, Bologna
April 19 2015 - Conegliano Jazz & Blues, Conegliano (TV)
April 20 2015 - Paradiso Perduto, Venezia
April 22 2015 - Cockney London Pub, Correzzola (PD)
April 23 2015 - Un Tubo, Siena
April 24 2015 - Exwide, Pisa
April 26 2015 - Spazio Aereo, Marghera (VE)
Camilla Battaglia (voice)
Piero Bittolo Bon (flute, bass clarinet, alto sax)
Paolo Corsini (piano)
Marco Privato (bass)
Tommaso Cappellato (drums)
Astral Travel is a band inspired by drummer and composer Tommaso Cappellato. It's a tribute to Spiritual Jazz, a style that Cappellato came to discover through one of his mentors, pianist and arranger Harry Whitaker, composer of "Black Renaissance", a 70's rarity. The name of the project is suggested by one of Pharaoh Sanders' compositions, a key player in this particular genre since the mid sixties, along with Sun Ra, John and Alice Coltrane, Archie Shepp and many others. In July 2013 Tommaso Cappellato & Astral Travel released the album "Cosm'ethic" for UK label Jazz re:freshed, receiving entusiasthic feedback from illustrious DJs and for which Tommaso was granted the JAJ Award by Shuya Okino (Kyoto Jazz Massive) acknowledging him as the year's best new artist.
FRIDAY JANUARY 30 2015
@ CARICHI SOSPESI
Vicolo del Portello 12 - PADOVA
As another year begins creative ideas and inspirations arise, giving birth to new projects whilst revising and revolutionizing old ones. I'm very thankful for all the gifts that 2014 brought both musically and personally. 2015 is filled with much anticipation with a lot of things already scheduled to take place. New collaborations are about to begin with consequent travels in exotic parts of the world.
But first things first!
My project Astral Travel, which is now more than two years old, has welcomed two amazing musicians on board, the young and talented singer Camilla Battaglia and multi-reeds performer Piero Bittolo Bon. After two great shows right before Christmas we're now working on a 10-days-long spring tour that will take place in April (we're still accepting bookings for that period; venues and promoters outside of Italy can contact Daniel Best at Best Works Production in Berlin).
New musical material has been added with tracks by Harry Whitaker, Kaidi Tatham and McCoy Tyner as well as original tunes by the band members. Here's a couple of tunes from our recent shows.
The album "Cosm'ethic" is still going strong both on the Jazz Re:freshed Bandcamp page as well as in Japan thanks to P-Vine Records. It might also be out on VINYL anytime this year, so you will definitely be notified when it happens. If you already wish to pre-order a copy please let me know by sending an email through the CONTACT page.
A new inspiring and challenging project I've been working on for the past year is my solo album and performance #Aforemention. It started out as an attempt to record a few tracks at my studio and once I realized how to make the most out of the little equipment I had, I started exploring a universe of infinite creative possibilities. The process resulted in a produced solo album of cosmic jams and sound journeys through the use of the following instrumentation: Roger and/or Gretsch drum set, different hand percussion and bells, acoustic piano, Mark I Fender Rhodes, Siel HB 715 vintage electric organ, Roland Juno-60 synth, Crumar T1/C organ synth, Electro Harmonix 45000 Looper and Chaos Pad.
There are three tracks with vocal features by singers Nia Andrews, Dulcinea Detwah and legendary drummer, also my formal teacher, Victor Lewis, whose voice I recorded a few months ago at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City, during a speech he was giving about music and spirituality. The album should be finalized by February or March and out by the summer depending on what label will pick it up.
For the live show I've been using only the essential: a drum set and various percussion, a synthesizer (usually the Juno-60), the Electro Harmonix looper and the Chaos Pad all going through a Mackie VLZ 1202 Mixer, the real heart of the performance. New videos shot at the wonderful performance space Spazio Aereo in Venice, Italy should be coming out in the upcoming weeks. Although using some of the same instrumentation, the result is quite different from the album, yet the creative process draws from the same exact source. I'm very honored to be performing #Aforemention Live for the prestigious concert series promoted by Centro D'Arte di Padova on January 30 (details on the SHOWS page).
In February I will go back to Lebanon (for the third time since 2013) for a new collaboration with Egyptian producer Maurice Louca promoting his new album "Salute The Parrot". After a week of rehearsals we will be performing at Metro in Beirut on February 20. Really looking forward to see the wonderful creative musical crew I had the pleasure to meet at Irtijal Experimental Music Festival two years ago.
More work in progress is taking place as we speak such as upcoming gigs, collaborations and recordings, so please check here again soon or look me up on my Facebook Music Page for updates.
Let it be a positive and prosperous 2015!
Meditate, pray, breathe, laugh, sing and appreciate!
Peace and blessings!
YAH SUPREME is one of the most extraordinary people I know. Not only he's a great MC with a unique musical and rhyming style, a charming entertainer and an inventor of genre, but his generous and open personality makes him a gatherer of some of the most special people I know in my life, regardless of nationality or cultural background.
I met Yah exactly 10 years ago (November 2004) in a French bistro in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and since then we never stopped collaborating, producing songs, touring or more simply just staying in touch, both constantly updated on each other's lives.
Our main collaboration manifested on the album "POST MODERN GARDEN" which I produced back in 2005 (and independently released in '06) with the use of a laptop, a keyboard, a pro-tools m-box and a couple of mics randomly (mis)placed in front of the instruments. I'm very proud of the outcome and although the album didn't get universal attention and recognition, it always received very positive feedback. But, as they say, it's never too late!
Along with the making of the album we co-founded a band and collective named "BROHEMIAN", a concept that is still very much alive and creatively active. The other main members and founders of this establishment are percussionist, drummer and vocalist Chauncey Yearwood and Sean Aiken aka DJ Concerned, both key members in the music scene in NYC.
Now, 8 years later Yah, in collaboration with composer and arranger Andy Barlow aka Tiger VS. Cobra and a few other producers (including myself), eventually finalized what he has been conceiving for the past four years, a new album entitled "NAKED CITY" which features some amazing special guest vocalists on almost all the tracks.
For the album cover and inside artwork Yah selected some stunning shots by street-photographer Simone Settimo, portraying and depicting several dramatic random moments of New York City life, with graphic design by Miko, who also worked on the cover of Post Modern Garden.
The release party of "NAKED CITY" will take place on November 11 2014 (11/11/14) at Meridien 23, a fairly brand new place in the heart of Chelsea where many special guests are expected to attend, both on stage and in the audience. The band will be featuring Adam Ahuja (keys), Hagar Ben Ari (bass), Chauncey Yearwood (percussion & vocals), Tommaso Cappellato (drums), with guest vocalists: Cole Williams, The Incomparable Shakespeare, Dulcinea Detwah, Valerie Evering, Hannah Kavanagh, Cav Manning. The admission to the event is free and it starts at 8pm.
CARLO ATTI (tenor saxophone)
FABRIZIO PUGLISI (piano)
STEFANO SENNI (bass)
TOMMASO CAPPELLATO (drums)
This is one of my favorite combination of people I have the pleasure to play with from time to time. Each one of these musicians has a very profound and intimate relation to music, very spiritual and intellectual at the same time. They way our voices and background combine makes it so that something special and magical happens whenever we perform. Spontaneity is the key as we all speak the same language. Hopefully all this will be properly recorded on an album. These are some moments from our last gig at Spazio Indue in Bologna on October 23 2014.
#spiritual #avantgarde #free #JAZZ