Rainbow Jazz Orchestra w/Nico Gori
Sesto Jazz Festival
String Quartet + Clarinet: Original Compositions
Recording Session w/David Pastor & Back To Brass
International Jazz Composers Symposium
Tampa, Fl (USA)
University of South Florida
Masterclass w/Francesco Cusa and The Assasins & String Quartet
Duccio Bertini Big Band w/Susana Sheiman
Duccio Bertini Big Band w/Susana Sheiman
Recording Session w/Francesco Cusa and The Assasins & String Quartet
Recording Session w/Francesco Cusa and The Assasins & String Quartet
Duccio Bertini Big Band w/Susana Sheiman
"..I was impressed with the musicianship on your CD. Your skills prove that jazz writing is in very capable hands. I wish you much luck with your musical endeavors. I feel Duccio Bertini has a good future. ..” Sammy Nestico
“..The music is really great—well done and Perico is playing great” David Liebman
"..Good taste in the arrangements, which are flawless, light and impalpable like cirrus clouds on a warm midsummer day.." Vincenzo Roggero (All About Jazz)
"…the result is remarkable from several points of view: an unusual repertoire (themes by Wheeler, Burrell, Swallow, Dorough and two original ones) treated with fantasy, lightness and aristocratic taste.." Leonardi (Musica Jazz)
“..That's was incredible! Beautiful voice! Beautiful arrangement! Beautiful players! Thanks..what a wonderful surprise ...” Dave Burrell
“ ...the Futura Jazz Orchestra? What can I say? It’s great. It plays as I would like an orchestra to play, broadly speaking. And that is to say differently from a big band, where there is often little space for colors and silence..” Paolo Fresu
"..Duccio Bertini is a young arranger who is particularly attentive to the potential of the orchestra that has merged, in a modern key, with that of the soloists and timbres.…" Vittorio Formenti (Mescalina)
"..fine and elegant piece of workmanship, with effective voices and instruments that are often very warm and communicative, engaged in the performance of six songs..." Sergio Spada (Il Suono)
NewsLa La Land in Concert
At beginning of October, the American production of La La Land in Concert contacted me as orchestra conductor for Italy tour.
La La Land is a 2016 American musical romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress, who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles while pursuing their dreams. The film's title refers simultaneously to music, the city of Los Angeles, and to the idiom for being out of touch with reality.
Following the massive success of Chazelle's film, which showed staying power in movie theaters for much of late 2016 and early 2017 before winning several Academy Awards, La La Land in Concert was the next logical step in paying homage to the classic entertainment immortalized in La La Land and the films to which it is indebted.
In this one-of-a-kind experience, a full orchestra played along with the film as singers, actors and dancers enhance the on-screen events with full choreography, bringing the hit tribute to love and the Hollywood musicals of yesteryear to the stage in an unprecedented way. Alongside the film's familiar score - played live by the orchestra to the soundtrack vocals of stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone - were several previously unreleased orchestrations, including the "Overture," which opens the live production before segueing to the already-iconic "Another Day of Sun," the opening number from the film.
The orchestra was composed by 50 musicians, including strings, woodwinds, rhythm section and a jazz band. We performed 3 concerts in Padova (Geox Gran Teatro) and Milan (Teatro dell'Arcimboldi), with a great success.
September 15h 2017
Masterclass in Almeria
At the end of August, I have been in Almeria for a Masterclass on Jazz Arranging and Composition. I spent 3 marvelous days for an intense course on Jazz Arranging. I had the opportunity to work with students and professionals, teaching also the approach on how to write for a jazz orchestra.
In my opinion, instead of just lecturing in the classroom, my role of teacher is like facilitator of learning, providing students with the information and tools they need to master a subject. At times, I prefer to act like tutor, working with small groups of students or individual students within the classroom or after class. It is important to remember that teacher also plays the role of evaluators, constantly assessing students' abilities through formal and informal assessments, providing suggestions for improvement and assigning grades.
