About this project
Defined as a great pianist by Benny Golson in an interview on the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Antonio Ciacca has gained an international reputation, after having toured with Benny Golson quintet and Steve Lacy quartet.
Antonio’s career started as a sideman for Art Farmer, James Moody, Lee Konits, Jonny Griffin, Mark Murphy, Dave Liebman. Steve Grossman, who introduced him to jazz. He studied at Wayne State University in Detroit with Kenny Barron and privately with legendary Jakie Byard (Mingus’ pianist) in New York. All these great musicians would shape his bebop influenced style and future in the world of jazz; also his deep love for gospel music, which he first heard in Detroit, has contributed to shape Antonio’s sound and style. In fact he would later produce Detroit Gospel Singers.
One of the most important events in Antonio’s career was meeting legendary Steve Lacy and joining his quartet in 1997. With Lacy Antonio toured extensively throughout Europe. In 1998 he began collaborating with Benny Golson, who brought him touring in the States. It was in 2002 that Antonio first performed at Village Vanguard in New York with Wynton Marsalis and his participation at Rochester Jazz Festival was enthusiastically acclaimed by American audience and press. Back to Europe and Italy, he performed at the most prestigious venues and in2003 he had an intense concert activity in London, performing at Ronnie Scott’s, Royal Festival Hall Foyer, National Theatre and at London Jazz Festival with “The Monk Liberation Front” project: a six hrs long performance that involved thirteen of the best European musicians, alternating on stage and playing Monk’s inedited music; with this project Antonio was worthy of the comment “terrific” by J. Walker on the English newspaper The Guardian.
After having opened for Wynton Marsalis concerts in Italy, in 2004 Antonio was back to Village Vanguard with his own quartet, featuring saxophonist Wess Anderson, with whom he toured in Usa, Uk and Italy until 2005. As a composer Antonio Ciacca writes music for quartet and quintet and recently explores the piano led trio: a selection of compositions he wrote for his own trio appears in his last cd, Ugly Beauty, recorded in the States with Dennis Irwin and Ali Jackson in 2006, published by Soul Note label. Antonio Ciacca trio, sometimes featuring Benny Golson or Steve Grossman, last year presented Ugly Beauty throughout Italy and Europe. Antonio has been recently nominated director of concert and programming for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, a role that he gained thanks to his management experience and artistic competence.
Now based in New York, he still travels all over the world, as a musician and representing Jazz at Lincoln Center. During last tour he performed at Rochester Jazz Festival with Benny Golson on the 2007 and with George Garzone on 2009 and in Italy, at the most prestigious festivals , such as Verona and Piacenza Jazz, La Spezia in Italy, Valladolid, Barcellona, Madrid in Spain, Ronnie Scott’s London and London Jazz festival.