Saturday, June 19, 2010


Italian jazz musician who plays alto saxophone Francesco Cafiso was born on May 24, 1989 in Vittoria, Sicily. He began playing at age nine and premiered in 2001. In 2005, at age sixteen, he won Italy's version of the Golden Django.

Cafiso is one of the most precocious talents in the history of jazz. When he was barely nine years old Francesco took his first steps, working with internationally famous musicians.

First of all, veteran jazz critic Ira Gitler was blown away by the young man's incredible set with veteran pianist Franco D'Andrea at the 2002 Pescara Jazz Festival, most of which was issued on the Philology CD Standing Ovation and was described in detail by Gitler in an article written for the Jazz Journalist Association newsletter. Meeting Wynton Marsalis at a laterfestival was a decisive moment for Francesco’s career. Amazed by Francesco’s qualities, Marsalis took him along with his septet on his 2003 European tour, where Francesco performed in prestigious theatres in the largest cities in Europe.

From that moment on, Francesco went through a series of important experiences both in Italy and abroad. He attended the 2004 International Association of Jazz Education in New York City, amazing audiences in his nightly jazz sessions with veterans James Williams (piano), Ray Drummond (bass) and Ben Riley (drums). Phil Woods, who obviously knows the difference between musicianship and press hype, commented to one writer in jest, “I'd like to break his arm!”

He won various important prizes: the Massimo Urbani National Award to Urbisaglia, the EuroJazz Award to Lecco, the International Jazz Festivals Organization Award to New York, the World Saxophone Competition to London, the Django d’Or to Rome and many others.
In order to improve his English, but most of all, in order to experience new musical styles and genres, Francesco went to New Orleans where he played with Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Thadeus Richard, Bob Franch, Maurice Brown and many others important local musicians while taking special lessons from Alvin Batiste.

In 2005 the Swing Journal, the authoritative Japanese jazz music magazine, confers him the New Stars Award, prize reserved to the emergent foreign talents. Immediately later, the affirmation in the Top Jazz, referendum of the Italian Music Jazz magazine, that recognizes him as the best new talent of the year.

Francesco performed with a number of great musicians: Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Mulgrew Miller, Ronnie Matthews, Jimmy Cobb, Ben Riley, Ray Drummond, Reggie Johnson, Doug Sides Lewis Nash, James Williams, Joe Lovano, George Mraz, Joe Locke, Enrico Rava, Gianni Basso, Dado Moroni, Franco D’Andrea and many other Italian and American musicians.
In February 2006 Francesco has achieved the Diploma in Transverse Flute at the Musical Institute V. Bellini in Catania with the Elena Favaron guide and he studies piano jazz.

On 19 January 2009 he played in Washington DC during the festivities in honor of President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Francesco Cafiso toca "She Loves Me'

Reference - AAJ

No comments: