Gabriele Coen

Jazz Meets the World

Bio Gabriele Coen

GABRIELE COEN

Sassofonista, clarinettista, compositore, Gabriele Coen si dedica da trenta anni

all’incontro tra jazz e musica etnica, in particolare mediterranea e est-europea, svolgendo un’intensa attività a livello nazionale e internazionale.

 

Si diploma in sassofono presso il Conservatorio “Morlacchi” di Perugia e in “Specializzazione professionale di musica jazz e derivazioni contemporanee”, presso l’Associazione “Siena Jazz”.

 

Partecipa a stage e seminari di Dave Liebman, Steve Lacy,  Ials con Gianni Oddi e Orchestra Romana di Bruno Tommaso.

 

Si laurea a pieni voti in Scienze Politiche con una tesi in Storia Moderna incentrata sull’influenza araba ed ebraica sull’identità nazionale spagnola.

 

E’ fondatore dei KlezRoym – la più nota formazione italiana dedita alla riattualizzazione del patrimonio musicale ebraico – con cui ha inciso  6 dischi per l’etichetta CNI (Klezroym – 1998, Scenì – 2000, Yankele nel ghetto – 2002, Klezroym – 2003, Venticinqueaprile (2007)- Klezroym (2016).

Dal 1996  al 2004 collabora assiduamente con “I Solisti di Roma” con cui propone un inedito incontro tra sassofono e quartetto d’archi, eseguendo spesso prime assolute (D.Nicolau, F. Cifariello Ciardi, M.Coen).

 

Nel 2001 ha dato vita al gruppo “Gabriele Coen Atlante Sonoro” con cui fonde il linguaggio jazzistico con la musica etnica, registrando nel 2004 l’album di esordio, “Duende” e sucessivamente “Alhambra”(2006), su etichetta CNI.

 

Come compositore e interprete ha realizzato insieme ai Klezroym le musiche per il film di Emanuele Crialese “ Once we were strangers” e “ A gennaio “ di Luca Calvanelli;

insieme a Mario Rivera quelle per “Notturno Bus” (2007) di Davide Marengo, con Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Valerio Mastandrea e Ennio Fantastichini. Del 2010 è la colonna sonora (sempre con Mario Rivera) per “Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a Piazza Vittorio”, di Isotta Toso e infine “Tornare” (2020) di Cristina Comencini.

 

Dal 2013 Gabriele Coen ha fondato un nuovo quintetto a suo nome con cui, dopo gli omaggi a Kurt Weill e John Zorn,  propone, un originalissimo omaggio a Leonard Bernstein, uno dei più grandi musicisti del Novecento, compositore, pianista, direttore d’orchestra e didatta. A gennaio 2020 è uscito il loro cd “Leonard Bernstein Tribute” per la prestigiosa etichetta Parco della Musica Records.

 

 

 

 

Ha inoltre composto sigle televisive (Rai Educational) commenti musicali (Geo&Geo, Raitre), Musiche per documentari (La grande Storia, Raitre) e per balletti (Patino, Fuciarelli), numerose collaborazioni teatrali (Mincer, Celestini, Scaparro, Natoli).

Sempre nel 2007 ha realizzato, ancora con Mario Rivera, le musiche per lo spettacolo teatrale “Satyricon” di Renato Giordano, con Giorgio Albertazzi e Michele Placido.

Nel 2009 ha scritto insieme ad Isotta Toso il libro “Musica errante. Tra folk e jazz: klezmer e canzone yiddish”, per Stampa Alternativa.

A  partire dall’edizione 2011  degli  “Award”  assegnati dalla rivista specializzata Jazzit Gabriele Coen si  colloca sempre tra i migliori sassofonisti soprano e clarinettisiti  italiani.

Come leader porta avanti diversi progetti, in particolare: Gabriele Coen “Jewish Experience”, una delle formazioni più tipiche del jazz contemporaneo come volano di un viaggio musicale in cui si reinterpreta in chiave jazzistica il repertorio  popolare ebraico, attraverso composizioni originali, brani klezmer e sefarditi (ebraico-spagnoli). Del  2009 e’il  primo disco intitolato “Golem”, per Alfamusic, distribuzione Egea. Ad agosto 2010 è uscito il nuovo disco  “Awakening” prodotto da John Zorn per la Tzadik,  la prestigiosa etichetta discografica newyorchese.

