MARCO Di MARCO TOURS U.S. - RECEIVES AWARD
The wellknown Italian jazz pianist Marco Di Marco performed in Boston, New York and Brooklyn this past October, 1993. The crowds in the clubs and concert halls were not disappointed as the “lyrical improvisor” played better than ever, premiering several new and haunting original songs, “Ma Petite Chanson,” and “Sempre.” Dr. Krey L. Jilca, president of Unichrom, Ltd.., and The Friends of Jazz, honoured Mr. Di Marco at a testimonial dinner by presenting him with the 1993 Award of Distinction for his outstanding contribution to society through his compositions and performances over the past 30 years.
Arriving at Kennedy on Sunday, October 3rd, he was met by both his impresario, Arnold Steinstikke, and long-time friend and colleague, the famous American composer and jazz pianist Jack Reilly. With no time to get over jet lag, Di Marco performed in duet (4 hands) with Reilly on October 4th over WNYC FM radio in New York. The show, “Around New York,” is hosted by Steve Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan interviewed Mr. Di Marco and the duo romped through a set of standards and originals by Di Marco and Reilly.
Boston, the home of the famous Red Sox and The Berklee College of Jazz, ironically has only a handful of jazz clubs. The Willow Jazz Club is one of the best and the most important venue for all visiting European jazz musicians. It is situated just 10 minutes from downtown Boston in a charming New England town called Sommervi1le. It was here, October 7th at the Willow, that Di Marco debuted his new trio with Harvie Swartz on bass and Ron Vincent on drums. The club was filled with fans, as well as students and faculty from Berklee. Unichrom Productions invited Bostonian saxophonist George Garzone to guest with the trio and the improvisations on “Solar”, “Green Dolphin” and “Stella” had the crowds cheering for an encore. Di Marco obliged them, not with another quartet rendition, but with a piano solo!! His new song, “Ma Petite Chanson”, brought the audience to tears.
In New York October 9th, the trio was presented in concert at Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church where the performance took place in the Sanctuary. The concert was sold out two weeks before Di Marco’s arrival in NYC! Mr Di Marco played beautifully, swinging hard and furious. Highlights for the audience were the infectious “Bossa With Regards” and “Camparenda”, both Di Marco originals.
On October l2th, Columbus Day, Mr. Di Marco played a solo recital at a very unusual concert hall. It’s a barge and it’s docked at Fulton Ferry Landing, under the Brooklyn Bridge, in one of the oldest zones in New York. The concert hall, named “Barge Music,” seats only 150 people and may cause some people to become nauseous when a passing ship floats by the barge, rocking it like a canoe or rowboat. It overlooks the New York skyline and proved to be the most inspiring night for Mr. Di Marco. He rose to virtuosic “Horowitzian” heights of “Machiavellian” keyboard wizardry !!! The crowd became spellbound. After the final chord of “ Very Early” by Bill Evans, there was TOTAL SILENCE for two minutes!! Unbelievable magic. Thank you, Marco (for I am most pleased to have been at this concert).
The rest of the tour found Di Marco in the recording studio for a new trio CD which will be issued in early 1994. His newly-found fans in America are eagerly awaiting this CD, for it contains wonderful improvisations by Harvie Swartz and masterful drumming by Ron Vincent. How do I know?? I was there, in the studio with them!!
Before boarding the Alitalia plane on October 17th for his return to Italy, (triumphant return, I should note), Mr. Di Marco intimated he’ll be back in late fall 1994 for another tour, this time to include Chicago and New Orleans, the birthplaces of jazz. We welcome you anytime, Mr. Di Marco. You’ve charmed us again! Thank you!
-by Sean Murphy Ortega
(Chief music critic for the Jilca Journal, and the international publication “Sonic View &ldqu