Five minutes with…Stefano Bollani

Five minutes with…Stefano Bollani

An audacious, daring improviser and prolific composer, Italian pianist Stefano Bollani is one of the most prodigiously gifted musicians on the European jazz scene, possessing an exquisite touch, a rambunctious sense of humour and an adventurous sensibility.

We caught up with him ahead of his tour with Brazilian bandolim player Hamilton de Holanda.

What got you started in jazz?

I started playing the piano when I was 6 years old. Actually at the time I thought I' ll become a pop singer…the piano was the best instrument I could imagine to comp my voice. Then I discovered Jazz music when I was 13, following the path of a great Italian musician of the past named Renato Carosone.

Who are your favourite pianists?

They are too many…My first love was Oscar Peterson. It was fast and he played so many notes that I thought they were two guys: Oscar and Peterson.

What music are you listening to at the moment? Does this influence your work?

Of course it does! I' m listening to a lot of Brazilian music in this recent years.

What’s the jazz scene like in Italy?

Interesting, growing, passionate. And each musician is different.

What influence does Italian culture have on your music? It' s not an easy question at all. I' m not able to answer…maybe humour and melody are the two things I borrowed from the Italian cooking recipe!

Five minutes with…Stefano Bollani

How did your collaboration with Hamilton de Holanda come about?

We met some years ago directly on stage, in Bolzano. Playing together was immediately easy. We don' t need to talk so much about the music we' re gonna perform. It's a natural process that brights right there, on stage, at the moment.

What is your connection with the music of Latin America?

I met several musicians from Brazil and recorded a tribute to choro and samba named "Carioca". I also had the chance to play some duets with one of my personal myths, Caetano Veloso. Hope we' ll find some time to record together.

What are you looking forward to on your return to Melbourne?

I'm looking forward to meet my best friend, Mirko Guerrini, who has been living and playing there for the past two years.

Stefano Bollani & Hamilton de Holanda
Italy / Brazil
Saturday 6 June at 7:30pm
Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall 

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