Since 2010, when she appeared on the Italian recording market with the album Skinshout, she has become an important personality on her local music scene. Every year, she has been ranked as one of the top ten most creative and promising artists on Italy’s improvised music scene, and her recordings, although they have nothing whatsoever in common with entertainment music, are some of the most eagerly consumed.

Gaia Mattiuzzi appears to be one of those singers who are never subject to any stylistic constraints. She sings Monk, Cage and Mozart. She improvises both within a pure jazz context and in the company of such stars as Ernst-Ludwig Perowsky, Evan Parker, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Gunter Baby Sommer or Elliot Sharp, only to shortly afterwards lend her voice to an ethnic music project or make a joyful return to the grand stage at the Teatro Cristallo in Bolzano during the 38th edition of the contemporary music festival there.

We don’t know much about her, as we don’t know much about Italian improvised music, and even less about masters of the art of vocal improvisation. It’s now time to make up for this. One of the guests at this year’s 8th edition of Krakow Jazz Autumn will be Gaia Mattiuzzi. 

She began her adventures in music at the age of nine with lessons in classical piano. However, her main focus of interest swiftly became her voice, its expressive capabilities and range of improvisational expression. Before she emerged as a regularly active artist on the scene, Gaia received a multi-faceted yet thorough musical education. She gained some of her experience from countless workshops, not to mention jazz festivals in Umbria and Siena as well as master classes led by Kenny Barron, Barry Harris and the famous jazz diva Roberta Gambarini. And the rest of her experience at the G. B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna and as a studio of bel canto opera techniques in the studios of Patrizia Vaccari and famous tenor William Matteuzzi.

However much her image is informed by the formal education she gained, which was further supplemented by a degree in psychology and social pedagogy from the Liceo G. Carducci college in Merano, she is first and foremost a singer able to take impressive advantage of her acquired knowledge both onstage and in the studio.

This is clear from her album recordings, whether they are released as the Skinshout group or as albums under her own name (like her latest album Laut) or when Gaia forms part of larger group of performers by fronting the Vocal Naked Musicians or Marco Cappello’s Italian Surf Academy, which last year recorded a critically acclaimed album for Mode Records, a prestigious American label specialising in contemporary music.

Gaia will be appearing on the Alchemia stage alongside splendid composer and percussionist, Francesco Cusa. We shall have the opportunity to test out the theory that it is the voice that lies at the root of all music.


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