Antonino De Luca was born in Messina in 1991, at age 11 he began studying music at the same time accordion. He also studied the clarinet, achieving excellent results and also being part of the Band of the City of Fiumedinisi. He was a member for several years of small groups of folk music with which he toured in France and Russia. In 2006, the turning point in the artistic and musical level with the meeting with the master Renzo Tomassetti of Spoleto, which manages more than three decades of the largest schools of accordion associated with the CDMI. He has participated in master classes on jazz music with Luciano Biondini, Vince Abbracciante, Gabriel Mirabassi, Maximum Cut, Klaus Paier. He was called to replace the great Frank Marocco (who later became his teacher) at the big event “Accordion Cruise” and participated in a television program aired on RAI International entirely dedicated to the accordion and the famous firm of accordions “Victoria”, for which he has been a demonstrator at the Frankfurt Musikmesse 2011, 2012 and 2013. He participated in the Music Festival Adamo Volpi in which he played two songs that will be part of the monograph album dedicated to this artist. He graduated in classical accordion at the Institute of Musical Studies “G. Pergolesi” in Ancona under the guidance of prof. Alexander Mugnoz and is preparing its first album solo. He has held concerts in Germany, USA, Netherlands.
Can you talk about your beginnings and how did you become a professional musician?
I started playing the accordion when I was 11 under the guidance of my father, even though he tried to get me started 6 years, but I was not so inclined. In the early years I thought that meant smooth and accordion folk music and nothing more, because even living in Sicily prospects for an accordionist were those, besides the fact that it was really difficult to get the material different from those genres. My father is also accordionist, and for more than 30 years at least once a year ago on a trip to Castelfidardo repair instrument or continue relationships with many factories of accordions, and when I joined him trips I started getting an idea of what it meant to really play the accordion, because i was able to find the first records of jazz music and more. Then I met the great master Renzo Tomassetti I opened doors accordion at high levels, giving me what is the best method of study with which they can overcome almost any kind of difficulty. Now I live here in Castelfidardo, I just finished studying classical accordion with maestro Alessandro Mugnoz that made me understand how to go all the way in the interpretation of all kinds of music, and I’m trying to find the one that will be my musical journey.
You have studied and worked with some of the most important accordionists. What is the most important lesson you’ve received?
I had the opportunity to be a student too little time of the great Frank Marocco, and without a doubt I think the experience that marked me the most. In addition to his undeniable musical talent, I believe that his teachings best data I have them on a human level, infusing the important values such as humility for a musician is the most important quality.
Your career has taken you to play abroad. What were the most significant experiences outside our country?
The first experience I had abroad thanks to the folk groups to which I belonged in Sicily, and no doubt were important life experiences, but I think so far the most significant event that I think it was the concert that I held in Mannheim 2012 in memory of Frank Marocco. It had to be the one to take that concert, but passed away shortly before the event and then was transformed into its memory. It so happened that the concert was exactly contemporary in its wake, and this for me has been a source of great pride.
In addition to the great accordionists you mentioned, between your stylistic references there are also other musicians?
Having chosen jazz music, my references come mainly from non accordion musicians, such as pianists, like the aforementioned Michel Petrucciani, who had a way of playing very melodic and then in my opinion very close to the accordion, but also the great Bill Evans, who showed how jazz could have influences from classical music, especially that of composers such as Debussy. The accordion may very well harmonize melodies like the piano, but at the same time melodic phrasing such as wind instruments. In view of the accordion, I can not appoint the great Richard Galliano, a true legend of the accordion. In addition to jazz, my inclinations are mainly focused on the repertoire for accordion of the American school, with authors like Anthony Galla-Rini, Charles Magnante and many others, who through their work have brought the standard bass accordion piano system to new heights achieved (although Galla-Rini also used the free bass system for scenes), leaving pages of highest level in the literature of accordion. They have shown that even a single instrument at a low standard, possesses infinite musical possibilities and can splurge on all kinds of music without having anything less than any other instrument. Everything has always fascinated me a lot and was also the subject of my dissertation.
You mentioned your experience in the field of folk music. There are parallels between jazz and popular music that you’ve known and executed, or they represent two completely cut off areas? And again, you can have both, and how, to expand your stylistic landscape, your own way of playing?
Jazz is a music born from countless influences, and is able to absorb virtually everything it touches, and thus also the folk and popular. Just take a look to Brazilian music, which is perhaps the most striking example of how folk music could easily appear on jazz as it does to the bossa nova or samba, etc. The folk groups of which I was a member placed themselves as a primary objective the continuation of the popular tradition, trying to remain as faithful as possible to the few examples that come to the present day, mostly oral. It is very much in use among jazz musicians revisit the popular and folk music in a modern way, because jazz music does not pose constraints from the point of view of arrangements or improvisation, or even original compositions give the modern executive aspects very close to the popular, in fact jazz is also influenced by tribal rhythms from Africa. The search for a personal style can go through any kind of music, you can combine different as you can concentrate on only one, or even avoid any kind of contamination and try to find new and original ways. To me, the music has no limit, no gender distinctions or another, it is a kaleidoscope so wide and varied that can satisfy every taste and to convey any kind of feeling or mood, and is perhaps the highest among art forms.
I read on your website that you are busy in working with your first solo album. Can you tell us about this project?
The project stems from the need to want to give shape to what are my research staff and a unique sound , made of different experiences and influences. It will be a purely jazz work done in different formations, a mix of original compositions and popular songs that I wanted to give my impression. Now I’m beginning to have a clear idea of what the musical genre that most represents me, and it is thanks to great people like Frank Morocco and Michel Petrucciani I chose jazz.
What are your plans for the future?
For the future I hope to pursue my career as a jazz musician, to be able to convey to others what is for me the music and be able to make a good contribution to the history of this wonderful and versatile instrument as they did great characters like Frank Marocco and Gervasio Marcosignori that are inspiring my life.
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