Mauro Zazzarini is one of Italy’s leading jazz ar sts, with a ne reputa on as performer and composer. He leads his own quintet and big band.
Mauro Zazzarini graduated in saxophone with honours under the guidance of Maestro Teobaldo Maestri, and in jazz with Maestro Gerardo Iacoucci, at the Conservatorio Licinio Refice in Frosinone. Since 1990, he has been a Professor of Jazz at the ‘Ottorino Respighi’ Conservatory in Latina.
He began his professional career by playing at clubs in Rome with some of the most prominent Italian jazz musicians, among them Danilo Rea, Roberto Gatto, Enzo Pietropaoli, Enrico Pierannunzi, Giovanni Tommasi and Maurizio Giammarco.
In 1981 he won the ‘New Talent’ prize, arranged by the Conservatoires of the Triveneto region (Tre Venezie).
In the 1980s, he worked with Chet Baker (with whom he made a 30-minute concert video), and Dizzy Gillespie. He was part of the Steve Grossman Quintet for some four years (Grossman was Miles Davies’ saxophonist in the 1970s) and for a period performed at a number of jazz fes vals, among them Umbria Jazz, with the Sal Nistico Quintet. (Nistico is remembered as one of Woody Herman’s leading orchestral soloists.) He has also, among others, worked with Mike Melillo, Leo Mitchell, Gary Smullian, Fred Henke, and Alvin Queen.
Zazzarini has recorded nine albums of his own music for the label Bird Lives. These are: ‘Blue Sun’, ‘Where the Wind Blows’, ‘Soul Woman’, ‘Eyes in the Heat’, ‘Moons’, ‘Tomorrow Chicken’, ‘Step by Step’, ‘Big Bag’, and ‘Live at Alexanderplatz’. His next album (2017) is ‘Rock’n’Billie’. In addition to his own original recordings, Zazzarini has collaborated on several recordings, including three albums with bassoonist Rino Vernizzi’s Jazz Quartet.
In 2011 Zazzarini won the ‘Best Act’ category at the Italian Jazz Awards.
Mauro Zazzarini, in addition to his performance and teaching commitments, has played a significant role in promoting jazz in Italy, having organised around 1,000 concerts with musicians who have shaped the history of jazz, including: Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Sam Rivers, Billy Cobham, Joe Zawinul (with the American jazz fusion band Weather Report), the Sun Ra Arckestra with John Gilmore on tenor saxophone, Johnny Gri n, Barny Kessel, Steve Lacy, Mal Waldrom, and Tony Sco .
In 1987 Zazzarini opened the ‘Bird Lives’ club dedicated to the musician Charlie Parker.
Zazzarini is married to the musician Alessandra Cogliandolo and lives at Sabaudia, to the south of Latina in the Lazio Region of Italy.
Recordings of Mauro Zazzarini’s work is available on his offcial website, on You Tube, Spotify and Sound Cloud.