July 07h 2017
Engantxats a Monk
I am so proud to announce the release of a new disc, in which I have collaborated as arranger and producer: David Pastor & Back To Brass - “Engantxats a Monk”.
The CD, published by Omix Records of Warner Bros Music Spain, is entirely dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk for a brass quintet (Back to Brass), a soloist trumpet (David Pastor) and drums (Felipe Santandreu).
June 15th 2017
Duccio Bertini Big Band live in Barcelona
On June 9th and 10th, I was invited to perform with my Big Band and Susana Sheiman in the suggestive Pedrera rooftop in Barcelona.
Casa Milà, popularly known as ‘La Pedrera’ (the stone quarry), an ironic allusion to the resemblance of its façade to an open quarry, was constructed by the famous catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and for its uniqueness, artistic and heritage value have received major recognition as Unesco World Heritage List, for its exceptional universal value.
It was a unique experience to enjoy La Pedrera at night, with a live Big Band on the rooftop, and to admire one of the most spectacular views of Barcelona.
June 3rd 2017
In Tampa at 2017 Jazz Composer's Symposium!!
In May I was invited to join the 2017 Jazz Composers’ Symposium organized by ISJAC in Tampa (Florida – U.S.A).
The International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC), has been created to unite and serve the international community of jazz arrangers and composers with the aim to stimulate the creation, performance, and dissemination of new works and research. The Board of ISAJC is composed by some of most prestigious arrangers/composer in the world scene, such as Maria Schneider, Rufus Reid, John Clayton, Ryan Truesdell, Chuck Owen, John Hollenbeck and Billy Childs.
The 2017 Jazz Composers’ Symposium has brought jazz composers and arrangers of all backgrounds together to the University of South Florida campus to learn, discover, and share in a vibrant and interactive environment. This year’s event has featured music reading sessions, panel discussions, research presentations, and musical performances by John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet, the Billy Childs Quartet, and Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge.
Taking place in the USF School of Music, the Jazz Composers’ Symposium consisted of 2 and a 1/2 days of non-stop concerts, lectures, workshops, panel discussions, and much more. While led by the distinguished guest artist line-ups, the interactive event offered multiple opportunities for those in attendance to share their work via new music reading sessions, research paper presentations, and very unique composition “poster” sessions. What amazing experience!!
Abril 15th 2017
In Valencia for a Recording Session
On April 1st, I was in Valencia for a recording session with David Pastor & Back To Brass with my arrangements about the music of Thelonious Monk. For that occasion, I arranged 8 tunes of his repertory for brass band, soloist trumpet and drums.
The tunes included famous compositions such as Evidence, Crepuscule With Nellie, Brillant Corners, Monk’s Dream, Bemsha Swing, Ruby, My Dear and many others.
The band played so well and David Pastor was great. This is the first step, and I am looking forward to finishing up the album and letting you all hear my arrangements, and the amazing performances from the band.
March 9th 2017
Rainbow Jazz Orchestra plays Duke Ellington
On March 3th, I had the opportunity to conduct again Rainbow Jazz Orchestra in concert dedicated to the great Duke Ellington, with the presence of Nico Gori, as guest-star for Sesto Jazz Festival. Among his huge production, I chose some rare charts written by Duke for Suites (Latin American Suite, New Orleans Suite, Nutcraker, Such Sweet Thunder, Far East Suite), a different portrait of the greatest american composer.
As most people know, he wrote primarily for his band, allowing his veteran players room to solo within his compositions, and as a result created a body of work that seemed likely to help jazz enter the academic and institutional realms, which was very much its direction at the end of the 20th century.
Therefore, Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his bandmembers, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards.
November 21th 2016
Duccio Bertini & Susana Sheiman “A Day in Barcelona”
I am very excited for the new release of Duccio Bertini & Susana Sheiman “A day in Barcelona” (Temps Record)!!!
