Born: February 20, 1956 Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Riccardo Del Fra was born in Rome, Italy in 1956. He studied double bass at the Conservatorio di Frosinone with Franco Petracchi and Franco Noto. Collaborations with the RAI - Radio-Television Orchestra for jazz concerts, TV programs and recordings of movies soundtracks ( Federico Fellini's The City of Women - music by Louis Bacalov, Liliana Cavani's The Skin - music by Lalo Schifrin, etc.). He played with several italian groups (Piana-Valdambrini, Enrico Pieranunzi) as well as with american soloists coming to Italy. He met Chet Baker in 1979. In the '80s he moved to Paris, France.
His collaboration with Chet lasted about 9 years - 12 recordings (Chet Sings Again, Mr.B, C.B. Live at the Ronnie Scott's, C.B. at the Capolinea, etc.) and many films (Chet's Romance by Bertrand Fevre) and videos (Live at the Ronnie Scott's).
RDF has also played with Art Farmer, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Sonny Stitt, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Tommy Flanagan, Horace Parlan, Clifford Jordan, Vernell Fournier, Al Levitt, Michel Legrand, Alain Jean-Marie, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Motian, Dave Liebman, etc. He has been the regular bassist for various bands (Barney Wilen, Johnny Griffin, Bob Brookmeyer, etc.).
In 1989 he records A SIP of YOUR TOUCH with Art Farmer, Dave Liebman, Rachel Gould, Enrico Pieranunzi and Michel Graillier. This recording was dedicated to Chet Baker and received many awards. In the 90's, a new period starts for him, dedicated to the study of analysys, orchestration and composition with french contemporary classical composers as well as with Bob Brookmeyer in Köln. RDF wrote Silent Call for string orchestra and jazz quartet for the Paris Jazz Festival in 1992, Volo sul Lago for jazz septet and Symphony Orchestra in 1994, Inner Galaxy for tenor saxophone, double bass and cello ensemble for the Festival de Flandre in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1995, etc.
In 1996, he turned his talents to traditional music. His meeting with breton singer Annie Ebrel gave birth to a very special duo (acclaimed and awarded CD Voulouz Loar - Velluto di Luna has been a best seller in its field). They have performed all over France and Europe as well as in Russia, eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Canada. RDF composes music for the cinema movies, specially for the director and actor Lucas Belvaux (Pour Rire- 1996, The Trilogy, Un couple Epatant, Cavale, Après la Vie, Nature contre Nature, La raison du Plus Faible (The Right of the Weakest - 2006). In 2004 RDF was named head of the Jazz and Improvised Music department at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris where he had taken over from the double bass player Jean-Francois Jenny-Clark as teacher in 1998. In 2003, RDF was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Minister of Culture and Communication of France.