Born: September 13, 1960 Primary Instrument: Piano
Born in Milano, Italy in 1960 and residing in the USA since 1980, Francesco Crosara is an accomplished jazz pianist, composer and educator who has performed at festivals and venues across the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, France and Italy. Francesco comes from a musical family as his mother, Lilian Terry, is one of Europe's foremost jazz vocalists who has recorded also with Dizzy Gillespie and with Tommy Flanagan.
EDUCATION & INFLUENCES
Francesco studied Classical piano & Theory at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome, followed by private studies in Jazz Harmony, Composition and Improvisation in Italy. In 1981 he attended USC in Los Angeles where he was a permanent member of the USC jazz big band. Main influences have been family friends Dizzy Gillespie and Chick Corea.
Japan 2009 - Francesco returned to Japan on his second tour in September 2009 for a series of performances in Kyoto and Osaka, including participation in the Kansai Music Conference Showcase. Francesco featured music from his new CD release “KURAMA”, recorded live in Japan in October 2008. He was joined by a fine group of musicians from Kansai, including Yasushi Gonjo on acoustic bass, Larry Marshall on drums and Eric Weigmann on percussion and drums.
DVD EXCLUSIVE: A video recording of Francesco's performance at Wazz in Osaka will be issued as a live DVD release in 2010.
Japan 2008 - Appeared at Jazz On Top Club in Osaka, Japan, on October 25, with drummer Larry Marshall and bassist Yasushi Gonjo. One night only special trio performance and recording session.
Mexico 2005 & 2006 - featured artist at the 2006 Morelia Jazztival. Performance at the Teatro Ocampo in Morelia, Michoacan, with tenor sax Juan Alzate, cuban percussion master Roberto Vizcaino and rhythm session quintet.
France 2003 - Performance with Lilian Terry and a French trio, at the MIDEM 2003 Festival in Cannes to present their new CD Emotions released by TCB the Montreux Jazz Label.
Los Angeles 2002 - Performances at jazz clubs in Southern California, with Don Menza, John Heard, Ralph Penland, Mayuto Correa (Charlie O's).
France 2001 - Performance at Chateauvallon jazz festival and at Nice jazz clubs.
Chicago 1997-2000 - collaboration with various well known musicians such as Ira Sullivan, Von Freeman and Roy Hargrove.
San Francisco 1992 - Performed at Jazz at Pearl's with guitar virtuoso Bruce Forman and his quartet.
Hawaii 1995 & 1996 - Performances in Honolulu Theatre award winning productions of Grand Hotel and Rogers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song.
Spain 1992 - Selected, with drummer Eric Kurtz to join 40 artists to represent Hawaii at the US Pavilion in occasion of the Universal Expo'92 in Seville, Spain. Performances at the Belgian and New Zealand Pavilions.
Hawaii 1990 - Performance at Leeward Jazz Festival with quartet. Guest appearance by alto madness founder Richie Cole.
Hawaii 1988-1993 - Stable member of saxophonist Gabe Baltazar's quartet. Performances at festivals, clubs, and TV appearances.
Los Angeles 1981-1984 - While attending university at USC, has performed regularly with the University's Jazz Ensemble featuring guest stars such as Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Shew and Bill Magnuson.
Mexico 1983 - Performances at 2 editions of the Morelia jazz festival as featured artist (sponsored by the University of Michoacan).
Italy 1981 - Performances at Jazz Festivals in Bassano, San Marino and Campobasso. Also featured on Italian TV among a selected group of emerging young artists.
KURAMA - Live in Japan (release date: September 1, 2009, issued by Crosara Creative). Live trio performance recorded in Japan in October 2008. Featuring Yasushi Gonjo on bass and Larry Marshall on drums. The title track, the orchestral Kurama Suite was inspired by a mystical mountain North of Kyoto. Originals and standards presented with a fresh new approach.
NOTES (issued in 2008 by Crosara Creative). Produced and performed live piano solo concert at Atherton Auditorium in Honolulu sponsored by KHPR (National Public Radio). Originals and jazz compositions by Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans. Mixed by Bernie Kirsch at Chick Corea's Mad Hatter Studio.
EMOTIONS (issued in 2003 by TCB Records) - Produced, arranged and performed by Francesco, featuring Lilian Terry and Von Freeman as well as international musicians from the US, Brazil and Egypt (note Night in Tunisia sung in Egyptian).
COLORS (issued in 1999 by Southport Records, Chicago), featuring guest artist Von Freeman. Format includes jazz standards, original straight ahead and latin jazz. The album was well received by Downbeat Magazine (rated 4 stars), Jazz Times, Jazz Improvisation Magazine, Cadence Music Review, All Music Guide, All About Jazz and The Jazz Review.
ENERGY (issued in 1992 by Power Wave Records, Honolulu). Nominated for a Hawaiian 1993 Hoku Hanohano Award in the Instrumental Album of the Year category.
Morelia, Mexico 2005 & 2006 - Conducted master classes in improvisation at the Universidad Michoacana San Nicholas De Hidalgo and at the Conservatory of Music Las Rosas.
Hawaii 1992-1996 - With the University of Hawaii Statewide Cultural Extension Program, Francesco performed to enthusiastic audiences around the rainbow state bringing jazz education to schools, correctional institutions, libraries and public parks.
Indiana 1997-1998 - served as Instructor of Piano Improvisational Technique in the Applied Music Program at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Music score, companion DVD for art book: Sergio Zen - La Pittura Come Pratica Esistenziale, Carte Dipinte 1957-2007 (2008)
Live jazz performances broadcast in Hawaii (1993 & 1994) Original music score for The Teeny Tinies a 3-D animation film pilot
Commercial Jingles for Hawaiian Host Chocolate radio spots (1994)