Primary Instrument: Piano
Italian pianist and composer, born in Perugia in 1970. He starts playing the piano at the age of three and gets interested in jazz at ten. Self-taught, he studies while listening to Bud Powell, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Jacky Byard, then Bill Evans, Kenny Barron, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, and also musicians playing other instruments than the piano, ranging from Charlie Parker to Pat Metheny, but also Astor Piazzolla and Elton John, Bach, Brahms, Charles Mingus… And of course Enrico Pieranunzi who remains one of his most influential pianists.
At 17, he gives his first important concert at a moment’s notice, accompanying Chet Baker on a visit to Perugia. At the same period, he performs for the first time as a leader, gathering various musicians of the Italian scene playing his own compositions. At nineteen, he also participates in a tour around Italy playing with Steve Grossman.
In 1992, he decides to settle in Paris. There, he meets Aldo Ciccolini who gives him his first piano lessons. His teaching will last three years.
While doing odd jobs like working as a waiter or night watchman, he studies and practises the piano. He also starts meeting Parisian musicians. In 1993, he gets his first professional contract in the setting of the Chanson française. In 1994, he forms his first music group, the trio Panta Rei (with Alain Raman on the bass and Xavier Frathely on the drums), which enables him to enter the circuit of the Parisian jazz clubs (Petit Opportun, Sunset…). He then meets his fellow countrymen : Flavio Boltro, Stefano Di Battista, Paolo Fresu, thus integrating the new generation of Italian jazzmen living in Paris.
Towards the end of 1994, he can dedicate himself entirely to music. He plays more and more as a sideman in jazz groups but also continues to work on the Chanson française, as an accompanist and composer.
In 1996, he records a first album with the bass player Pierre-Stéphane Michel and the trumpet player Flavio Boltro and wins the Grand Prize and the Prize for the best soloist at the International Jazz Competition of Avignon, presided by Daniel Humair.
In 1998, he produces his first CD forming a trio with the drummer Louis Moutin and the bass player Daniele Mencarelli. Daniel Humair incites him to contact Philippe Ghielmetti, who has just created the label Sketch, to make him listen to this recording. The producer likes it a lot and offers him an artist’s contract for several CDs. Architectures, released in October 1999, gets excellent reviews which enable the young pianist to impose himself as a leader. The piano trio will remain his favourite type of music formation.
At that time, he meets the singer Agnès Bihl for whom he composes and makes a first CD La terre est blonde. He also accompanies the singer Nicolas Reggiani, with whom he records Léo en toute liberté in 2003, which is based on some of Léo Ferré’s unreleased music.
In 2001, Giovanni Mirabassi releases his first album Avanti, playing solo, a project he’s had for several years which is dedicated to revolutionary songs.This recording is the real start of his career (Django d’Or of the 2002 best young talent and Victoires du jazz that same year, with 20000 Cds sold). The pianist starts doing regular tours in trio and solo.
The album (((Air))), which is an atypical trio formed with the trumpet player Flavio Boltro and the trombonist Glenn Ferris, is released in October 2003 and obtains the prize for the best CD of the year of the Académie du Jazz.
Giovanni Mirabassi becomes one of the most followed jazz pianists of the French public and he also conquers Japan.
End of 2005, he releases a new CD Prima o poi, in trio and quartet, under the Minium label and a year later, another CD dedicated to standards of the Chanson française Cantopiano which is the meeting point between his two favourite fields. Those two Cds, again greatly praised by the public and the media, confirm his unique and recognized place in the jazz field.
In ten years, Giovanni Mirabassi has made a dozen Cds and DVDs (some are concerts exclusively distributed in Japan) and has given concerts all over the world.
In February 2008, he releases a new opus in piano trio Terra furiosa. Between end of February and beginning of April, he will be touring around Europe and Japan, giving around twenty concerts.