Vittorio Mezza

Born in Maddaloni (CE) on the 25th August, 1976 and grown up in Telese Terme (BN), Vittorio Mezza got the Scientific High School Degree, the Secondary School Teaching diploma, the Specialization as Special Needs Educational Assistant and the Teaching Qualification. After having also completed his studies in classical music at the Conservatory of Benevento, he moved to Rome where he got his Diploma and Bachelor “cum laude” in Jazz Music from the ”S. Cecilia Conservatory of Music” in Rome.

He attended various courses and masterclasses held by international musicians: the Berklee Summer School at Umbria Jazz, the Seminars and the two-year Master of High Improvement for Jazz Trios in Siena, the David Liebman Chromatic Jazz Master Class at East Stroudsbourg University, Pennsylvania – USA, the New York International Jazz Workshop-USA, the Arrangement and Composition Course at the Music University of Rome. He also studied with J. Taylor, F. D’Andrea, D. Sanborn, G. Goldstein and others.

He took part in many international festivals such as the Franco-Italian Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music in Rome with the Jazz Orchestra of S. Cecilia, the Jazz Festival of Roccella Jonica in 2005, where he opened the concert for the Wayne Shorter Quartet, the “Festa della Musica” in Rome and the Jazz Festival of Bitonto, (where he opened the concerts respectively for the Peter Erskine Trio and for the Mike Stern Band in 2007) and the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown (South Africa) in 2016.

He was semi-finalist at the TIM in Marseille (France). Also, he was the only Italian pianist to compete in the Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition 2005.

In Italy, he has collaborated with Paolo Damiani, Massimo Moriconi, Roberto Gatto, Ettore Fioravanti, Francesco Puglisi, Cristiano Micalizzi, Pietro Ciancaglini, Aldo Bassi, the S. Cecilia Jazz Quartet, Diana Torto, Walter Paoli.

In the United States he performed with Dave Liebman, Mike Stephans, Tony Marino, Tony Moreno, Marc Mommaas; in Canada, in trio with Alec Walkington and Dave Laing (McGill University of Music of Montreal) and in trio with George Koller and Davide Di Renzo (Toronto); in Germany with David Milzow and Tarek Husseini; in South Africa with Mark Ginsburg, Romy Brauteseth, Kevin Gibson, Judy Campbell, Justin Binek, Mike Campbell, Micu Narunsky, Maurice Gawronsky, Ian Smith, Sphelelo Mazibuko, Andreas Tschopp, Justin Bellairs.

He also performed at the legendary Deer Head Inn – Pennsylvania (USA), at the Upstairs Jazz Club in Montreal and at Lula Lounge Jazz Club in Toronto (Canada). He took part in the International Festival in Grahamstown (South Africa). He played at Kaleidoscope Jazz Lounge, at Winchester Mansions, at the Jazz Theatre at the Nassau (Cape Town, South Africa).

In Rome he played at Conservatory of S. Cecilia, Casa del Jazz, Basilica S. Agnese in Agone, Villa Giulia, Teatro dei Contrari, Villa Pamphili, Villa Celimontana, Palazzo Farnese. Also, he played at Teatro Vespasiano in Civitavecchia, at the Anfiteatro Romano in Benevento, at Teatro Comunale of Ceglie Messapica, at Teatro Vespasiano in Rieti, at Palazzo Reale of S. Leucio di Caserta, at the Conservatories of L’Aquila and Reggio Calabria, at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Teatro Cilea in Reggio Calabria, at the University of Cosenza, at the Festival ‘Come Back’ in Giubiasco (Switzerland) with the band I Giganti. He also participated in many television shows of Rai and Mediaset.

He recorded his first cd MP2 live Mezza Pagni Jazz Duo – Splasc(H) Records, followed by the cd Solinsieme – Domani Musica Ed. Mus. Both albums were reviewed by the most important Italian critics, such as Franco Fayenz, Vittorio Lo Conte, Neri Pollastri, Giordano Selini, Diego D’Angelo, Gerlando Gatto, Andrea Romeo, Gianni Montano, Michael Alberga as well as on important jazz magazines and newspapers like MUSICA JAZZ, JAZZIT.IT, Corriere della Sera, L’Unità, Milano Finanza, Gioia, Il Tempo in Italia, and by the international press (in Japan, USA, Switzerland, France, Canada).

On the occasion of the referendum TOP JAZZ 2006 organized by Musica Jazz , Vittorio Mezza was selected in the category of the best new Italian talents. He was prize winner at the International Composition Contest “O. Sindici” in 2006, obtaining the publication of a collection of his original compositions by solo piano.

In 2007 he was finalist at the Concorso Internazionale per musica applicata a video d’autore – Roma – Soundtrack Competition.

