After many releases ranging from trio to larger bands, featuring several jazz notables – from Joe
Lovano and John Abercrombie to Enrico Rava – renowned Italian pianist and composer Salvatore
Bonafede gets back to his roots with a trio featuring two fellow Sicilians now based in New York: Marcello
Pellitteri on drums and Marco Panascia on electric and double bass. Out of folk clichés, the Salvatore
Bonafede Trio takes Mediterranean melodies dipped into the bittersweet colours of their home-island
and opens them up to a worldwide jazz audience.
Provided with Bonafede’s highly imaginative touch, his newest album Sicilian Opening, on the
JazzEyes label, features original compositions played with fine melodic lines and evocative sound, as
well as some evergreen pop hits arranged in the trademark Bonafede distinctive jazz style. With this
recording Bonafede definitively cements his reputation as one of the most compelling piano players
and brilliant composers on the present scene, both at home and throughout the world.
Born in Palermo, Italy, Salvatore Bonafede taught himself to play piano at the age of four, later
graduating from Palermo Conservatory of Music. In 1986 he earned a scholarship to the Berklee
College of Music in Boston, from which he graduated in three years. While living there, “Sal” – as elder
jazz musicians started to call him – joined the Jerry Bergonzi Quartet to tour Australia. In 1989 he moved
to New York where he led his own groups and played with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dewey
Redman, Joshua Redman, Lew Tabackin, and Joe Lovano. His first CD as a leader and composer,
“Actor-Actress” (Ken Music, Japan) was praised by critics around the world and earned a place on the
Village Voice Critics’ Poll as one of the Top 10 CDs of the Year. In 1991, the Italian magazine “Musica
Jazz” voted him a “Top Young Player”.
Sal Bonafede moved back to Italy in 1994 and worked with Lester Bowie, Tom Harrell, Bobby
Watson and John Scofield. As pianist of Joe Lovano’s 12-piece orchestra, he took part in a number of
major European festivals and performed for “The 2005 Nightlife Awards” at Town Hall in New York. He also
recorded and worked with Marc Johnson, Paul Motian, Paolo Fresu, Judi Silvano, Randy Brecker, John
Abercrombie, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Jerry Bergonzi, Tim Berne, Ralph Towner, Dave Douglas, Michael
Formanek, and Enrico Rava. In addition to his performing and recording activities, Bonafede also
composes for film (awarded for best soundtrack in 2003 and 2004) and for TV movies.