|Born in Rome, Italy. I started playing around 1986, just for fun, with a few school bands. I got my feet wet with a good dose of Rock and Blues; from Pink Floyd to Eagles, Clapton and Ted Nugent. I remember buying Weather Report's "Black Market" LP (yes, I am that old!) but unfortunately not getting all the pleasure that everybody was talking about! I was just not ready for that!
Eventually this passion slowly turned seriously in 1990 when, while in my military service, I managed to sneak to Perugia and receive a scholarship for the Berklee College of Music. Even I was surprised! John Repucci, the bass teacher at Perugia that year, has left a deep mark on me; a real bass player with great ears and great sureness in his abilities always with a smile!
So here I am, January 1991, on the plane to Boston, thinking "where am I going?". I had no previous training in a music school and had really no idea of what I was getting into. Too late to turn back and I am glad I didn't.
Winter in Boston it's not exactly welcoming, but I don't remember it particularly because of all the continuous activity in and out of school that I was getting into, right from the start. A second scholarship kept me in Boston until 1993, when I finished my studies graduating in Professional Music, a diploma magna cum laude!
An intense 3-year period, where I got overloaded with information that still today I am slowly processing (yes, I am slow...). I could get into studios for student sessions, soundtrack recordings or big band rehearsals, and not only as bassist but also as arranger or even producer! I was playing with a few cover bands in the city and with a few jazz-fusion groups around festivals in the area (NY State, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Boston Globe and others). A very nice experience was the Buddy Rich student big band, a smoking band and a real kick for me! I played and recorded with Ron Bosse, Bobby Rodgers, Exit (a pop cover band, almost 100% greek! great fun and good friends). I had the chance of studying with Oscar Stagnaro, Bruce Gertz and Hal Crook among many others; I also took private lessons from Gary Willis, Alain Caron, Andy Gonzalez, John Pena, Oscar Cartaya and Dave Carpenter.
Now back to Rome, September 1993. I am home! A strange feeling, I was glad to be back but missed the musical action I was used to. I also got my first professional life enlightnement: the bass is really about roots and time!
Very essential I know, but it's true! So there I go into a great R&B and funk unit that played in Rome in the early 90's: Jho Jenkins and the Jammers. I got confidence into making a crowd stand up and dance, it's a great feeling!
I experienced many different situations: various pop bands and singers (Marco Morandi, Marina Rei, Tony Bungaro, Simone Patrizi, Simone Cristicchi, Don Backy, Bobby Solo); jazz-fusion bands (Jim Kelly & Jim Odgren, Fabio Mariani: I recorded his last CD "Nadi" for UMRecords in 2003, the Muflo-Funk Orchestra) and the Umbria Jazz Festival (regular appearances with Jim Kelly, Larry Monroe, Ray Santisi, Greg Badolato, Ron Savage, Bruce Bartlett, Luigi Tessarollo, Marcello Alulli, Daniela Schaechter, David Boato, Paolo Porta and Alessandro Minetto); Handala, a world music group; Toto Torquati, a known pop producer and great blues piano player; a theater tour (70 gigs in 3 months - ouch!); a musical in Milan (Chorus Line, incredible music!).
Some studio work for the M° Luis Bacalov (Oscar winner) and the M° Franco Micalizzi (a lot of tv and jingle music); the soundtrack of the musical "McGregor"; and session work for many singers and songwriters.
Since 1994 I have been also involved at the Umbria Jazz Clinics of the Berklee College of Music as the bass assistant. A fun experience, a way to give back what the school and the teachers has given me and also the chance to meet and talk with many artists at the festival. The teachers I had the pleasure of working with: Bruce Gertz, Dave Clark, Bruno Raberg and Oscar Stagnaro.
Throughout the years I've been involved in teaching in many private schools and at home, presenting workshops and masterclasses; working closely with music associations like Fonopoli, for which I taught a course, funded by the EU in 1999, and spoken at their conference in Rome in 2002.
In 2000 I moved to Frankfurt, Germany, and soon started to play with many musicians like Tony Lakatos, Torsten de Winkel, Michael Sagmeister, Dave Pike, Heiner Wiberny, Olaf Kübler, Christian Lohr, Philip Van Endert, Ralf Gustke, Benno Sattler, Andreas Neuebauer, Carola Grey, Dieter Steinmann, Claus Hessler, Antoine Fillon, Harry Peterson, Kurt Bilker, ecc. I begun playing in bands like the Christoph Spendel Electric Trio, the Thomas Langer band, the St.Stephan Jugend Choir in Köln and many local bands in Frankfurt.
In 2002, together with italian bass maker Jacaranda, based in Milan, we designed and (they) built my latest main instrument, the Mock 1, a very straight forward instrument that sounds great and plays very well.
The relocation gave me new energy and motivation, so I started writing and recording my own music, which resulted in my production of "ENVISIONS", with Tony Lakatos as special guest, I am very satisfied of the results, check the projects page to read more about it. I also recorded Thomas Langer's latest CD "Where is one?" (with Joo Kraus on trumpet as guest) on Emojazz 2004. In December 2004 I have toured with the Christoph Spendel Christmas Jazz Trio, with Kurt Bilker on Drums.