“A Day in Barcelona is a very well rounded record. – write the spanish journalist José Miguel Lopez - The repertoire has been excellently chosen; the solos are top notch; the musicians perform brilliantly; Susana's voice is poised and balanced and shines throughout the record even adding playful twists that highlight her joyous personality. What makes this record special however is the mutual understanding between the soloist and the arrangements of Duccio Bertini from Florence who no doubt found in Barcelona his lucent inspiration.”
We presented the disc on October 16th in the famous Jamboree Jazz Club in Barcelona.
October 1st 2016
In Almeria with Clasijazz Swing & Funk Big Band
Last September, I was invited by Clasijazz in Almeria (Spain) for some Masterclasses. It was really a wonderful experience!
Clasijazz is a cultural association born in Almeria (Spain) in 1998. Since then, and thanks to years of coordinated effort, a broad musical and cultural offering open to all of Almeria’s citizens has been made available. The Association promotes specialized workshops which now have more than 100 students of all ages, they cover guitar, initiation to jazz, drums and harmonica among others, their clear objective being on-stage rehearsals at jam sessions.
I decided to give a Masterclass on Maria Schneider and Duke Ellington, regarding all compositional aspects of their music. And also I had the opportunity to conduct the Clasijazz Swing & Funk Big Band with Susana Sheiman and David Pastor.
July 28th 2016
Recording with Bobby Watson!!
Last July, Dino Plasmati, guitarist and conductor, commissioned me an arrangement for his orchestra, LJP Big Band, with the aim to record it with the famous saxophonist, Bobby Watson. I wrote a chart of the well-known ballad, Over the Rainbow, an ideal situation for his beautiful saxophone sound.
Working with Bobby Watson and LJP Big Band was a wonderful experience. For more than three decades now Bobby Watson has contributed consistently intelligent, sensitive and well-thought out music to the modern-day jazz lexicon.
April 4th 2016
With Scott Hamilton and Rainbow Jazz Orchestra
On March 4th, I had the opportunity to conduct Rainbow Jazz Orchestra with Scott Hamilton, one of the greatest jazz saxophonist, as special guest. The concert was organized by Sesto Jazz Festival. And It was such an exciting experience!!
Scott Hamilton is a jazz tenor saxophonist associated with swing music and mainstream jazz. He emerged at the beginning of 70s and at the time he was considered to be one of the few musicians of real talent who carried the tradition of the classic jazz tenor saxophone in the style of Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins as well as Zoot Sims and Don Byas forward.
We rehearsed a repertory based on standards jazz with my arrangements and Scott joined the band the day of the concert. The concert was held in the beautiful theatre “Teatro alla Limonaia” in Sesto, close to Florence.
December 3rd 2015
Recording a new CD in Barcelona
Among many jazz orchestras and famous international musicians with which I worked in the last years, I personally consider very important the collaboration that I have begun with Susana Sheiman, a singer from Madrid, actually recognized by critics as one of the most important singer in spanish jazz scene.
At the end of this November I was in Barcelona (Spain) for recording a new CD with Susana and my new Big Band. This project was the result of hard and intense work of writing and choice of the repertoire.
To realize this ambitious recording project I have called some of the best musicians from Barcelona and spanish jazz scene to join a 15 piece Big Band, under my conduction and with my arrangements written expressly for Susana Sheiman.
The band and Susana were really great; each section was so compact and the general sound of orchestra was excellent. And the CD sounds great!!
September 28th 2015
Writing arrangements for Antonio Zambujo w/Original Jazz Orchestra
In August I have received the commitment to write arrangements for the new show of Antonio Zambujo with the Original Jazz Orchestra of Taller de Musics. The concert was held on next September 17th for the 27th Mercat de Música Viva de Vic (Spain).
Antonio Zambujo (an artist Universal) is considered as probably the most beautiful male voice of fado today and he is one of the bright young stars leading the fado renaissance in Portugal. With a silky, plaintive tenor voice, he is breathing fresh life into this old musical style, expressing not only the sorrow and longing but also the joy in this passionate music.
