“Fornarelli is a skilful instrumentalist with classical roots and a subtle improviser’s mind”, John Fordham, The Guardian
“A near-perfect balance of tension and freedom. Fornarelli’s music has a pared-down yet catchy style that draws on his classical roots, with influences from pop to trip-hop to gospel” Alison Gunn, Financial Times
“Kekko’s intimacy is made of rich melodies and chord progressions which evoke some delicate forms of modern jazz, but are translated by that particular touch which makes him one of the most interesting young pianists of the moment” Paolo Fresu (trans.)
Kekko Fornarelli (Bari, Italy, 1978) is one of the most widely appreciated artists internationally. A pianist and a composer, he has developed a unique style, characterized by the attempt to create music to observe, more than just to listen to. A way to tell stories, emotions and situations. His music is a mellow combination of modern northern European ideas and neoclassical lyricism, filtered by his warm and extremely personal Mediterranean background. It is the attempt to create a more and more universal vision of music, able to draw jazz out of the narrow circuit of its appreciators and bringing it to the general audience.
Eric Vloeimans, Flavio Boltro, Rosario Giuliani, Francesco Bearzatti, Benjamin Henocq, Jerome Regard, Manhu Roche, Luca Bulgarelli are only some of the artist he has shared ideas, sounds, life experiences and stages with.
Three albums so far, Circular Thought (2005), that was critically acclaimed as one of the best Italian jazz projects of the year. A French Man in New York (2008), an innovative project taking inspiration from French pianist Michel Petrucciani published during the three years he spent in France.
Room of mirrors, his last album was released in 2011 by Auand sound. After three long years spent contemplating his personal vision of music, this work represents Kekko Fornarelli’s personal revolution and his most mature and reasoned album which places this artist far away from mainstream jazz and its sometimes outdated traditions. An extremely variegated assortment of feelings and emotions can be discerned in the tracks: luxury – simplicity, splendour – naturalness, black –white, piano – forte. A huge success warmly received by audiences and critics, “I can’t stop listening to the CD: a fusion of Romantic classical music, modern jazz and 21st century dance rhythms, played with Italian brio from the heart” (Alison Bentley, London Jazz Blog), Room of mirrors was re-issued less than a year after its initial release, and the downloads over the web are increasing everyday.
His main project is the Kekko Fornarelli Trio. An original interpretation of the most classical jazz formations, this ensemble featuring three Italian jazz virtuosos (Kekko Fornarelli, piano & synth, Giorgio Vendola, double bass, Dario Congedo, drums) embodies Fornarelli idea of a music to observe, more than just to listen to. Recently placed in the TOP 10 most voted Italian jazz formations in the Jazz It Award 2012 competition, the Trio is currently touring worldwide, achieving resounding success everywhere. After 10 minutes, it was evident that this classy threesome had very different stories to tell […]It was resoundingly obvious why this close-knit, thoughtful and viscerally exciting new trio are winning acclaim across Europe”, John Fordham, The Guardian
Then the Piano Solo Monologue, a project constantly developing and changing, which entrusts everything to the intensity of the piano and the potential developments of its classical sound, winking the eye at electronic music too.
Mar endins, the project born from the collaboration with Catalan songwriter Rusó Sala, a charming experimental union of Catalan ethnic song writing, inspired by the traditions of the Mediterranean, on one side and an innovative jazz/electronic on the other is soon to be released. A piano/trumpet project with Dutch Eric Vloeimans and a collaboration with the pianist and songwriter Roberto Cherillo, one of the best voices of the Italian jazz scenario, is also in the works.
Above all Kekko Fornarelli is working on a new album, the second chapter of Room of Mirrors, with even more distortion and unbridled rhythms, to astonish and bring excitement to its audience, which will be published later this year. And of course, not to mention the new gigs as well as more and more international tours to come
Download Room of mirrors
DREAM AND COMPROMISE LIVE @JAZZPOTE THIONVILLE
KEKKO FORNARELLI ON TOUR 2012