Even before the French institution, L’Académie du Jazz recognized his work on solo piano as the “Prix du Jazz Classique 2005” or magazines such as Jazz Classique and Jazz Hot printed rave reviews about him, 32-year old pianist Rossano Sportiello, was an emerging talent on the international jazz scene. A native of Vigevano, Italy, Rossano graduated from the Italian Conservatory and began his musical career at the age of 18 by joining the “Milano Jazz Gang”, one of Europe’s historic bands.
An accomplished stride pianist, Rossano grew up listening to Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller and Ralph Sutton, whom he met shortly before the elder’s death. However, his pianistic style also pays homage to the swing and bebop eras. He cites Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, Bud Powell,Tommy Flanagan, Ellis Larkins, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans as a few of his influences. His mentor, bebop pianist Barry Harris, says “Rossano makes me smile when he plays.” On occasion, the jazz legend has invited him to the stage to play on his gigs, touting Rossano as “the best stride pianist” he's ever heard.