Umberto Petrin

Umberto Petrin

Considered one of the greatest Italian pianists on an international level. Graduated in Piano, he has always been actively dedicated to Poetry, winning competitions and publishing in literary magazines. In addition to his activity strictly in Jazz, for a long time he has been involved in various projects of syncretism between improvisation music and other arts, poetry, videoart, performance. Countless collaborations, both in concert and on record. We quote: Steve Lacy, Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton, Lester Bowie, Dewey Redman, Enrico Rava, Tim Berne, Barry Altschul, Pheeroan AkLaff, Paul Lovens, Paul Rutherford, Han Bennink, Willem Breuker, Pheeroan AkLaff, Marc Ducret, Michael Moore, Amiri Baraka, Italian Instabile Orchestra.

He is several times among the best Italian musicians in the various editions of Top Jazz, and is the “Musician Revelation of the Year” in 1996, according to the magazine Musica Jazz. In 1997 he was invited to the prestigious Italian Instabile Orchestra, with which he toured all over the world. He remains in the Instabile until 2009. He is the only one to have created a piano duo with the legendary Cecil Taylor, of whom he also performs original compositions in concert. He is considered one of the greatest interpreters of Thelonious Monk’s music.

In 1999 he began an artistic partnership with the writer Stefano Benni. Since 2000 he plays constantly with Gianluigi Trovesi. In 2011 he published in solo “A dawn will come”. which has achieved considerable critical acclaim and is among the 20 best albums of the year in the U.S.A. Culture Catch survey – the only Italian musician’s album on the charts. The new album in Piano Solo, Traces and Ghosts, recorded for the English label Leo Records, has obtained the prestigious award “Disco CHOC” for the magazine Jazz Magazine-Jazzman, the most authoritative in France. Thanks to this CD he was invited on Piano Solo at the Lisbon Jazz Festival (July 2014) and then at the prestigious New York Spectrum for two solo concerts. Recently he was the protagonist, at the Free Sound festival in Thiene, of a reading-concert with Jack Hirschman, currently considered the greatest American poet. In 2017 he released the CD “Twelve Colours and Synesthetic Cells”, recorded in duo with Gianluigi Trovesi. He plays again solo at the Palazzo del Casinò in Venice, at the Steingraeber Piano Festival (Cremona) and then, at the Teatro della Tosse in Genoa, both solo and in duo with Lella Costa (acting voice) for the 2017 Science Festival.

He records a new album in trio with Paolino Dalla Porta (double bass) and Patrice Heral (percussions, electronics). He participates in the musical reading on Boccaccio’s decameron together with the actor David Riondino. In 2018 he is called by the Brazilian singer Rosàlia De Souza in her album “Tempo”, as both pianist and arranger and composer of original songs. He also collaborates with the art critic Philippe Daverio and the nuclear physicist Fernando Ferroni on the occasion of the show Science and Art, held at the Teatro Diana in Naples. With the vocalist Boris Savoldelli he records ten episodes in a voice-piano duo for RSI2 Switzerland.

He reconstitutes the “Tenco Project” trio with Tiziana Ghiglioni and Gianluigi Trovesi and makes his debut in a new musical reading with Stefano Benni on poetic texts by J.L. Borges.

He has recorded over 70 CDs so far, many of them critically acclaimed. The poem “Frammenti d’ombre e di penombre” by the poet Giovanni Fontana is dedicated to him. His figure has also inspired several characters from Stefano Benni’s novels, including Anteo Petrini in his novel “Di tutte le ricchezze”. He has collaborated with contemporary art magazines and holds the chair of Jazz Piano at the Conservatory of Milan. He holds seminars on Jazz Music and seminars on Theatre and Music together with Stefano Benni. His activity is aimed at the deepening of Thought, the encounter between the languages of Art. He firmly believes that Art can help Man to evolve and he calls himself “a specialized worker of the soul”.