Simone Graziano, a 38 year-old pianist and composer from Florence, is a leading figure in Italian jazz
How was your passion for music born?
Thanks to my mother. In the evenings, after dinner, she used to play the piano. I suffered a bit from insomnia as a child, and it helped me fall asleep.
How, or thanks to whom, did you come across jazz?
A friend of mine from junior high school, Sergio, who was a curious, highly intelligent and solitary kid, lent me an album by Thelonious Monk, “Underground”. I devoured it, and learned all the pieces by heart. If it wasn’t for Sergio, I don’t know if I’d be a musician today.
How did being from Florence shape your career?
Florence is the city I live in, I adore it and have dedicated an album to it, called Trentacinque and recorded with my group Frontal. Studying Brunelleschi’s geometrical forms or Michelangelo’s sculptures was one of the most important lessons in composition I’ve ever received.
Where are some good places to listen to jazz in Florence?
At Musicus Concentus, at the Sala Vanni. At Pinocchio Jazz, a historical club in Florence, or at Nof for its Monday jazz nights.
When are your upcoming concerts in this city?
I’ll be playing on 14 June in the courtyard of the Brancacci chapel, as part of the summer concert series “Secret Florence”, performing in a duo with Naomi Berrill, cello and voice.
Three pieces, for someone who’s new to jazz?
Something Else by Cannonball Adderly, My song by Keith Jarrett, Until the quiet comes by Flying Lotus.