The idea of the show was to make a meeting between fado and jazz. I wrote the arrangements of some of his famous song, such as "Pica do Sete", "Flagrante" and "Valsa de um Pavão Ciumento".
June 6th 2015
New Tour to Spain
At the beginning of May I was in Spain for a small tour. I was invited by University of Salamanca to hold a Masterclass with the USAL Big Band and David Pastor, on trumpet as a guest.
Then I moved to Valencia, to SedaJazz for a Masterclass on Maria Schneider music and lastly I traveled to Vilafranca de Penedes, a town close to Barcelona for another Masterclass with a local Big Band.
February 2nd 2015
A View on Standards
I am really excited for the upcoming release of Duccio Bertini & Rainbow Jazz Orchestra "A View on Standards". The disc has been published by the spanish label Temps Record (“A View on Standards” TR1474-GE14).
David Liebman wrote the liner notes for the disc, and in addition Sammy Nestico, a legend in the jazz history (91 years old!), wrote some reviews.
This project starting when, in 2013, I had the opportunity to have a concert with the famous Spanish saxophonist Perico Sambeat and Rainbow Jazz Orchestra, and so I decided to arrange some jazz standards. I sought a different approach for the big band style, since I wanted to create a new perspective on an "old" material.
I would like to thank all the people who made this project possible!!
October 25th 2014
Duccio Bertini & Rainbow Jazz Orchestra
We are nearing the finish line... sort of... “Duccio Bertini & Rainbow Jazz Orchestra w/Perico Sambeat” recording is very close to being finished, as we just completed the first pass of mixing and mastering with Andrea Benassai and Tommaso Bianchi last July and it sounds great!!
We have a few more steps, and then the task of the artwork, liner notes, and manufacturing. It's all coming together and I'm very happy with the results, and even more excited to share this music with all of you!
I'm really happy with the direction we are headed so far, and look forward to finishing up the album and letting you all hear my charts, and the amazing performances from the band and Perico Sambeat.
During the studio sessions a video have been recorded, and I am proud to share it with all of you:
September 20th 2014
In Sevilla again and with Perico Sambeat!
Last September 10th I was invited by Andalucia Big Band in Seville to conduct the orchestra in a concert. I had the possibility to work again with this spanish orchestra (as in 2012), and for this occasion Perico Sambeat was invited as a guest.
We have worked together one week, rehearsing a repertory based on standards jazz with my arrangements. The band is formed mostly by andalusian musicians. Perico joined the band the day before the concert. The concert was held in the beautiful monastery of Isla de la Cartuja, close to the Guadalquivir river.
August 5th 2014
deciBel Orchestra and Dirotta su Cuba
Dirotta su Cuba is an italian pop group that gained popularity in the 90's. Formed by Rossano Gentli, Stefano De Donato and the singer Simona Bencini, the band produced 6 CD and many single hits. The song “Gelosia” (1994) won the platinum disc in Italy.
Sauro Baci of Association Amici di Rignano asked me to arrange their music for a small orchestra ensemble and to make a concert with the Dirotta su Cuba band.
April 9th 2014
Recording with Perico Sambeat and Rainbow Jazz Orchestra
Last March 19th, I recorded in Prato with Rainbow Jazz Orchestra and Perico Sambeat, on alto sax as a guest. For that occasion, I arranged some standards deriving from jazz tradition thinking of a different approach, since I wanted to create a new perspective on an “old” material.
The band played so well; each section was so compact and the general sound of orchestra was very good. And Perico was absolutely great!
The recording was made in a 5 rooms studio with a nice, resonant acoustic. The horns were set up on the main room; piano, bass and drums on separate rooms. Part of the challenge in recording a band of this size is isolation. You also want to maintain good site-line between rhythm section members as well as site-line between the director and entire band. And the CD sounds great!!
