New Orleans (USA)
Big Band at GSMD London
Originally from Rome, Italy, Francesco started playing music at an early age. His mother used to say “he was already a good percussionist when still inside the womb!” And at primary school he transformed his desk and chair into a bass and snare drum tapping them with everything possible from pencils, pens to chopsticks.
At the age of 13 he taught himself the guitar, and formed his first band playing Beatles, Genesis, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin covers.
Soon after, he was introduced to the band Heart Wind Fire, and fell in love with their live album“Gratitude” which sparked a significant shift in his musical taste towards black music- soul, funk and 80’s dance music.
Following the discovery of saxophonist John Coltrane and his album “Ballads” he began to develop an interest in jazz music.
At 21 he embarked on a journey to New Orleans in the United States, following his older brother and mime artist Fabio 'Matisse' who had settled there a few years before. After being a regular visitor at the “Snug Harbor jazz bistro” jam session and playing with various street bands, Francesco met the now well-known drummer Brian Blade, who gave him a few spontaneous lessons in a bar and offered him a tape of Miles Davis.“I will never forget meeting Brian- what an atomic young drummer, always walking around with headphones in his ears”
Francesco moved to London in the summer of 1996 and worked on the scene both as a freelance session drummer and as co-leader of various Jazz and world music bands. He collaborated with Brazilian Sax/flute player Marcelo Da Silva Andrade and formed band 'London Latin Jazz Ensemble", with whom has recorded his first album of original composition. (1998). In 2006 he graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with a Masters degree in Jazz.
Since he arrived in London Francesco has explored music with a very panoramic view, engaging in many worldwide projects and playing different styles has enabled him to expand his sensitivity to music.
In recent years Franc. has also been re-searching and studying 'Sound Healing', the ancient art of healing and relaxation through live sounds.
(see section Sound Healing)
Francesco has played with:
Alex Wilson, Dennis Rollins, John Taylor, Nicky Illes, Gilad Atzmon, Guillermo Rozenthuler, Jean Toussaint, Nick Ramm, Phil Lee, John Critchinson, Julian Siegel, Shabaka Hutching, Nigel Price, Mark Bassey, Piers Faccini, Fulvio Sigurta, Renato D’Aiello, Barabara Casini, Johnny Philips and many more.
“I have seen Francesco play many times and he has always impressed me with his creative and energetic drumming. He is a charismatic front man and I believe his talent for communicating with audiences is unsurpassed in London“.
(J. Philips. –Oriole/Jazz Umbrella)