29 January 1926 (age 92)
Franco Cerri is the most important italian classic jazz guitarist, born in Milano (29/1/1926). In the '50s he was near great jazz masters: from Chet Baker to Gerry Mulligan, from Billie Holliday to Lee Konitz, to Modern Jazz Quartet musicians and others, and he became a leader in the Italian and European jazz world. Next decades will be characterized by an intense concert activity and by the beginning of his collaboration with Italian TV, (he makes a 70's famous italian spot: http://www.onderadiopiemonte.info/spot80/spot/1981/filmati/bio-presto-uomo-in-ammollo.wmv) that will allow him to become a famous artist, thanks to popular programmes in which famous national and international jazzmen took part. As a leader of his own quartets and quintets, in which there were also new Italian talents such as Gianluigi Trovesi
and Tullio de Piscopo, from the '70s he began to develop the work of arrangement, reflecting on score, the peculiarities of his style. In 1980 he started a musical companionship with one of the best Italian jazz artists, the pianist and composer Enrico Intra, making a quartet that you can listen to in the LP: Pregiata ditta dal 1980, recorded in 1990 for Ariston. In the last decade he was an organizer and he made his teaching activity more frequent inside The Associazione Culturale Musica Oggi (Cerri is one of the founders, together with Intra, of this association), that manages the Civici Corsi di Jazz in Milan and he organized a lot of concert festivals. Franco Cerri's discography is, on the contrary, rather meagre (these records can't be almost found). The anthology 'Di Jazz in Jazz' includes meaningful pieces, and with several groups, in a cronological order from the '50s till now. And, then, the recent Cerri&Cerri (Dire), with his son Stefano, and the planning " A Django: En Souvenir De Milan" (CDPM Lion), that proposes complex and in-depth reworkings of Reinhardt's pieces and where there is the Franco Cerri Guitar Quartet, which is the valuable result of five years teaching work. On January 1, 2006 he was named "Commendatore della Repubblica" (official title awarded for service to Italy) by President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
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