Vittorio Mezza’s publications are: Pianogrups Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (BERBEN Edizioni.), Birth from a bird – for piano and Memories of Love (Florestano Edizioni); his book Nuovi Percorsi Improvvisativi – Tecniche avanzate pentatoniche is published by Libreria Universitaria of Padova. The book FRAGMENTSTen jazz compositions for pianoforte solo has been released in December 2016, included in the Contemporary Music Series of one of the greatest Italian Publishers: UTORPHEUS, based in Bologna.

He was interviewed in many radio broadcasts: by ICN Radio in Westwood, New Jersey (USA) – which dedicated one of their broadcasts to Vittorio Mezza’s music, and by the Radio Italiana Canadese in Montreal. Also, he was interviewed by the US newspaper L’America Oggi (July 2009).

He took part in the broadcast Notturno Italiano of Rai Radio International, where he was interviewed by A. Pierotti.

The album VITTORIO MEZZA TRIO (Abeat Records) was presented at La Feltrinelli Libri e Musica in Rome and in many radio broadcasts like “Battiti” of Rai Radio Tre, Radio Montecarlo, Radio 105, LifeGate Radio, Radio 24.

His compositions are broadcast in France (by Radio Jazz 34), in Germany (by Jazz Radio Berlin), Radio ARA Luxembourg and also in the Usa, in Canada by JAZZFM91, in Korea, Romania, Albania, Chile, Croatia, Mexico, Poland, Czech Republic, Colombia, Greece, Iceland, Canada, Peru, Slovenia, South Africa, Israel, Serbia, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ecuador, Honduras, Belarus, Indonesia, Guatemala, Brazil, Slovakia, Qatar, Bangladesh, Panama, Thailand, Norway, Armenia, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Bahamas, Ukraine, Malaysia, Sudan, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Spain, Bolivia, New Mexico, Republic of Macedonia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Suriname, Singapore, Hawaii, Venezuela, Sweden, UAE, Netherlands Antilles, Georgia, Ivory Coast, Hong Kong, Russia, Japan, India, New Zealand and Australia, where some of his compositions in trio were arranged by choir and orchestra.

Also the Alitalia Airlines selected some of Vittorio Mezza’s recordings.

Last but not least, Vittorio Mezza Trio was selected in the special chart by Jazzit Magazine as “Album of the year 2010”, both in the category “100 Greatest Jazz Albums 2010” and “Composition & Ensemble” and the pianist was considered as one of the best Italian musicians and composers for the Referendum Jazzit Award Prize 2010.

As Music Consultant, Vittorio Mezza collaborated in the production of the modern play based on “I Promessi Sposi” by Alessandro Manzoni, directed by M. Guardi, orchestration by R. Serio, held at Stadium “G. Meazza” (aka San Siro Stadium) in Milan, broadcast in prime time by RaiUno and with repeat performances at Teatro della Valle dei Templi in Agrigento and Teatro degli Arcimboldi in Milan.

He also collaborated in the jazz project My World by Raitrade.

Since 2005 Vittorio Mezza has been collaborating with Rai Radio Televisione Italiana.

He appears as Jazz Music Professor in most of the lists of the Italian Conservatories.

He held the Jazz piano Course at Conservatory of S. Cecilia in Rome in the academic years 2008-2010. He was Chair of Jazz Piano at Conservatory Francesco Cilea in Reggio Calabria in the academic years 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. He also held the course of electronic keyboards at Conservatory G. B Martini in Bologna (academic years 2013-14 and 2014-15), Chair of Jazz Piano at the Conservatory F.E. Dall’Abaco in Verona in the academic year 2014-15. He was also in charge as jazz piano collaborator with Conservatory F. Morlacchi in Perugia in the academic year 2013-14.

Among the most important solo piano albums recorded by Vittorio Mezza, it is worth mentioning the cd LIFE PROCESS, published by Abeat Records in 2012, which obtained dozens of reviews. Vittorio Mezza was also interviewed on the bimestrial Italian Jazz Magazine Jazzit (July-August 2012). The album was presented by the well-known critic and journalist Pino Saulo in his broadcast “Battiti” on Rai Radio Tre, on the 29th October, 2012.

Upon direct invitation by the Italian Embassy of Italy in Yaoundé – Cameroun, the album was also presented at the Institute of French Culture in Douala (Cameroun) within the 15th edition of the International Festival Ya-Jazz on the 8th November, 2012.

On the 12th May, 2013, Vittorio Mezza played some pieces from the album Life Process at Percorsi Jazz 2013 held at Conservatory of S. Cecilia in Rome.

On the 3rd December, 2013 he performed with Paolo Damiani in quartet at Conservatory of S. Cecilia in Rome, at the seventh edition of the “Premio Via Vittoria” (organized in collaboration with the Conservatory and the Academy of S. Cecilia). On that occasion Dott. Gianni Letta assigned the Special Prize to M° Sir Antonio Pappano.

On the 19th July, 2014 Vittorio Mezza received the National Prize Anselmo Mattei, eleventh edition, as established musician. On that occasion he held a solo piano concert in San Salvatore Telesino (BN).

