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The Rossano Sportiello Trio Debuts at the Café Carlyle With Two-week Engagement – June 11-june 22

Rick Miramontez / Pete Sanders / Marie Pace
rick@oandmco.com /pete@oandmco.com / marie@oandmco.com
(212) 695-7400



JUNE 11th – JUNE 22nd 

New York, NY (5/30/13) – The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, is pleased to announce that The Rossano Sportiello Trio will debut at the Café Carlyle during their two week engagement running June 11 through June 22. The Trio will be performing their program, The Smiling Piano: A Tribute To The Artistry Of Jazz Piano Icon George Shearing.

A tribute to George Shearing means a tribute to jazz piano in general. Mr. Shearing’s style was first inspired by Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, and Art Tatum.  But Shearing soon became one the masters of be-bop.  A Shearing tribute is also naturally a tribute to The Great American Song Book, because he was one of its greatest interpreters and one of the most remarkable improvisers of all time, as well as a very prolific composer.

On the title of the tribute, Mr. Sportiello says, “A Smiling Piano is what I think of as soon as I listen to any George Shearing recordings, when I hear the most beautiful piano playing that makes everybody smile. His music is in tune with the way I felt since I became a professional performer at only 16. I felt I wanted to play music that could always be enjoyable and make people feel good.”

Stride piano, swing, be-bop, the Great American Song Book and classical music are the leading ingredients that shape the Trio’s tribute. The trio features Rossano Sportiello on piano, Frank Tate on bass (June 11-15), Joel Forbes on bass (June 18-22), and Dennis Mackrel on drums.

Café Carlyle is located in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (35 East 76th Street @ Madison Avenue). The Rossano Sportiello Trio will play Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:45pm from June 11th to June 22nd. There is a $65 music charge ($45 bar seating) Tuesday through Thursday and a $75 music charge ($50 bar seating) for shows on Friday and Saturday. For additional information, visit www.thecarlyle.com.

BIOS_______________________________________________________ _______

Award-winning jazz pianist Rossano Sportiello was born in Vigevano, Italy on June 1, 1974. He began studying piano at the age of 9 under the tutelage of Italian classical pianist Carlo Villa and continued until his graduation in classical piano from the Conservatory in 1996. At 16, he was performing professionally at jazz venues in the Milan area, and in 1992, he joined one of Europe’s historic jazz bands, the “Milano Jazz Gang” touring with the group throughout Italy and West Europe until the end of 2000. That same year, Rossano met legendary jazz pianist and educator, Barry Harris, who became a mentor and good friend. Mr. Harris has touted Rossano as “the best stride piano player” he has ever heard.

Stylistically, although international critics consider Rossano a follower of Ralph Sutton, Dave McKenna and Barry Harris, the influence of other great masters can be heard in his playing, such as Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Earl Hines, Ellis Larkins and Bill Evans, to name a few. Rossano was introduced as a soloist by trombonist/arranger Dan Barrett and drew international acclaim at the 2002 Ascona Jazz Festival (Switzerland) while performing with the eight-piece, all-star American band led by Barrett, which was enthusiastically received. Rossano has performed several times at Ascona since and standing ovations after his performances are not uncommon. At the 25th anniversary of the festival, he received the 2009 Ascona Jazz Award in recognition of his expertise and mastery of jazz piano, in particular stride piano. Rossano made his first trip to the United States and was introduced to the American audience at the invitation of the late Mat Domber (Arbors Records) to perform at the 2003 “March of Jazz” party in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Following his marriage to American writer, Lala Moore, in 2007, Rossano established himself in New York City.

Rossano has performed with many of the world’s finest jazz luminaries, such as Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Barry Harris, Dan Barrett, Kenny Davern, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bob Wilber, Warren Vache, Bob Cranshaw, Mickey Roker, Harry Allen, Howard Alden, Joe Wilder, Eddie Locke, Joe La Barbera, Scott Hamilton, Jake Hanna, Houston Person, Bill Charlap, Dick Hyman. He has been in great demand in the U.S. appearing at New York venues, such as Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Birdland, Feinstein's, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, the Café Carlyle and Town Hall, as well as at main jazz parties and festivals, including the San Diego Jazz Party, Chautauqua Jazz Festival, North Carolina Jazz Party, Rochester Jazz Festival, Odessa Jazz Party, Newport Beach Jazz Party, Arbors Records Invitational Jazz Piano Party, Rocky Mountains Jazz Party and the Roswell Jazz Festival. Internationally, Rossano has performed in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and in acclaimed festivals and venues such as the Norwich Jazz Party, Nairn International Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Spoleto Piano Festival, Lucerne Piano Festival, the Philarmonie (Luxembourg), Teatro Alla Scala (Milan), Teatro dell’Opera (Rome), Marians Jazz Room (Switzerland), Lionel Hampton Jazz Club (Paris), Blue Note (Milan ), Printzregentertheatre (Munchen-Germany) and Schloss Elmau (Germany), to name a few. Since 2008, Rossano has performed regularly with the Harry Allen Quartet. For his performances, see the touring page.

On 4 May 2011, in his home town of Vigevano, Italy, Rossano received the prestigious Vittorio Ramella award, bestowed upon native persons of Vigevano who through their profession have made a significant contribution to the world and distinguished themselves in the international community. As an educator, Rossano has given lectures on jazz and/or masterclasses on piano at institutions such as the University of Toronto Jazz Studies, University of Central Florida and Claremont College (California). Most recently, in May 2013, in addition to a concert at the Master’s Lodge of St. John’s College, Cambridge, UK, he lectured there as “professor in residence”.

Rossano has recorded four solo piano CDs, including In the Dark (2004, Sackville); Piano On My Mind (2005, Jazz Connaisseur), which won the “Prix Du Jazz Classique de l’Académie du Jazz de France”; Heart and Soul (2006, Arbors Records), selected by the French magazine Jazz Classique among the top 10 of the year; and It Amazes Me (2009, Sackville); and two duet CDs with bassist/singer Nicki Parrott on Arbors Records, Do It Again (2009) and People Will Say We’re In Love (2007), which was selected by The New Yorker magazine as one of the top 10 jazz CDs of 2007. Rossano also has three jazz CDs featuring classical music, Chopin in Jazz (2010), Schubert in Jazz (2011) and Listz in Jazz (2011) on the SwingBros label. The Rossano Sportiello Trio (Frank Tate and Dennis Mackrel) recorded Lucky to Be Me, (2010, Arbors Records).

In 1983, Count Basie personally selected Dennis Mackrel to join his band, known for having the finest rhythm section in jazz. Dennis has been a sideman of choice for scores of jazz greats. George Shearing himself said, “If I ever have a record date coming up that calls for a drummer and Dennis is not available, I'll postpone the session. He's that good.” Dennis is currently one of the greatest jazz drummers and arrangers as well as the Musical Director of The Count Basie Orchestra.

Joel Forbes, currently a member of the Harry Allen Quartet and the Rebecca Kilgore Quartet, is one of New York best bass players, well known for is incredibly rich acoustic sound.

Since the late 60’s, Frank Tate has been the sought-after accompanist for legendary musicians. Marian McPartland, Benny Goodman, Hank Jones, Dave McKenna, Wild Bill Davison, Teddy Wilson, Joe Venuti, Milt Jackson, Zoot Sims, and dozens of other jazz greats all have turned to Frank for his brilliant bass lines.  Frank worked at the Cafè Carlyle every night with Bobby Short for the last 9 years of Bobby’s career until 2004.

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