The Dutch jazz outfit I Compani – Bo van de Graaf (soprano and tenor saxophone), Frank Nielander (alto sax), Wouter van Bemmel (trumpet, tuba), Jeroen Doomernik (trumpet), Jeroen Goldsteen (piano), Carel van Rijn (bass), and Fred van Duynhoven (drums) – received initial recognition in 1985, when they put together a critically acclaimed program called Fellini/Rota which combined scenes from Fellini movies (such as La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Amarcord, Roma, and others) with live music from Fellini composer Nino Rota. The same year, bandleader van de Graaf paid a personal visit to Fellini at his Rome studio to present him with I Compani's debut recording, Music to the Films of Fellini. The band continued to focus on compositions by Rota, but have also included their own songs in their programs (mainly written by van de Graaf), combining elements of jazz, funk, and classical.
When I Compani plays live, their lineup is often augmented by other members (trombonists Joost Buis, Bernard Hunnekink, and Chris Abelen; trumpeter Felicity Provan; guitar player Corrie van Binsbergen; and saxophonists Maarten van Norden, Fred Leeflang, Frans Vermeerssen), while actors, clowns, acrobats, and dancers also perform. In addition to their 1985 debut, I Compani has issued recordings steadily ever since, including 1988's Ecco, More Music by Nino Rota, 1990's Luna Triste, 1994's Sogni D'oro, 1995's I Compani Plays Rota, 1997's Gluteus Maximus, 2000's Het Circus Komt (the circus is coming), and 2001's Aida by I Compani. But I Compani is best experienced in a concert setting (the group has performed more than 400 concerts since their inception), and has appeared at such prestigious festivals as Winterparade Amsterdam 1999; jazz festivals in Le Mans and Mulhouse (France), Leicester (Great Britain), Frankfurt, Vilshoven, Hamburg, Cologne, Bielefeld; and the North Sea Jazz Festival 1998, plus at film festivals in Gent (Belgium) and Rotterdam.
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