Welcome to the Sal La Rocca at All About Jazz

Sal La Rocca

Instrument: Bass, acoustic | Location: Brussels

Northern Europe boasts many excellent players, so it's no surprise to find a quintet this good from the buttoned-up city of Brussels. It's led by a resonant d. bassist, a gifted composer who has a distinctive and hypermodern touch. Two Belgians, guitarist Lorenzo di Maio and pianist Pascal Mohy, contribute elegant solos, but the star turn is really Jacques Schwartz-Bart, a world-class tenorist from Guadeloupe who has toured with US trumpeter Roy Hargrove a few years back. His serpentine lines are always a pleasure to follow but it's La Rocca's simple-sounding yet artfully harmonised themes that make this album special. The only standard here is Crescent, a J. Coltrane lament that inspires solos worthy of its composer.
—Jack Massarik, London Evening Standard

Updated: December 12, 2018

Born: August 20, 1961

Sal La Rocca is originally from Seraing, Belgium, near LIEGE. He was first a Rock guitarist, but switched to the bass as his instrument of choice after hearing (for the first time) music by several jazz greats. After switching, he taught himself how to play by the age of 23. Over time, he become one of the most “in demand” double bassists in Belgium and in the European theater. Starting in the mid 80's, Sal has toured and performed with a wide array of musicians on the European continent.

The 90's saw him expanding his presence with world tours. His list of celebrity musicians he performed with continued to grow, adding well known names like Lee Konitz, Philippe Catherine and Toots Thielemans to his musical resume.

During his career, Sal has recorded on numerous albums.

In 2003, he released his first album “Latinea”, included musicians Bruno Castellucci, Peter Hertmans, Kris Goessens and Jacques Pirotton. Around this time, Sal became the official bassist of singer Anne Ducros, playing, recording and touring with her group for several years. He added several jazz greats to his resume, including trumpeter Randy Brecker and pianists Thierry Eliez, Enrico Pieranunzi, Jacky Terrasson and Rene Urtreger. In 2007, he became the bassist for pop rock group Vaya Con Dios. Sal participated in both a European and world tour with the group.

In 2010, he was bassist for the Steve Grossman Quintet performing at the Dinant Jazz Night Festival. The group featured Steve Grossman, Nico Menci, Alvin Queen, Joe Lovano and Sal. In 2011, he joined the Gregory Houben Quintet, which was comprised of Gregory Houben (trumpet), Pierrick Pedron (alto sax) and Sal La Rocca (bass). Sal met American singer Denise King through French pianist Olivier Hutman. They formed a trio that performed in what is referred to as the Benelux States (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and France. In 2013, Sal released his second album “It Could Be The End” (featuring a number of original compositions) through Igloo Records. The group was comprised of Lorenzo Di Maio, Pascal Mohy, Hans van Oosterhout and Jacques Schwarz-Bart.

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“Northern Europe boasts many excellent players, so it’s no surprise to find a quintet this good from the buttoned-up city of Brussels. It’s led by a resonant double bassist, a gifted composer who has a distinctive and hypermodern touch. Two Belgians, guitarist Lorenzo di Maio and pianist Pascal Mohy, contribute elegant solos, but the star turn is really Jacques Schwartz-Bart, a world-class tenorist from Guadeloupe who has toured with US trumpeter Roy Hargrove a few years back. His serpentine lines are always a pleasure to follow but it’s La Rocca’s simple-sounding yet artfully harmonised themes that make this album special

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Recordings

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jan7Mon
21:30
Master Session
Sounds Jazz Club
Brussels, Belgium
Jan9Wed
20:30
Sal La Rocca 4tet (LDH Tour)
Jazz Station
Brussels, Belgium
Jan12Sat
20:30
Sal La Rocca 4tet (LDH Tour)
Le Bouillon Blanc
Bouillon, Belgium
Jan14Mon
21:30
Master Session
Sounds Jazz Club
Brussels, Belgium
Jan18Fri
20:30
Sal La Rocca 4tet (LDH Tour)
Open Music Jazz Club
Comines, Belgium
Jan19Sat
20:30
Sal La Rocca 4tet (LDH Tour)
Kulturzentrum Jünglingshaus
Eupen, Belgium
Jan20Sun
20:30
Sal La Rocca 4tet (LDH Tour)
Dinant Jazz Club
Dinant, Belgium