I have a story to tell you about me
Born in Rome, Italy, in 1992, Flavio grew up in the pulsing heart of the city.
When he was just a young kid, he gravitated to tape players and tv music channels, singing along, writing lyrics and figuring out which music could emphasize them better. The household where he grew up was full of music – his parents, both passionate about music, were at that time playing progressive Italian bands and international 70’s and 80’s vinyls.
His music tastes were later on influenced by a multitude of albums that he bought himself, from Stevie Wonder’s “Innervision” and Al Jarreau’s “We got by” to Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On”: this self-made discovery of Afro-American music accentuated his curiosity to dig into different styles and he naturally chose the voice as the primary instrument to explore them.
While studying classics at the high school in Rome, Flavio started to learn more about his voice with his first teacher, the tenor Carlo Napoletani and he started sharing music with some musicians from the city. Noticed by the music expert Alberto Castelli, he got the chance to perform several times at the Casa del Jazz in Rome, honoring the greatest soul artists of Motown (Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway and Marvin Gaye), which opened up other performances opportunities.
Jazz came later on, around the age of 17, when he stepped into his first music school, driven by the urge to know more about music theory. Not long after his first performances, his teachers pushed him to continue his music studies at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Rome, where he got admitted to the Jazz department at the age of 19.
He began his academic career under the guidance of Maria Pia de Vito that Flavio defines as “one of the most insightful encounter of his life”. “She opened doors for me”, he says, “to a boundless universe of music and a new way to express myself with my voice”. Attending both the Conservatory and the Saint Louis School of Music, that was a time of constant musical growth, diving into the classical jazz but constantly looking up to different contaminations of jazz with the European, Mediterranean and Latin cultures. Remembering that time, he says “I was like a sponge, trying to absorb and take every opportunity to learn, attend as many concerts as I could”. In 2013, coached by Maria Pia de Vito and Elisabetta Antonini, he got a scholarship to ultimate his Bachelor in Berlin at the Jazz Institute, where the vocalist Judy Niemack contributed to widen his jazz vocabulary while other teachers involved him in fusion and Brazilian music ensembles.
Once he got his degree with honours, and after spending one year performing in the main music clubs of Rome, he decided to leave Italy again and continue his studies in Brussels where the jazz singer David Linx let him in as the only singer on that year. About his teacher he says: “David’s vision changed my way to approach the jazz repertoire and showed me an intriguing way to sing different styles with a personal identity”.
In the Koninklijk Conservatory he spent four years, mastering knowledge and entering an international community of musicians; by joining different projects he shaped his tastes, incorporating the European esthetic of jazz into his music and his Mediterranean origins. Since 2015 Flavio resides and performs regularly in Brussels. He travels back to Italy to join the Burnogualà Large Vocal Ensemble directed by Maria Pia de Vito – a research community that he joined during the Conservatory years in Rome – with which he recorded the album “Moresche e altre Invenzioni” in 2017, published by Auditorium Parco della Musica. With the Burnogualà he performed in important festivals (Ravello Jazz Festival 2016, Rumori dall’Isola 2015/2017 and Suoni delle Dolomiti 2018) a repertoire of original inventive arrangements of the Orlando di Lasso 16th century’s moresche and villanelle.
The year 2018 marked Flavio’s winning the Dinant Young Jazz Talents Competition with a quintet project named “Songs Between Two Lands” and the recording of his debut album entitled “Nascente”.Recorded in Italy, together with Alessandro Gwis on piano, Hélène Duret on clarinets, Fil Caporali on doublebass and Javier Girotto on soprano sax, “Nascente” contains compositions that Flavio inventively wrote over the previous three years combined with inspired arrangements of Brazilian composers such as Egberto Gismonti, Milton Nascimento and Guinga. “Nascente means a lot to me. It’s a new beginning and a culmination of a creative process over the last years. I like to think of it as a heavenly space where different pathways of our lives fade in together: this dimension allows us to feel part of the same source” says Flavio.What’s noteworthy about Nascente is the predilection for an acoustic and yet fresh atmosphere where the voice and the other instruments are in a constant dialogue, exploring the intriguing combinations of a drum-less format. He defines songs as “Preghiera Libera” and “I Colori dell’Alba”, “little universes, where the Italian lyrics suggested me where the music would go.This marriage between lyrics and music has been brilliantly caught by the other musicians who made it truly complete.”