Riccardo del Fra: Contemporay Classical Music Meets Jazz

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Wednesday / October 10, 2012 / 1:00 p.m.
Berk Recital Hall
1140 Boylston Street

Jazz music is a perfect example of syncretism. The study of its origins shows us how the combination of different cultures and traditions gives birth to a new thing. Since then, jazz's syncretism has never stopped. If today's musicians around the world are aware of and deeply respect the timeless link with its African roots, they also know the importance of the influence and of the  input that jazz can get from the contemporary classical music.    

Riccardo Del Fra will present a choice of excerpts from works of contemporary composers that inspire jazz players ;   and his piece Sky Changes, created in Paris, in 2009 by Dave Liebman and the Ensemble Intercontemporain conducted by Susanna Mälkki then recorded in New York, for the label Jazzheads, with the Ensemble Tactus of the Manhattan School conducted by Justin DiCioccio.

Riccardo Del Fra, born in Rome in 1956, is a multi-talented musician: a double bass player, arranger, and composer. Riccardo del Fra played alongside Chet Baker for nine years both in Europe and Japan on tours, for the radio and for the television; a collaboration which led to the recording of twelve albums,videos and the movie Chet’s Romance directed by Bertrand Fèvre. At the beginning of the 1980s Riccardo Del Fra settled in Paris where he joined a very active rhythm section with the pianist Alain Jean-Marie and the drummer Al Levitt, while at the same time continuing to play with Chet Baker and the pianist Michel Graillier. In the 1990s the trombone player and composer Bob Brookmeyer, whose composition classes Del Fra had taken in Cologne, invited him to join his quartet. They toured together and recorded the CD Paris Suite (which won the Prix de l’Académie du Jazz in 1994). In September 2004 Riccardo Del Fra was named head of the department of Jazz and Improvised Music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. In 2003, Riccardo del Fra was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of Culture and Communication.