Deep accordionist and composer, with a strong sensitivity, Salvatore Cauteruccio is a particularly curious and eclectic musician, able to tackle with ease and expressive finesse genres such as classical music, tango, pop and jazz. In this interview he talks about his life and career.
Did you approach to the accordion at the age of nine. As the meeting with this instrument was born?
The meeting with the instrument took place thanks to my father, I did not even know existed. One day he asked, “Salvatore, do you want to learn to play the accordion?” I answered, “What?” He said to me: “It’s an instrument that has a harmonious sound, I believe that when you learn to know you will not want”. In fact it was so, I fell in love sound, I was fascinated by the movement of the bellows, they roused all those buttons on the left, but the strongest emotion was when I took her in my arms and I felt rested at heart.
What was your course of studies on the accordion?
I was lucky enough to follow his musical studies with teachers who didn’t only teach me discipline, but above all the love and passion for this magnificent art. I studied Traditional Accordion with Maestro Tony Siciliano, Modern Harmony and Piano with Maestro Alfredo Biondo and Accordion Jazz / Modern and Musical Arrangement with Maestro Renzo Ruggieri. In addition, I have participated in several workshop.
When and why has love for jazz accordion blossomed?
It was a special time in my life, so much entertainment work around for Italy, but inside I felt it was not my way. I wanted to play more, the dance music did not like me anymore, although he was making me live well economically. Then I began to buy records from various accordionists, including “Journey” by Richard Galliano. I was fascinated by the sound, by his touch, technical and sentimental at the same time, his improvisations seemed themes. I was curious about everything. From that moment I decided to take the jazz studies, and then seek a personal style by listening to other influential figures, including: Astor Piazzolla, Frank Marocco, Art Van Damme, Gorni Kramer, Wolmer Beltrami, Antonello Salis, Gil Goldstein.
Among the various recording projects of which six protagonist is necessary to mention “Tangout” with the formation “Nova 4tet”. This disc was nominated for Best CD 2008 Orpheus Award in the jazz section. You think that this is the album to which you feel more tied than your others?
No, I don’t feel particularly attached to the disc “Tangout”, although the Orpheus nomination was a nice goal. I strongly believe in all the papers published, as they represent a very specific time of my life. Each disc has a path of ideas, sounds, organic and different type of recording one another.
You have given numerous concerts in Italy and abroad. Among them there was a very prestigious and meaningful results to “Kremlin” in Moscow. What are your memories of this event?
I try to approach all my concerts with professionalism, felling all possible emotions with the hope to send it to the audience. I remember the experience at the “Kremlin” with great pleasure. I lived with strong emotion the entire period, from preparation to live performance. I was very happy to be able to listen to my playing to this prestigious audience, large and attentive, sensitive in listening to what I was proposing. Also, I remember the warm applause at the end of a traditional Calabrian song rearranged in a jazz style and applause for my greeting in Russian. I hope that one day in I can play in that stage again. Do not ever stop dreaming.
In addition to being a brilliant accordionist you are a prolific composer. You wrote several theatre music. How did you live this experience?
As a child I had a passion for the theatre and when I was offered for the first time to compose I was very happy, even if worried. I had never written music, I always created my music spontaneously and without strict rules. The desire to do well was great and I faced the whole time working on it day and night, excluding any other proposal. In that case I composed a song that is so vibrant, “Deseo De Libertad.” In addition to the composition, I took care arrangements for various shows such as Naked and Raw Anna Mazzamauro, with music by Amedeo Minghi.
Teaching is another fundamental element of your artistic life. How are you interfacing with your students from a human and musical point of view?
Well said, it is an important part of my life. I love to teach and spend as much time as possible with my students, even outside of the classroom. With them are myself and especially sincere, fortunately knowing my limits. I believe in the simple teaching, immediate and innovative. As well as to introduce the basics of music I like to keep meetings together and discuss issues that may be encountered with an ensemble, record the songs dealt with in the studio during the course and raise awareness among children in the writing of short articles and in the organization of small events.
In your opinion, what are the ideal requirements of good teaching?
Besides having a good preparation the teacher must be honest, humble and sincere.
As real interest is recorded among the younger generation towards the study of the accordion?
I think the accordion is going through a good period. Young people are intrigued by the potential of this instrument and easily undertake studies with great interest and determination to achieve professional goals, although we live in a society that offers other interests. We must thank musicians such as Richard Galliano, Antonello Salis, Simone Zanchini, Renzo Ruggieri and Luciano Biondini who spread the modern side of the instrument, but also pop artists who use it only as a colour, but also contribute to the spread, for example: Biagio Antonacci, Antonella Ruggero, Mariah Carey, Ron, Ivano Fossati, Fiorella Mannoia.
Have you in the mind new records?
I’m working simultaneously for two new record publications. “In Milonga – Second Volume”, dedicated to the classics of the tango played in direct contact with accordion and guitar and the new CD with Màs en Tango which includes the creation of original songs and the inclusion of special guests. Both works will be produced by the prestigious label “Picanto Records”.
This article is available also in: Italian