Simone Mannarino was born in Paola, in the province of Cosenza, in 1989. He started his Accordion studies very young with maestro Themistocle Cassano and his son Francesco Cassano, then continue with maestro Roberto Spadafora. In 2009 he began studying classical accordion at the conservatorio G. Martucci of Salerno under the guidance of maestro Ferdinando Muttillo. Later he started to devote himself to the study of modern and variety Accordion with maestro Antonio Spaccarotella. He has participated in master classes and seminars of modern accordion, variété, jazz and classical music with the masters Frederich Deschamps, Giuseppe Scigliano, Francesco Palazzo, Giuseppe Grosso and Renzo Ruggeri. He has participated in international competitions and finished in first place on many occasions, as the UK Accordion Championships in Blackpool.
When did you start playing accordion and why?
It was thanks to my maternal grandfather, an accordionist as well. At the age of seven years taught me my first tarantella and soon after, along with my father, he decided to enroll me in the courses of my first teacher, Themistocles Cassano, and his son Francesco, two wonderful people. Because the accordion? I would say that it intrigued me from the first moment. Sent me kindness and love, and also made me so curious with its many buttons. But what I remember with most pleasure is the feeling of joy that gave me the sound emanating from the reeds.
What are your musical tastes? That is, beyond the music that you performs with your instrument, do you listen musical genres like “pop” or “commercial”, like most guys of your age? If yes do this listen affect you technically?
I love music in general but I have a soft spot for the classic. I play a repertoire ranging from classical to modern music to the dance floor. I am struggling to make distinctions, but in particular I really appreciate young Pietro Adragna.
Your training includes experience in various areas: from classical to contemporary, to jazz. What is the genre where you feel more comfortable?
You have followed educational experiences with many prominent members of the national and international accordion scene: by Spaccarotella to Ruggeri, up to Deschamps. There are substantial differences in the ways in which the accordion is perceived and taught in Italy and abroad?
In 2009 I had my first encounter with a friend of mine who later became my teacher. I refer to the maestro Antonio Spaccarotella. Remember that we met in a pizzeria and that was the meeting that changed my life. I can say that has expanded my ideas, I was introduced to the real world of the accordion. A new world that I didn’t imagine. The following year I followed a master in France with master Frederich Deschamps. The study was pure joy and the programs were very interesting, unlike what happens in Italy, where they often offer more traditional methods. I’m still very happy that finally something is changing, for several years, here too, where I see many more young talented.
You come from a region very rich in popular music. Have you ever had the chance to match with the regional musical heritage?
The genres are conventionally recognized categories that identify songs based on belonging to a tradition or a specificity and conventions. Anyway I got to confront the region’s musical heritage on the occasion of various competitions, not only regional, but also international. I remember the prestigious Blakpool contest, in England, which I won the first prize in the “variété” category.
Can you tell us something about your experience as a Manfrini endorser?
What I could do with the company Manfrini will remain a fantastic experience. Thanks to Robert Rolston I did my first tour in Scotland. In later years I worked with companies Cooperfisa and Sopranos and now I’m the exclusive Giustozzi prover in Calabria. I would like to give a piece of advice to all accordionists: think playing not judging! Music is life! Whatever kind of music you play!
What are the projects you are working in this period and what for the future?
I dedicate much time to my students. I want to enhance and promote the folk music and dance: the project has the objective to produce opportunities for growth and development of students personality. I’m working on a recording project with Giustozzi in Castelfidardo.
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