March 8th 2014
A Course in "History of Big Band Music"
By the end of February, I was invited in Barcelona (Spain) by Taller de Musics, one of the most important music school in Spain, to hold a 2-days course in “History of Jazz Big Bands”.
The course placed an emphasis on Big band Jazz encouraging students in the fundamentals of different styles in the jazz idiom for large group.
During the workshop, I had the opportunity to work with Original Jazz Orchestra, the school professional ensemble, rehearsing many original charts (including some rare sheets) deriving from jazz repertoire (from Fletcher Henderson up to Maria Schneider).
December 2nd 2013
Music for String Quartet
Last November 2013, the prestigious Association “Amici del Loggione del Teatro alla Scala” of Milan commissioned me to compose for string quartet and clarinet. I wrote a composition, “Quintet for Strings and Clarinet”, divided in three movements (I. Moderato, II. Largo, III. Presto) and with a length of 14 minutes.
Writing for a classical ensembles such as string quartet is a challenging experience. A quartet is supposed to consist of four equal players.
So you need to write all four parts at the same time and my personal preference would be a contrapuntal approach.
The first performance of the composition was held in Milan on November 22th 2014 by Euridice String Quartet with the clarinetist John Diamanti Fox.
September 1st 2013
Arranging for String Orchestra and Jazz Quartet
Last August 2013, I had the opportunity to arrange and conduct a string orchestra (19 pieces from Symphonic Orchestra “Città di Grosseto”) with a jazz quartet. It was such an exciting experience!!
I have always been fascinated by the use of strings in jazz. The power and richness of a solid string section in combination with a jazz quartet inspired me many writing solutions.
The repertoire was composed of jazz standards including famous songs as Round Midnight, The Days of Wine and Roses and some latin songs from Jobim library.
Posted below a my arrangement of the famous song "A Child is Born" composed by Thad Jones and played by the orchestra:
July 30th 2013
Dies Irae from Verdi Requiem
2013 is the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi. In the occasion of the Castelbrando Event with the support of Veneto Jazz, Vesna Maria Brocca commissioned me to compose for big band inspired to the music of Giuseppe Verdi.
I wrote a composition called “I giorni dell'ira” loosely based on Dies-Irae from Requiem, performed by Rainbow Jazz Orchestra and Perico Sambeat, on alto sax as a guest.
Rainbow Jazz Orchestra is one of my italian bands and working with Perico was really great. I wrote for him a special arrangement of Ellington's “Prelude to a Kiss”, in a moving jazz waltz with a lots of blowing space for his alto and ensemble sections which highlight the rest of the band as well.
This year is also the 80th birthday of the famous saxophonist, Wayne Shorter, one of the milestones of jazz. I dedicated to him my arrangement of “House of Jade”, that we played with the band and Perico on sax.
May 25th 2013
In Salamanca with USAL Big Band
University of Salamanca, which is the oldest in Spain, has an intense cultural history. The USAL Big Band (Big Band Universidad de Salamanca) was born in 2008 from a group of students of History and Music Science. In the past years, the band has collaborated with many prestigious artists such as Perico Sambeat, Bart Van Lier, Bob Sands, Bobby Martínez, Pepe Rivero, Albert Bover, John Georgini, and German Kucich.
Last May, I was invited by Alberto Palomares to conduct this orchestra in Salamanca. I had the opportunity to work with students and professionals, conducting the band and teaching the approach on how to play in a jazz orchestra.
For that occasion I brought some of my old arrangements, such as “In a Mellow Tone”, “I don't mean a thing”, “On the sunny side of the street”.
March 20th 2013
Musicadabra is a jazz collective born in Florence in 2011 with the intent to promote the musical scene in Tuscany.
The principal characteristic of Musicadabra is the presence of musical projects based only on original compositions.
The collective focus is on the improvisational musical communication, which essentially is at the core of this language in a jazz background. Musicadabra membership includes many of Tuscany's talented younger artists.
Musicadabra Extended is a jazz orchestra composed by the musicians of the collective with the addition of some horns.
