Danilo di Paolonicola studied accordion and jazz music variety with the master Renzo Ruggieri, he attended advanced training courses at the Berklee School in Perugia (Umbria Jazz). He teaches the first experimental course in Italian for diatonic accordion at the Conservatory of L’Aquila “A. Casella”. In 2009 and 2010 he was professor of higher education courses Afam Campus in Santa Severina (Kr) prepared by the Institute of Musical Studies Tchaikovsky in Nocera Terinese (Cz). He has given master classes and seminars in conservatories, festivals and competitions, including the International Festival of Castelfidardo.
He has recorded several albums as a side man, and in 2008 he collaborated on the album “Abruzzo Mediterranean”, produced by Wide Sound with the group M. Edit Ensemble of Angelo Values. He recorded several soundtracks for Cinik records, including “The House On Clouds”, produced by Warner Bros, Man Match, The Journey of Kalibani, Brothers of Italy, Our Lady Of Fruits.
He has performed in various folk, ethnic and jazz music festivals, both in Italy and abroad and has performed and collaborated with internationally renowned artists.
He is demonstrator of accordions “Paolo Soprani”. It is a technical consultant and official demonstrator “Roland Europe” for the line V-Accordion for which he made the first virtual melodeon.
When did you start playing and why?
I started playing at six years for the case and my first instrument was the accordion. I well remember the day that my parents took me to this master organ was already very old. It was great Rapacchietta! I was immediately captivated by this very charismatic figure of the man who played the accordion in an excellent manner. I stood there listening curious about the lessons of the other guys and when it was my turn took the instrument and looked as though they already knew a little play. The master said, screaming “you will become a champion, I’ll take you to Hollywood” and he repeated this drill countless times. Since then I have not stopped playing.
What were your first experiences as a performer?
My first experiences as a performer dating back to 1988, following the victory of my first national competitions and the world’s organ. I was hired by an agency of Perugia in those years made me turn around the center of Italy making me do many concerts and TV appearances, including Italy Award broadcast on Rai Uno, flanked by two big names of the accordion, Gervasio Marcosignori and Mirco Patarini. In the same year I had the honor to be accompanied during a gala orchestra Castellina Pasi.
The accordion is a very versatile tool, thanks to which many accordionists probe genres also very distant from each other. Can you talk about your experience in this regard?
The accordion is definitely a very versatile tool, and then it can be used in different musical genres, from folk to ethnic, classic, jazz, pop, varietè. My experience from accordionist see me engaged in modern music, ie jazz and pop in their many forms. After acquiring a good command of the instrument, I immediately started studying jazz for several years and recently I graduated in pop music (popular music). In recent years I have had the opportunity to work with renowned artists of the landscape of jazz and pop as Enrico Pierannunzi, Massimo Manzi, Paolo Di Sabatino, Mike Rossi, Enrico Melozzi, Toni Fidanza, Gianfranco Reverberi, Grazia Di Michele, Linda Valori, Awa Ly and many others.
What is the genre in which you can express more fully the potential of your music and your instrument?
The kind of music where I can express myself better is certainly the etnojazz. This kind of music characterizes me a lot especially since I can make the best use is the organ that the accordion, giving it a common language. The elements that my music is improvisation, the Balkan rhythms , original compositions or issues related to the traditional music of various peoples.
Can you talk about your experience in teaching?
My teaching experience, from the beginning, gave me a lot of satisfaction. I teach for six years diatonic accordion at the Conservatory of L’Aquila, which has produced a new school of players who are raising the level of this instrument. In recent years, my school has won several major awards, such as the victory of the world championships accordion 2009, 2010 and 2012, won respectively by Andrea Tini, Marco Pomanti and Marco Leonetti, the victory of the V-Accordion Festival 2011 with Pietro Adragna and the competition section of Castelfidardo in 2013 diatonic with Marco Pomanti.
What are the projects you’re working on currently?
The projects on which I am currently working on are the Ethnic Project, in which I experiment with new sounds by combining, as I said previously, improvisation, Balkan rhythms and themes with contemporary arrangements of folk origin and with a workforce of very special instruments such as the Arabic oud the greek bouzooki, clarinet, rhythmic bass and drums and of course the accordion and organ. Another recent project training that sees me busy is the Urban Jazz duo with Gianluca Caporale on saxophone, with whom we revisit some jazz standards and original compositions in the style of bebop and funk.
What are, if you can tell us, the projects for the future?
As for my future plans, I would like to talk about Ethnic Project Contemporary Ensemble, my last effort. It is a project that goes to broaden the ethnic project with the addition of a brass band plus percussion. I made the arrangements and we did the concert on the occasion of my thesis, which has had positive aspects so as to convince the commission to graduate with highest honors. I hope as soon as possible to go into the studio to make a record with my new project.
This article is available also in: Italian