Biography

Riccardo Arrighini is the Italian pianist who fused Classical music and Opera with jazz. This fusion is the result of a long in-depth path which Arrighini developed exploring both genres.

He graduated with distinction in classical piano at the Boccherini Conservatoire of Lucca, he studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music of Boston, and he postgraduate at Siena Jazz Workshops.

From 2003 to 2007 he has played with Francesco Cafiso, young Sicilian saxophonist, with whom he played at the most important Festivals all over the world and released three records (Philogy/Giotto/Cam jazz)

From 2007 to date Riccardo Arrighini  has been developing his personal fusion of Classical music and Opera with jazz, rearranging Puccini, Vivaldi, Chopin, Verdi and recording the album “Dr. Classic & Mr. Jazz” (various artists).

With these projects he plays in Italy and in other countries such as Japan, Holland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Turkey, Brazil, Romania, Russia, Australia, and France. Moreover he takes part in several events organized by Fondazione Puccini of Torre del Lago and Umbria Jazz.

He is currently about to publish three new albums, following promotion tours through Italy and abroad: “Effetto Mozart” in piano solo, “Arrighini plays Morricone” in octet and “Immagini” with the Riccardo Arrighini Group which he entirely composed.

He recently founded his own digital records label, the Riccardo Arrighini Production.

Arrighini is a highly regarded teacher with workshops all around the world, and he is about to publish a collection of jazz video courses.

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EDUCATION

Riccardo Arrighini was born in Viareggio on August, 28th 1967. His father Franz, from whom he got his “absolute pitch”, encouraged him to move his first steps in the musical field from his earliest childhood and he starts studying classical piano with M.G. Ferretti at the age of seven. The following year he is awarded with the first place in his category at the international piano competition “Città di Osimo”.

He studied privately to access to the Boccherini Conservatoire of Lucca where he graduated with distinction in 1986, following the lead of Clara Cesa Luporini.

He started a career as classical concert performer, playing in several Italian theaters.

Arrighini simultaneously feels the need to explore the mysterious world of jazz, discovered at the age of twenty-three. It is love at first sight and in 1991 he decides to leave for the USA to attend the Berklee College of Music of Boston, Massachusetts, under the tutelage of excellent teachers such as Hal Crook and Jerry Bergonzi.

Back in Italy, he decides to improve his technique with the postgraduate workshops of Siena Jazz in 1996, following the lead of Enrico Pieranunzi and Stefano Battaglia.

Work Experiences

Along with classical music, Riccardo Arrighini loved popular music as well. Between 1989 and 1992 got involved in projects with rock/pop/fusion bands. He arranged and performed tunes written by his father for several national music competitions. In this period he also discovered electronic music and “fusion”, starting to appreciate artists such as Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Steps aHead, Yellow Jackets and many others.

With his “fusion” band, Arrighini won the “Barga Jazz ‘96” competition and in the same year took part to the broadcast TV programme “Medicine a confronto” as the keyboard player.

Hereafter, until 2001 he deepens jazz language, performing in jazz clubs all over Italy. He released two records with his own original tracks: “Il Monterosso” (1998, Splasc’h) and “Comme un enfant” (2000, Map).

In 2001 he met the producer Paolo Pingiarelli, of the record label “Philology” with whom he released his third solo album “These unfoolish things” in 2002. He would meet Francesco Cafiso, the young talented Sicilian saxophonist, later in 2003. The two artists have immediately found a fruitful professional and friendly partnership.

They performed together until 2007, playing at the most important festivals in the world and visiting all continents, both as a duo and as a quartet, becoming permanent members of Umbria Jazz and working with the renowned Italian record label MGM, led by Mario Guidi. With Cafiso, Arrighini records three album, “Concerto per Petrucciani” (2005, Philology), “Happy time” (2006, Cam Jazz) and “Tribute to Charlie Parker” (Giotto, 2006).

The Soloist Experience

Between 2004 and 2005 he recorded several albums with Philology: “Luiza” in collaboration with Barbara Casini, “Luciana”, a trio performance with Massimo Moriconi on double bass and Massimo Manzi on drums, “Dindi” with Fabrizio Bosso, “Duets” with Gianni Basso, “Ballads for Trane” with Joe Lee Wilson, “Black & White” with Paolo Benedettini on the double bass and Alessandro Minetto on drums and Michela Lombardi’s voice.

Moreover, Arrighini released two records in duo performance with the great Lee Konitz, “Eu nao existo” and “The Soprano album”, in which the renowned American saxophonist take a stab for the first time the soprano saxophone.