A gennaio 2013 è uscito“Yiddish Melodies in Jazz”, sempre orgogliosamente prodotto dalla Tzadik di John Zorn.

 

A giugno 2017 è invece uscito il nuovo lavoro per l’etichetta Parco della Musica Records: “Sephirot. Kabbalah in Music” dove Gabriele Coen dirige il suo nuovo sestetto tra elettricità e spiritualismo. A dicembre 2017 è uscito l’importante testo “The History of European Jazz, The Music, Musicians and Audience in Context”edito da Francesco Martinelli per la Equinox Publishing. Gabriele Coen ha scritto un’importante capitolo  dedicato al rapporto tra jazz e musica ebraica in Europa.

 

Altre collaborazioni importanti: Circo Diatonico, Piccola Banda Ikona di Stefano Saletti, Camera Ensemble con Giovanni Palombo, Elisabetta Antonini trio con Alessandro Gwis, Solista ospite per la New Talents jazz orchestra del Parco della musica di Roma.

 

GABRIELE COEN – BIO

 

Saxophone player, clarinetist, composer, Gabriele Coen first studied music at the Scuola di Musica Popolare in Rome’s Testaccio quarter. Next, he frequented several seminars at Siena Jazz and frequently interacted with important saxophone players (Steve Lacy, Dave Liebman) to finally complete his studies with a degree in Political Science and a diploma in saxophone from the Morlacchi Conservatory of Perugia.

Since the mid-nineties Coen has served as founder and leader of “Kleroym,” which is to this day the most important Italian Klezmer groups. With them, he has become one of the greatest promoters of Jewish folk music in Europe, re-interpreted in a jazz style.

From a family of musicians – his father Massimo Coen was one of the most important violinists in contemporary music – Gabriele was also trained to perform the contemporary saxophone repertoire of the string quartet, “I Solisti di Roma” (The Roman Soloists).

His experience and journey with Klezroym from their intense recording and performing activities in Italy and Europe, (five albums released by CNI: “Klezroym” (1998), “Scenì” (2000), “Yankele nel ghetto” (2002), “Klezroym” (2003), “Venticinqueaprile” (2006), as well as their diverse, important evolutions, including the soundtrack of Emanuele Crialese’s debut film Once We Were Strangers (1997), the theatrical “Saccarina Cinque al Soldo” written by and starring Ascanio Celestini (2001), three television seasons as the in-house band for the program Dove Osano le Qualie (starting in 2002) with Antonello Dose and Marco Presta, lead to Coen’s solo activities and the founding in 2004 of the quartet “Gabriele Coen – Atlante sonoro” [Gabriele Coen – Atlas of Sound] (Lussu, Loddo, Caponi) with which he released two albums, Duende (2004) and Alhambra (2006), once again for the CNI label.

With these two works, Coen presented the groundbreaking and personal encounter of Jazz with World Music, undertaking a 360-degree journey in the fusion of various musical traditions – Jewish, Mediterranean, Balkan, and contemporary Jazz – combining the production of original works with the re-interpretation with traditional material.

Simultaneously, Gabriele increased his intense didactic and instructional activities, which saw one of its most important moments in the publication of the essay, “Klezmer, Jewish folk music from the shtetle to John Zorn,” published in 2000 by Castelvecchi and then subsequently in the publication of “Wandering Music. From Folk to Jazz: Klezmer and Yiddish Music,” published in 2009 by Stampa Alternative; both articles were co-written with Isotta Toso.

At the same time, he diversified his productions, working as composer and performer for dance (Fuciarelli, Patimo), in television (RAI Educational, La Grande Storia, Geo&Geo), for the theater (Scaparro and Lisa Ferlazzo Natoli) with the original production of “L’Alfiere” for the Roccella Jonica Jazz Festival (2005) and “La Casa d’Argilla” for the Teatro Due Foundation Festival of Parma (2006), and finally for film, co-writing with Mario Rivera the soundtracks of the films Notturno Bus, by Davide Marengo (2007), and Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a piazza Vittorio (Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio) by Isotta Toso (2010). Coen also collaborated with Mario Rivera in the musical theatre production of “Satyricon” by Renado Giordano with Michele Placido and Giorgio Albertazzi (2007).

