On June 28 at the Vittoria Jazz Festival in Sicily, Italy, famed saxophonist Francesco Cafiso will premier his nine-piece jazz band. His entire set of music, 10 original jazz tunes penned by Cafiso, have been arranged by yours truly. It was a unique pleasure to arrange Cafiso's music. Those familiar with Cafiso's writing know how dissimilar the two of us are in terms of musical vocabulary. I like to think of my own music as having simple melodies backed by loud exciting orchestration. Cafiso's music pairs cyclical harmony with Thad Jones-like melodies that dance around in the upper chord extensions. Working with his music has been an enlightening process that, while challenging to my conventions, has opened my ears to new musical ideas.
If you are lucky enough to me in Italy for the concert, please hold up your phone and proudly catch a video of the performance because I would love to see and hear how it goes!