Francesco Martinelli was born in Pisa, Italy, in 1954, and graduated in chemistry at Pisa University. Since 1975 he has been involved in the promotion of musical events (the concerts of American bluesmen Cooper Terry and Don Cherry and the Frank Lowe Quartet). In 1976, he co-founded CRIM (Center for Research About Improvised Music). CRIM promoted the Pisa Jazz Festival and many other ad hoc events from 1976 to 1982, mainly concentrating on contemporary improvisation and jazz. Within CRIM, Martinelli published the Italian editions of books by Leo Smith (Notes: 8 Pieces) and Derek Bailey (Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice in Music), and several records (Improvisors’ Symposium by Evan Parker, The Paul Rutherford Duo With Toni Rusconi, Pisa by the Maarten Altena Quartet, and Detto Fra Di Noi by the Alex von Schlippenbach Trio). After 1982, he promoted events for the town of Pisa, including La Nuova Onda, a festival of contemporary Italian jazz, as well as other festivals all over the country. In 1998 he began co-directing the Controindicazioni Festival in Rome and acting as a consultant for festivals and concerts all over the country. After planning and promoting a major three-day festival dedicated to the Italian Instabile Orchestra in December 1997, he produced a double CD for Leo Records documenting the event; the CDs were critically acclaimed worldwide, and the collaboration with the Italian Instabile Orchestra became an ongoing project, with promotion of a yearly Instabile Festival in Pisa. He was then appointed curator of the Siena Jazz Archive, the main resource of its kind in Italy, and also gave courses and lectures about the history of jazz, the philology and conservation of recorded sound, and music research through the Internet. He taught at the Summer School of Music of New York University in Italy for four years, giving a course on European improvised music and lecturing at New York University in New York. His writing has appeared in many magazines: the Italian Musiche (about Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, and Sun Ra), Musica Jazz (about Billie Holiday, Lucky Thompson, and Anthony Braxton), Il Sismografo (the SISMA newsletter), Nerosubianco (the SISMA musicological review), the French Improjazz, the Canadian Coda, the Austrian Jazz Live, the English Avant and VJM, and the American Signal to Noise. His writing has also appeared in books like Mixtery: A Festschrift for Anthony Braxton, the Black Music and Blues Encyclopedia (Arcana), and the Italian Jazz Encyclopedia. His liner notes appear on CDs that are on labels such as FMP, Maya, Chronoscope, Braxton House, Splasch, Leo, Nuscope, and Soul Note. He did work on two major Anthony BraxtonCDs: News From the Seventies (New Tone) and Small Ensemble (Wesleyan) 1994 (Splasch). His most recent CD production is Tales of Love and Death by the Eugenio Colombo Septet on Leo Records, a unique dramatic cantata of three sopranos and a jazz quartet. He has published the discographies of Evan Parker and Mario Schiano, and contributed to entries in Tom Lord’s Jazz Discography. In March 2000, his Anthony Braxton Discography was published, which is the most complete resource book about one of the major figures of contemporary music. It includes an extended bibliography; appendices about web sources and movies; and detailed indexes of all musicians, record titles, original, and standard compositions in over 200 pages with 85 illustrations.
Espen Eriksen is perhaps best known for leading his own group, Espen Eriksen Trio, which has released three records on the acclaimed Norwegian label Rune Grammofon. The trio, referred to by BBC, as “superb musicians at the top of their game” have been credited by critics worldwide for having their own unique melodic and minimalistic style”. Eriksen has toured in Norway, Denmark, Iceland, England, Scotland, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Greece, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Africa.
Eriksen also has a duo with trumpeter Gunnar Halle. Together they have released two records with folk songs and psalms from Norway and played about 100 concerts throughout Europe. Together with Halle, Eriksen is also plays in a trio with the Scottish-based Norwegian guitarist Haftor Medbøe. Eriksen has also played with musicians including Eivind Aarset, Andy Sheppard, Thomas Strønen, Audun Erlien and Håkon Kornstad.
As a journalist Eriksen has worked at Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK) since 2004. Here he has hosted different jazz programs, reviewed records and produced live recordings. His work at NRK often focuses on jazz that pushes the edges of its definition both towards the popular and the avant-garde. Eriksen has also taught jazz history and jazz analysis on bachelor and masters level at both The University of Oslo and Norwegian Academy of Music.
Dave Kane was born in Bangor, N.Ireland where his first formal education in music was with acclaimed composer Brian Irvine. He then moved to England to complete a BA in Contemporary Music and a Masters degree in Composition from Leeds College of music. Kane is a self taught virtuoso of the double bass and has performed and recorded internationally at many established jazz festivals, including; Grenoble, Strasbourg, Vilnius, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Banlieues Bleues (Paris), Oslo, Vossa Jazz festival, Mai Jazz, Stavanger Tou scene, Stockholm, Llubjanna, Maribor, and London Jazz festival.
Currently based in Leeds, Kane is a founder of L.I.M.A. (Leeds Improvised Music Association) and is the manic driving force, musical director and composer for the L.I.M.A orchestra, a large jazz ensemble featuring some the UK’s finest young musicians.
He is also a member of the internationally acclaimed trio BDK, with pianist Matthew Bourne and drummer Steve Davis. They have received rave reviews and enthralled many large audiences at some of the most established jazz festivals across Europe. The trio’s debut album “Lost Something” was voted one of the best Albums of 2008 by BBC Radio 3.
As a bandleader and composer, Kane writes a vast amount of music for many ensembles of varying size and style. He has had his music performed on BBC Radio 3, and featured as guest artist on the channels specialist show ‘Jazz on 3’, completing both commissions and live studio sessions for the program.
As a composer Kane has been commissioned by; Radio 3, London Jazz Festival, LIMA festival, The Stavanger Kitchen Orchestra (Norway), Yorkshire Dance, Manchester Jazz festival, Moving on Music, Phoenix Dance, and many more. Kane has also been a recent participant in the prestigious ‘Take Five’ scheme: an artist development scheme for the most promising young jazz musicians in the UK, organised by Serious International Music Producers, the PRSF, and the Jerwood Foundation. More recent awards include – The PRS New Music Biennial Award 2014. (in collaboration with classical composer Piers Hellawell) and Kane has recently been nominated for the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Award for composition.
Tom Bancroft is a drummer, composer, bandleader and educator. Trained as a medical doctor Tom now makes a living from music. He has played with musicians ranging from Sun Ra and Martyn Bennett to Geri Allen and Bill Wells.
He leads occasional big band Orchestro Interrupto, group Trio Red,and the non-jazz electronic/experimental group Vincent – with Japanese avant grade pianist Satoko Fujii, as well as being a long term member of Trio AAB and a founder member of the Pathhead Music Collective. In 2007 he won the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation and a Herald Angel award for his kids music show Kidsamonium and in 2004 won the Creative Scotland Award. He has devised/produced a range of events like; Clandemonium – a 2000 strong jazz flash mob; Heidland – a fictional multi-media recreation of Pathhead in 5 spaces in Edinburgh’s Dancebase; and Multi Story Karma Park – the multi media jazz big band, dance, and video show that first introduced Martyn Bennett to Michael Marra. He has also composed music for dance, film, radio, and TV.
After running Scottish jazz record company Caber Music for 7 years, he now runs the music education company ABC Creative Music (www.abccreativemusic.com) with his twin brother Phil. The company produces music creativity education resources for mainstream schools and has over 7000 teachers signed up to use lessons teaching creativity and improvisation to young children.