In 2005, Coen founded the “Gabriele Coen Jewish Experience” quintet (Lussu, Berg, Loddo, Caponi). They released their first album, Golem, in 2009 for the Alfamusic label, distributed by Egea. With the quintet, Gabriele reached a new expressive maturity in proposing Jewish music in Jazz style, leading up to his electrifying encounter with John Zorn in New York in the summer of 2010 and his entrance into the ranks of Tzadik, Zorn’s prestigious independent label, which produced Awakening (2010). Coen’s is the first Italian ensemble to release an album for Tzadik, which over the years has become an important point of reference for contemporary Jazz, in the “Radical Jewish Culture” series that John Zorn dedicated to the best expressions of Jewish Music at the international level. Of Gabriele Coen and his project, John Zorn wrote: “Gabriele Coen is one of the most exciting composers and performers, able to combine a profound knowledge of and sincere respect for tradition with exceptional capacity for intuitive communication and imaginative sensibility. [He is] avant-garde and at the same time firmly rooted in tradition; the “Jewish Experience” project expresses passion, integrity and impeccable interpretational art.” Awakening participated in the most important Jazz events in Italy as well as in New York at a special event at The Stone, Zorn’s nightclub, where the most important members of the American and International musical avant-garde perform regularly.

Meanwhile, Gabriele continued his concert and performance activities with his “Piccola Banda Ikona” (Saletti, Eramo Rivera) and began his collaboration with Giovanni Palombo, Benny Penazzi and Andrea Piccioni in the “Camera Ensemble” project with which he released the album of the same name under the Helikonia label (2010). He also collaborated with numerous other performers, among whom Elisabetta Antonini and Alessandro Gwis. He continued his theater collaborations with Mariangela Melato and Michele Placido in “Odio e Amo. Spoon River” (2008), with Dino and Filippo Gentili in “Scintille,” based on the novel of the same name by Gad Lerner (2010), with Stefano Cioffi in “Queste mani vengono con me,” starring Ennio Fantastichini (2010) and “La Torta in Cielo”(2012) and “Diario di Guerra” (2014)  both starring Galatea Ranzi [2014].

“Yiddish Melodies in Jazz” was released in January 2013 for John Zorn’s record label, Tzadik, once again for the “Radical Jewish Culture” series.

Lately Gabriele Coen strongly tied up to the guitarist and music composer Teho Teardo and to the German singer Blixa Bargeld (Einsturzende Neubauten) and he’s currently touring with them across Europe with their last release, entitled “Nerissimo” [April 2016]. In May 2017 Gabriele Coen Sextet released “Sephirot. Kabbalah in Music” for  innovative italian label Parco della Mudica Records. Gabriele Coen writes about his last project:

“We have been working for the past two years to a new concept album entitled “Sephirot”. The project is inspired by the tree of life symbolism according to the Kabbalah and the Jewish mysticism, a journey inside the mystic divine structure which is also a journey inside the human feelings. In fact the Sephirot are the ten basic principles that can be found both in the divine world and in the human psychology. They are represented as an enormous tree and they are magically interconnected through 22 channels, 22 like the letters in the Jewish alphabet.

This magical and metaphysical world has inspired us ten original compositions of strong electric sound combining the energy and passion of rock with the profundity and sophistication of jazz. Our work is strongly inspired by the Miles Davis “Bitches Brew” and “In a Silent Way” electric jazz, not to mention the John Zorn’s Electric Masada and The Dreamers, which are acknowledged point of reference of the encounter between Jewish music and electric jazz. “

 

In January 2020 the cd “Gabriele Coen Quintet Leonard – Bernstein Tribute” was released for the prestigious label Parco della Musica Records.
The new quintet by Gabriele Coen, following it’s fresh tributes to Kurt Weill and John Zorn, introduces, with the arrangements of Andrea Avena, a very original tribute to Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest musicians of the Twentieth Century, composer, pianist, conductor and great teacher. From the most famous songs of West Side Story (1957), including Maria, Tonight and Somewhere, to the lesser known Jewish-inspired production, Ilana the Dreamer, Yigdal and Chichester Psalms. With the aim of rediscovering the beauty of these immortal compositions, respect and admiration for Leonard Bernstein’s music combines with the language of improvisation and jazz in an unique encounter.