In 2006 he set up a first formation of the “Riccardo Arrighini Trio” with Riccardo Fioravanti on double bass and Stefano Bagnoli on drums and records the album “Cambio di Marcia” (2007, Egea-Incipit) playing original tracks inspired from the birth of his first-born Matteo Franz. The album has been presented at the Umbria Jazz ’07 Summer Edition.

In 2007 Arrighini face the passing of his father Franz, composer, connoisseur and Opera lover. For this occasion the pianist elaborate the double project “Puccini Jazz” in tribute. Arrighini rearranges the best-known solo pieces of his fellow citizen and cut two records: the first album is a piano solo project “Recondite armonie”, the second one is recorded with his trio and with “I Solisti di Perugia” string orchestra, respectively produced from the Puccini’s Foundation of Torre del Lago and Umbria Jazz in 2008. Follows a wide world tour, from Japan to South America, several Eastern Europe countries and Umbria Jazz’ editions (for instance the “Piano Jazz” 2008 edition in Ischia, where he performed with Enrico Pieraninzi, Stefano Bollani and Danilo Rea.)

The project gains the attention of the press with the article on “Jazz Times” edited by Tom Conrad, eminent signature name of the American jazz critics.

Encouraged by the growing success of “Puccini Jazz”, he approaches a path of contamination with classical music and elaborate “Vivaldi Jazz: Le Quattro Stagioni” (2009, Spazi Sonori) and “Chopin in Jazz” (2010, Spazi Sonori).

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Italian unification in 2011, the pianist goes back to Opera and records “Arrighini plays Verdi”, following an international theater’s tour and being greatly appreciated by the general public thanks to his crystalline classic and jazz technique and his passion.

In 2011, Riccardo Arrighini feels the need of coming back to one of his first musical passions: electronic music. It’s time to face a new challenge: the album “Dr. Classic & Mr. Jazz” is a fusion of classical music and jazz with electronic loops computerized by Ugo Bongianni. Along with this album his own digital records label “Riccardo Arrighini Productions” is founded, divided in “Symphobia” (concerning on Classical and Opera rearranged into Jazz albums) and “Soundgeance” (concerning on the experimental projects).

It’s time to go back to composing, Arrighini takes his inspiration from the birth of his second son Gabriele and in 2011 records with a brand-new quintet: Bongianni on Fender Rhodes and keyboards, Emiliano Loconsolo’s voice, Gabriele Evangelista on double bass and Michael Baker on drums. The album is available on line for I-Tunes, “Soudgeance”-RAPRODUCTIONS.

In 2012 his melody and his ability in rearranging famous authors give birth to a new project, “Nothin’ but Morricone”, an individual tribute to the great Ennio Morricone and his wonderful soundtracks, from Sergio Leone’s far west, up to the present day. The arrangement meet an orchestral combination featured Baker/Evangelista/Loconsolo, a string orchestra, Michela Lombardi and Helen Tezfazghi’s voices, Antonello Pudva on guitar, Claudio “sax” Fabiani on sax and flutes, Ettore Bonafè on percussion and Andrea Cozzan on bass guitar.

Teaching experience

Riccardo Arrighini has been teaching classical/jazz and pop music for more than twenty years, leading students from all over Italy. He’s specialized in Jazz Bebop and Modal Jazz teaching. He frequently organizes workshops about Jazz and about the fusion with other genres all over Italy and abroad, followed by his piano solo performances, for instance the concert at the Cilea Conservatorium of Reggio Calabria and at the Boccherini Conservatorium of Lucca, the performance at “Tom Jobim Institute” of São Paulo (Brazil) and the last performance at the “International House of Music” of Moscow.

Arrighini is about to publish a “ Jazz  Bebop – basic level” video course in a double DVD with tutor attached, that will be the first one of a collection of video courses about Jazz History in a different range of levels.

Collaborations:
Lee Konitz, Steve Grossman, Harry Allen, Joe Cohn, Joe Lee Wilson, Enrico Rava, Paolo Fresu, Tullio de Piscopo, Rita Marcotulli e Danilo Rea (2 pianoforti), Francesco Cafiso, Fabrizio Bosso,  Antonello Salis, Ares Tavolazzi, Francesco Petreni, Andrea Dulbecco, Tommaso Lama, Pietro Tonolo, Aldo Zunino, Stefano Bagnoli, Riccardo Fioravanti,  Giovanni Tommaso,  Mark Abrams,  Marco Tamburini,  Michael Baker, Mauro Negri, Barbara Casini, Gabriele Evangelista e molti altri.