Musician from classical cultured and refined virtuosity, Alessandro Gazza is a talented accordionist particularly versatile, able to range from classical music to tango, jazz and Latin jazz. Through this interview he tells his human and artistic experiences.
When and how has your passion for the accordion started?
I owe everything to my father, who, at the age of eight years directed me towards this instrument.
When have you decided to take seriously the study of the accordion?
In 1988 I prepared my first examination for the “Centro Didattico Musicale” of Ancona. On that occasion, among other accordionists, I knew Gervasio Marcosignori, his various shades of the accordion, an instrument with great potential.
Has your family supported your musical studies or showed skepticism?
My family has always supported my studies, musical or otherwise. Not only regarding the accordion, but also related to the organ and organ composition. I followed these paths academics attending the Conservatory “Tito Schipa” of Lecce.
When have you realized that the accordion would allow you to become a performer in every respect?
In 1990 I started to win the first national competitions for accordion. Later I began to transcribe and perform music by Bach, Frescobaldi and other composers. In 2000 I met Maestro Sergio Scappini, with whom undertook the career of classical accordionist and I obtained, with honours, before graduating “Vecchio Ordinamento” and immediately after the academic diploma level II, the degree in accordion. I also attended master classes with Vladimir Zubitsky, Max Bonney, Viatcheslav Semionov and with the same Sergio Scappini.
The accordion is an instrument with bellows and free reed. What are the main technical difficulties associated with this instrument?
Surely the use of the bellows. An its proper use allows to produce the sound which, although very underestimated in most cases, is the most important aspect for a musician. With the study you can get to reach technical levels unthinkable, but is that the bellows can create their own musical ideas.
It is an instrument, by definition, linked to popular music. What is your relationship with this kind of music?
I appreciate the music in all its forms.
You played in Italy and abroad. What was the result that I was particularly impressed?
For me, every performance is unique and unrepeatable. Each concert is an emotion that can ot be revived except in that moment and in that context.
You are a classical accordionist, but you measured with other music genres such as jazz. How was your approach to a genre in which, historically, the accordion has never played a starring role?
In my opinion it is a constant challenge and a great satisfaction to prove that an instrument like the accordion can be a leader in all genres of music in which, wrongly, is not fully taken into account.
About jazz accordionist Richard Galliano is a true living legend of the accordion in this genre. What are the most important secrets that you have taken away from hearing the French champion of Italian origin, when you decided to try your hand with jazz?
Richard Galliano is an unquestionable and very important figure in the accordion, but when I got closer to jazz my references were some of the historical protagonists of this genre: Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson.
What are the projects for your artistic future?
I think of great collaborations, but since it is not my style to anticipate events, I can only mention the recording project “Saxaccordion” with the jazz saxophonist Fulvio Palese.
This article is available also in: Italian