The orchestra plays the original compositions of the collective, with the arrangements and conduction by Duccio Bertini.
Musicadabra Extended performed last Saturday (March 16th) in Vicchio for the Giotto Jazz Festival.
The “front-line” was composed by Piero Bronzi (alto sax, flute), Claudio Giovagnoli (tenor sax, soprano sax), Aldo Milani (tenor sax, clarinet, flute), Dario Cecchini (baritone sax, bass clarinet), Maurizio Pasqui (trumpet), Andrea Donnini (trumpet), Andrea Angeloni (trombone).
Posted below is a video clip of the concert:
March 1st 2013
Working in Stockholm with the Royal Big Band
Last February, I was invited to conduct the Royal Big Band, one of the must renowned band in the Stockholm area. We performed two concerts (the 22th and 23th), organized in collaboration with an Italian Association. I conducted the band, with my arrangements and Susana Sheiman was invited as guest.
Working with Royal Big Band was a wonderful experience. In Stockholm and in Sweden there is a long tradition in big band jazz, with a lots of good musicians. The Royal Big Band was born in 1992 by some professional musicians of the Stockholm area and has recorded two CDs.
The band played so well; each section was so compact and the general sound of orchestra was very good. The concerts were well appreciated by both the band and the audience. The general opinion of the critics was that the band improved from the first to the second concert.
For the occasion I wrote new arrangements, including a jazz version for big band of the famous italian song, "Malafemmena" and an up-tempo version of the Cole Porter song, "What is this thing called love?"
June 18th 2012
In Seville with Andalucia Big Band
Last June, I was in Seville to conduct the Andalucia Big Band, a band composed by many of Andalusian's talented artists.
Seville, one of most beautiful places in Spain, has great beauty, history, various cultures, Moorish architecture, etc. I spent one week, rehearsing with the orchestra there.
I wrote new arrangements for singer Susana Sheiman, who was invited as a guest to perform with the band. These included jazz standards such as “Gentle Rain”, “Spring can really you up the most”, “I'm Glad there is you”.
Posted below is a video clip of the concert:
March 19th 2012
Writing for Barcelona Jazz Orchestra
Barcelona is probably one of the best big band in Spain and Europe. The Orchestra features some of the most renowned Jazz musicians working in the City, and the band has worked in the past years with many jazz legends like Frank Wess, Phil Woods, Lou Donaldson, Benny Golson, Jon Faddis or Wendell Brunious, and younger stars like Jesse Davis, Brad Lealei, and Nicholas Payton.
Dani Alonso, the director of BJO, commissioned me some charts (such as “Cry me a River”, “Lousiana Sunday Afternoon”) to be performed with singer Susana Sheiman at Sala Apolo in Barcelona for the next January and April.
As suggested by the band's repertoire, I tried to produce a more classic style of writing, alternating roaring swinging ensemble passages and soft, soft sections, in order to make the band really stand out and sparkle.
February 3rd 2012
CAM Big Band
CAM Big Band is the jazz band of the school CAM (Centro Attività Culturali) Florence. CAM is the oldest school in Florence, an organization dedicated to jazz music since the late '70s.
In 2011, I was called to regroup a new jazz band in the school. During the academic year we worked hard together to improve the orchestra, concentrating on articulation,
intonation and above all, the way to play together. My experience with CAM Big Band has contributed to future generations of musicians at the school.
January 15th 2012
Cròmatos Project was born from an idea by Franco Nesti and Duccio Bertini with the intent to make music principally inspired by the sounds and colors typical of the european contemporary jazz.
Making this disc with the band was a marvelous experience; I had the opportunity to
record with excellent musicians and above all, very good friends. Working with Claudio Fasoli was also great. The contribution of Claudio on the recording was simply “poetry”; wonderful and sensitive moments beautifully played, sounds with plenty of space and nice colors.
Posted below is an example of this:
"Circles" (D. Bertini) from the album "Cromatos Project" (2010)