Piano virtuoso Michel Petrucciani was born on December 28th 1962 in Orange France to Italian parents. He grew up surrounded by music as his father was a guitarist and his brothers were a bassist and a guitarist. He discovered the piano very young and one of his early influences was Duke Ellington. Because he was born with osteogenesis imperfecta; a condition that stunts growth and causes fragile bones and respiratory disorders, he had to have special extensions made for him to reach the pedals of the piano. The condition did not affect his hands, however, and he was able to study classical piano for 8 years. He gave his first professional concert at age 13 at the Cliousclat Festival where he was discovered by Clark Terry. Terry introduced him to a number of expatriate jazz musicians and this encouraged the young Petrucciani to embrace jazz as a musical idiom rather than classical music. At age 16 he met drummer Aldo Romano who was impressed by the teenager’s musical prowess and took him under his wing and 2 years later helped him launch his recording career with Flash. Petrucciani recorded a number of excellent albums for the French label Owl including a duet with Lee Konitz. In 1981 he performed at the Paris Jazz Festival and caused a sensation.
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