2005 has been a very busy year, starting with recordings at Christian Lohr's Insel Studio in Abensberg (close to Munich), great location! Then more recordings in Milan with my good friend Simone Coen (among other things producer of the Scarbee Sample Library "Imperial Drums"), on one of them Elio Rivagli played drums! (one of the top drummers in Italy, regularly seen with C.Baglioni, Fiorella Mannoia, etc.).Then I moved on to arrange 8 tracks for my friend Stefano Pavan, singer-songwriter from Rome, for his next project, a little more acoustic and jazzy. Many gigs with Fremble, a new sperimental trio, the St.Stephan Gospel Choir, C.Spendel and T.Langer trio.
In august I mixed my CD in London at the StarTracks studio with Michael Wolff. I met Michael not long before and found many similarities in musical taste, that's what you need in your engineer. We dedicated the right attention to each song and we (he) did a great mix! I am now hooked forever to the analog mixing desk, he's using a Trident 80-B board from the 70's, the bomb!
November saw me opening the European Bass Day in Viersen, Germany. I was invited to perform my electronica music, yet another project of mine, with Benno Sattler on drums. The response was great, the performance was a lot of fun. We will be doing more of that in the future. The European Bass Day Compilation 2005 CD has been released, you'll find some exciting Bass Music!
December was time again for a Christmas Jazz Trio tour, like last year, also very successfull and fun.
2006 opened up with many things: the mastering of my cd by Tim Schuldt at the 4-CN Studios in Wuppertal (www.4cn-studios.com) and the graphics by Design Pro Mille in Oberursel (www.design-pro-mille.de). They both did a great job! The "unofficial" premiere of my new cd took place at the Alte Schmeide in Düsseldorf, I had a great band with Benno Sattler on drums, Stefano Sastro on piano and keyboards and Steffen Weber on tenor and soprano. And finally, but late!, the cd has arrived from the pressing factory!
In a short trip in April to London I met again Stefan Redtenbacher, austrian bassist, we will try to organize something at the school he directs, the Accademy of Contemporary Music. Also I had the nice chance to record 2 songs with Marco Minneman and Michael Wolff for their duo project, wow!
Fremble, a project with saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert (Berlin) and drummer Berthold Möller (Lauterbach), is taking more and more steps forward, we are playing quite a few gigs and working on our own material, trying to bring out our sound from our original compositions, quite a challenge! A winter tour is also happening.
The football world cup, as nice as it was, distracted all of us from our normal routines. Here in Frankfurt the vibe was beautiful, seeing all different kinds and races together to have a good time, not much of a working vibe though, considering that my studio is exactly on the river, close to the mega TV-screens....
In the summer, the Umbria jazz Clinics turned out to be a real nice session this year, with Dave Clark as teacher. I also went to Edinburgh (Scotland) for the Jazz Course UK week-long workshop, organized by Rob Hall, a good friend from the Berklee times. It was a very nice experience in a beautiful town! I had also the chance to play with Fiona Duncan, a renowned scottish jazz vocalist and Andy Bein, scottish drummer now living in NYC!
A "quick" refurbishing of my studio, looks much better now, thanks also to Marco Ramazzotto, who is always ready to help, fantastic!
The European Bass Day has called again and I performed another show with Benno Sattler on drums. Great show, lots of people and some nice feedback. It was great to see again a lot of friends and collegues and to meet new ones. The winter saw the Spendel Christmas Jazz trio touring again, with Andreas Neubauer on drums this time, and the Gospel Choir did it again at the Köln Arena for 7.000 guests.
The 2007 started off very well with the visit at the Namm show, a lot of connections were made, many nice characters and definitely better weather! missed the Alumni reunion, though, too bad, next year! I also happened to be in Bremen for the Jazzahead conference, a german based conference on jazz in Germany and the rest of Europe. Italy was "surprisingly" not really present.
In March the Fremble CD was finished and will be released somewhat in the fall. In April I went to Guilford, close to London, to do workshops at the ACM school, beautiful! I also got to hang at the guitar show! May was time for touring with my band: we played in Frankfurt (Das Bett), Heilbronn (Cave61) and Leverkusen (Topos). June saw me playing at the Bass Professor Meeting in Köln, doing my first solo show! At the end of June we recorded the demo for the new C.Spendel Electric trio. Before arriving in Rome, I stopped in Varese, where my good friend Ivan Ciccarelli lives and works. We recorded a full day of drums, bass and computer, it's a new duo project that we will develop into a whole live show! I will be playing el.bass, upright, efxs, computer (running Ableton Live and much more...) be ready!
In September I took part at the Meet Milano, the italian music trade show, also playing with Ivan in duo. I also have been assigned the position of Bass Director for the Rock, Pop and Jazz Akademie in Giessen, a new nice structure that will open in March 2008. I will be writing the curriculum for their 3 year program. The 3rd of October I played with the new Dave Pike Set, a superstar band: Dave Pike (vib.), Michael Sagmeister (guit.), C. Spendel (Kbds), me and A.Neubauer (Dr.) for the reunification day in Frankfurt, very nice.
I took also part in the Frankfurt Musik Messe trade show in 2001 playing for SIT strings and in 2005 playing for Kawai with the Spendel Electric Trio. In Italy in 2002 I played for the bass maker Jacaranda at the Disma show in Rimini.
Many collaborations are coming up in the future and I maintain a steady schedule also with Italy, working in Rome for a few songwriters and for the Università della Musica where, since 2003, I am the Bass Faculty Director, and since 2005 I am also Director of Institutional Advancement.
Stay tuned for future updates.