As coordinator of the Department of New Technologies and Musical Languages, he held a masterclass about the contemporary approach to jazz music, with the German saxophonist David Milzow at the Conservatory Francesco Cilea in Reggio Calabria on the 23rd and 24th September, 2014. On that occasion Vittorio Mezza officially presented his new album MMP – Mezza Milzow Project, published by Abeat Records, with David Milzow on saxophones and Ettore Fioravanti on drums. The liner notes of this album contain the encouraging review by Dave Liebman. This album was broadcast by Rai Radio Tre on the 21st October, 2014 and presented in tour in the most important towns in Germany in January 2015.

On the 18th November, 2014 Radio Jazz FM of Toronto (Canada) interviewed Vittorio Mezza following the recording of his new international album NAPOLI JAZZ SONGS, with George Koller on double bass and Davide Di Renzo on drums.

Vittorio Mezza’s album NAPOLI JAZZ SONGS, recorded by Vittorio Mezza Canadian Trio at Number 9 Studio in Toronto (Canada), available both in the digital version and as physical CD, was released worldwide on the 7th October 2016 and presented at La Feltrinelli Libri e Musica, Naples, published by Abeat Records.

Vittorio Mezza performed solo piano at Villa Belgioioso in the important festival MILANO PIANO CITY 2015. He also held a concert at All Saints Church in Rome with saxophonist Mark Ginsburg and the polyphonic choir Bel a Cappella from Sidney (Australia). Vittorio Mezza also took part in the MILANO PIANO CITY 2016 edition, where he played a concert by solo piano in the amazing new location of Porta Nuova Smart Community.

Another recent international project by Vittorio Mezza, recorded in quartet with the South African-Australian saxophonist and composer Mark Ginsburg, is going to be released by the great Ozella Records in Germany, it is CONVERGENCE. This project was presented in tour in the most important towns in South Africa in June and July 2016. The South African Tour ended with their participation in the Standard Bank International Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, arousing great enthusiasm amid the public and the critics. The liner notes of Convergence show the support and appreciation of two great international artists like Dave Liebman (renowned saxophonist and music teacher) and Bruce Cassidy (Blood, Sweat & Tears).

In November 2016 Vittorio Mezza recorded another album with the German saxophonist David Milzow at the Wohlklangforschung Studios in Hannover: MMEQ – MEZZA MILZOW EUROPEAN QUARTET. This album is going to be released by the Unit Records in Switzerland within this year and The band will be on Tour in Germany this November presenting its own original compositions through the main cities of the country.

Vittorio Mezza is currently Chair of Jazz Piano at Conservatory Licinio Refice in Frosinone. He also held the course of Jazz Piano at Conservatory Lucio Campiani in Mantova and at Conservatory Alfredo Casella in L’Aquila and the course of Electronic Keyboards at Conservatory G.B. Martini in Bologna. As from November 2016, he is also holding the “Corsi Liberi” of jazz piano and jazz composition at “La Casa del Jazz” in Rome, in collaboration with the Conservatory of S. Cecilia in Rome.

He has been interviewed by JAZZIT Magazine (March-April 2017 n. 98) about the TRIO project Napoli Jazz Songs that, just after releasing, has been broadcasted by the most important Italian and international radio stations (from’ Battiti’ Rai Radio Tre to Radio Luxembourg, Radio Swiss Jazz, Radio Berlin, Jazz Radio 106.8, Network Two Italian Switzerland, to name a few), as well as positively reviewed by the major Italian newspapers and magazines (La Repubblica, Jazz, Il Mattino, Tgcom 24, Audiophile, Cadence Jazz Magazine, THE GAZETTE BLEUE D’ACTION JAZZ etc etc.).

On 2 May 2017 he was invited to represent Italy as a jazz pianist from the biggest radio station of Canada – the JAZZFM – in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Consulate General of Italy for JAZZ.FM91’s 2017 Sounds of Italy Concert Series, Toronto (Canada).

On May 20th and July 2nd 2017 Vittorio played in Milan and Rome at Piano City, the famous Italian kermesse dedicated to the piano solo performance.

On October 23 2017, in the occasion of the UN’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against journalists, he was asked to compose the hymn for Orchestra ‘Libertà va cercando’ that was broadcasted at the Senato della Repubblica di Roma – Palazzo Madama, with the presence of the President of Senato, His Excellency Pietro Grasso. The title comes from the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri and was choosen by the great journalist Alberto Spampinato, the Director of the Association Ossigeno per l’Informazione.

On November 2017 he is on tour in Germany with the MMEQ project (Mezza Milzow European Quartet) touching the main German cities and playing at the prestigious ” Birdland ” in Hamburg.

He currently chairs the Chair of Jazz Piano at the Licinio Refice Conservatory of Music in Frosinone and the Electronic Keyboard Course at the Giovan Battista Martini Conservatory in Bologna.