Stefano Bollani

Biography Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani
born 1972, has been no less prodigious. He too started at five years old and cannot recall a time when he was not playing piano. The instrument often seems like an extension of his personality and thought processes, a fast-moving mind finding expression in jump-cut music sequences and surreal juxtapositions. He has fairly romped through the idioms, his ECM “Piano Solo” disc characteristically moving from Prokofiev to the Beach Boys via Scott Joplin and the tango, a post-modernist with an admirable reluctance to take himself too seriously. He keeps finding new ways to address the virtuoso’s dilemma: What do you play when you can play anything? Multi-talented, he’s known in Italy also as author of books and as a TV show host; he tours with pop singer Irene Grandi, plays Gershwin at La Scala. And he returns to particular musical constellations that continue to inspire him. Amongst these: the duo with Enrico Rava, the Danish Trio with Jesper Bodilsen and Morten Lund (which recently recorded a new ECM session, augmented by Bill Frisell and Mark Turner). To these special groups add now the exciting project with Hamilton de Holanda. At the end of August and into September Bollani joins de Holanda for another round of concerts in Brazil.

Jesper Bodilsen
The Danish bass player, composer, producer and educator Jesper Bodilsen was born January 5th 1970 in Haslev, Denmark.

As 3 a year old he moved to Silkeborg with his parents and older brother and there he stayed until he was 18 years old.

No one in his family were playing music. But as a 8 year old kid he found an old trumpet at the loft of his grand parents farm and he was immediately interested in trying to make music with the old horn. At the age of 10 he was admitted as a member of the school brass band there he learned to play the cornet and read music.

In 1984 Jesper got his first bass - an electric bass - and one year later he joined a pop/funk band and played his first professional gig short after. He was admitted at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark in 1991 where he studied for 5 years and ended up with a Diploma degree in June 1997. The same year as he received The Memorial Bursary of Edward Eriksen and was hired to teach at the academy.

While studying at the school in Aarhus Bodilsen also worked as a professional musician. In June 1994 he was asked to perform at two All Star Concerts at the Riverboat Jazz Festival together with American drummer Ed Thigpen and pianist Duke Jordan. These concerts was a kind of breakthrough for Bodilsen and in the years to come he was peforming with other great jazz artists like James Moody, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Horace Parlan, Jimmy Heath and Phil Woods. Often at the legendary jazz club BENT J in Aahus.

In 1995 Bodilsen moved to Copenhagen and he was immediately asked to join the Erling Kroner Dream Quartet. He was touring with different Aarhus and Copenhagen based bands in the years to come when he in 1997 met Ed Thigpen again. Ed Thigpen wanted him in his trio and together with pianist Carsten Dahl the trio recorded their first album “It´s Entertainment” in 1998. The album was nominated for a Danish Grammy and won the JazzSpecial Prize “Album Of The Year”. Bodilsen was playing and recording with Thigpen until 2010 - a collaboration that lasted 13 years and the music is well documented on 6 album releases.

Jesper Bodilsen has always been interested in producing music, finding interesting musicians to perform with and create new constellations. He has been a co-producer for Danish vocalist Katrine Madsen for more than a decade but in 1999 he started his first band “Scandinavian Summit”. They recorded 2 albums and did tours in Europe, SE Asia, China and Australia.

He started his own music production company in 2002 and until now he has produced more than 15 albums, recorded and performed with many great artists.

In 1998, 2002 and 2004 Bodilsen was asked to perform at the prestigious Jazzpar Prize concerts and in 2002 the prize winner was italian trumpet player Enrico Rava.

Bodilsen did 4 concerts with Rava, Stefano Bollani, Gianlucca Petrella, John Abercrombie and Morten Lund and after the final concert in Copenhagen he asked Bollani and Lund if they would be interested in playing together again.

One year later (in march 2003) they did the first trio tour and their first recording for Stunt Records “Mi ritorni in mente”. The first issue of this trio album was released as Jesper Bodilsen Trio.

In 2004 Bodilsen was awarded with the Django d'Or Prize as “Performer of the Year” and that same year the trio recorded their second album “Gleda”. Now all the names of the trio was on the cover. The album was no. 4 on the Italian Jazz Charts in 2005 and nominated for an Australian Bell Award 2006 for “Best International Jazz Album”.

From the start the trio was touring around Europe playing clubs and festivals like the Umbria Jazz festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and the legendary Birdland in New York.

After “Gleda” they recorded with singer Katrine Madsen. The album is called “Close To You” and was nominated for a Danish Music Award as “Best Vocal Jazz Album”.

Then 4 years went by before they recorded again. This time on the highly estimated ECM label and with producer Manfred Eicher. The album “Stone In The Water” was acclaimed the best trio recording of 2009 by several jazz magazines around the world.

Two of the songs on the album was composed by Bodilsen and that same year he went in the studio with Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius, Peter Asplund on trumpet and the Finnish vibraphone player Severi Pyysalo to record a new album mainly with his own songs. The album “Short Stories for Dreamers” was released in 2010 and was praised for its calmness and lyrical mood.

Recently Bodilsen has also been a part of the succesful TV-shows “Sostiene Bollani”. In the fall of 2011 the trio, with Bollani being the host, did 6 shows brodcasted on the Italian national channel RAI 3.

Besides touring around the world, recording albums and teaching at the conservatories Bodilsen has also spent more and more time on composing music.

In the fall of 2012 a new album will be released with his music - displaying his skills as a composer, bandleader, bassplayer and producer.

Morten Lund
(born 1972) is a Danish jazz drummer. He co-leads a trio with Italian pianist Stefano Bollani and Danish bassist Jesper Bodilsen, and he is a member of Paolo Fresu's Devil Quartet and Kind of Porgy and Bess ensembles. As a sideman he has participated on more than 60 albums.

Lund was born into a musical family in Viborg, Denmark, in 1972 to a father who played drums, trumpet, and guitar and was active part of the city's jazz scene, and a mother who played flute. At age 6, he started to play drums. He got his first paid jobs at age 15. In 1993 he was accepted into the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and only a year later, still a student, he started to play in the internationally recognized Klüvers Big Band. With this band that he recorded his first album.

After receiving his diploma in 1997, he moved to Copenhagen and was soon involved in several projects, recording and going on tours. Jesper Bodilsen, with whom he had studied at the Academy, has been a close collaborator on many projects. In 2002 Lund and Bodilsen were among the musicians selected for the Jazzpar Sextet which Enrico Rava formed, as was virtuoso Italian pianist Stefano Bollani. Because the chemistry was good among them, they formed a trio the following year. Their first album, Mi ritorni in mente, was released the same year to critical acclaim and became one of the ten best selling records in Italy that year.

After tours in Italy and Scandinavia it was clear that the collaboration was going to be of a more lasting nature. They went on to play in jazz clubs and at festivals around the world. Their debut in New York City was at the legendary Birdland Club. In 2006 the trio released their second album, Gleda, which is centred on Scandinavian songs.

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