Parlo Italiano piano? Italian jazz pianist Danilo Rae is a graduate of the Santa Cecilia music conservatory in Rome. He trained as a classical pianist before leaning into jazz and improvisation and touring with jazz/rock group New Perigeo. His latest recording is Piano Works X, a tribute to Fabrizio de Andre.
Rea's range is wider than you'd expect. Part of the Spoleto Festival USA's Wells Fargo Jazz Series, Rea plans to squeeze some new emotions and grooves out of a variety of works, ranging from the Beatles and Ennio Morricone to Pucci and Verdi.
There's something for everyone. As a solo performer, Rae enjoys blending Western jazz styles with traditional Mediterranean folk music and classical works. In Europe, he's considered one of the top Italian jazz pianists, so watch out for those chops and his peppery, accented style. "The biggest expression of improvising is the solo concert, and piano is the perfection," Rea says. "It's you and the instrument."