Andrea Avena

Born in Rome on 25/02/65 and studied with Andrea Pighi and Massimo Moriconi (electric bass and double bass), with Bruno Tommaso (double bass, harmony, composition, arrangement), with Giancarlo Gazzani (arrangement for big band).

In 1986 he won the competition organized by ISMEZ and RAI3 as best new talent and participated in the Roccella Ionica International Festival with the “New Talents” orchestra conducted by Paolo Damiani.
In 1990 he obtained the 1st prize in the competition for new formations in Forlì for the group “Tetracolors”.
He is selected among the finalists of the international competition of composition and arrangement for jazz orchestra of Barga in the editions ’88, ’89, ’90, ’96, and in ’98 he is among the finalists of the international competition “Scrivere in Jazz” in Sassari .
Winner of the 2009 IMAIE Opera Award with the “Estrela da Tarde” project.
In 1989 he formed the “Andrea Avena Group” (with F. Barresi-voice, S. Micarelli-guitar, F. Pieroni-piano, A. Fabbri-battery) with which he recorded a record and participated in various Italian reviews.
In 1990 he participated with the group “Silent circus” in various Italian reviews including “Siena Jazz”.
In the following years he collaborated in the field of jazz with many musicians including Lester Bowie, Kirk Lightsey, Manhu Roche, Don Moye, Massimo Urbani, Maurizio Giammarco, Antonello Salis, Michele Rabbia, Massimo Manzi.
In 1994 he participated with the big band of Francesco Santucci in various Italian reviews including “Umbria Jazz”. In the same year he began to collaborate with the French guitarist Philippe Roche with whom he constitutes, with Tommy Caggiani on drums, the “Hoggar trio”, a group that works on the contamination between jazz and Arabic music (also through the use of instruments characteristic of the North African music such as Algerian oud).
In 1995 he founded with Roberto Spadoni, Paolo Sorge and Giovanni Lo Cascio the quartet “Aporia”, a group that is mainly interested in the relationship between music and images; with this line-up, in fact, he made live soundtracks in various Italian cinemas and theatres (commissioned by the film association, the other Baobab), rare French documentaries from the 1920s (“Anémic Cinema” by Marcel Duchamp, “Le ballet mécanique” by Fernard Legér , “L’étoile de mer” by Man Ray, “Charleston” by Jean Renoir) and a medium-length film by Buster Keaton (“Sherlock Junior”) using original music composed for the occasion.
Also in 1995 he began his collaboration with the big band “M. J. Urkestra ”directed by R. Spadoni, for whom, in addition to playing the double bass, he writes arrangements of his own pieces, by C. Mingus and participates in the twinning with the Città di Udine orchestra (December 1996). In April 1998 the first CD of the orchestra dedicated to the figure of Charles Mingus was released. In the summer of 1998 the orchestra enters the studio to record the project “Estrela da tarde” for voice and orchestra with its own music on poems by Pablo Neruda and Manuel Bandeira.
In 2001 the big band recorded its third CD and began its collaboration with various guest soloists such as G.Trovesi, S. Satta and M. Giammarco for the realization of special projects. Since 2002 it is the resident orchestra of the international seminars of Lanciano (CH) under the direction of Mike Abene. The orchestra recorded its 4th CD in 2003 and performed the complete “Epitaph” by Mingus in February of the same year at the Metastasio theatre in Prato under the direction of Andrew Homzy.
Since 1998 he collaborates with the Klezroym group with whom he performs in numerous festivals and theatrical events in Italy and Spain. In 2005, the satellite channel “Artè” invited the group to Brussels to record a 40-minute monographic program on the occasion of the Yiddish Night Festival.
In March 2000 under the direction of Gunther Schuller he performed music by Alec Wilder and Eric Dolphy (some in world premiere) with the “Terza Corrente” ensemble (guests Gianluigi Trovesi and Paolo Ravaglia).
In the same year he forms the SPJQ quartet with Sandro Satta, Roberto Spadoni and Ettore Fioravanti, and begins his collaboration with Roberto Laneri’s group “Crossroads”.
Since 2005 he has played in the “Recordando Piazzolla Y Gardel” project with Javier Girotto and Daniele Di Bonaventura. From 2006 to 2007 he plays with the group “Acustimantico” with whom he performs in various national festivals and gives life to the show “EM”, a tribute to the figure of the great poet Emanuel Carnevali. Since 2008 he has played with “Trionirico” a project by and with Pasquale Laino, with Alessandro Gwis. Since 2009 he collaborates with the group “Marenia” with whom he records a CD and plays in various national reviews.
Since 2008 he has collaborated with Paolo Ravaglia, with whom he plays in various formations, even with guests of the caliber of Bill Smith.
1993: “Cundu luna vini” with Francesca Breschi (directed by David Riondino, musical direction by Germano Mazzocchetti).
In the same year he begins his collaboration with Nicola Piovani, in fact he plays in all the theatrical performances of the master:
“Canti di scena”, “Il Signor Novecento” and “Le cantatas del fiore e del buffo” with Lello Arena and Norma Martelli (music by Nicola Piovani and texts by Vincenzo Cerami) tour throughout Italy and Greece with more than 600 replicas between 1993 and 2001;
“Concerto Fotogramma” with S. Patitucci, D. Pandimiglio, P. Ingrosso and N. Martelli, tours in Italy and important festivals in Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Tunisia;
“Semo o nun semo” with Tosca, M. Wertmuller, D. Pandimiglio and P. Ingrosso;
“La pietà”, stabat mater concertante for two female voices (Rita Cammarano and Amii Stewart), reciting voice (Gigi Proietti) and orchestra (verses by V. Cerami and music by N. Piovani), show held in Bethlehem during the night Good Friday 1999 with the patronage of the Palestinian Ministry of Culture;
“L’isola della Luce” sung for female voice (Noa), male voice (P. Ingrosso), narrator (N. Tsakiroglou, or Omero Antonutti in the Italian version) and orchestra, work performed among other things on the Greek island of Delos on the occasion of the “Culture Olympics” in September 2003.
In 1995 he collaborated with the “Compagnia della Rancia” playing in the Italian version of the musical “West side story” under the direction of Maestro Richard Parrinello.
In 1997-98 he plays in the Italian version of the musical “Irma la dolce”, a production of the Teatro Stabile del Friuli Venezia Giulia directed by A. Calenda.
Still in the theatre, he plays in “Maria Maddalena” (by Marguerite Yourcenar, texts of Italian songs by Andrea Camilleri), in “Echelmessia” (by Ennio de Concini), in “Saccarina cinque al payo” (by Ascanio Celestini, Klezroym and Olek Mincer), “Tuttalavariety” (by Sabina Guzzanti), “The Ballad of Dishonest Love” (by G. Mazzocchetti and A. Fornari), “October 16, 1943” (reading from the book of the same name by De Benedetti, with Luca Zingaretti) , and composes the incidental music for “Il custode” by A. Lauro (with P. Triestino).
Since 1993 he has also participated as a double bass player in the creation of music for the theatre and soundtracks for the cinema (Roberto Benigni, Sergio Rubini, Sabina Guzzanti, Nanni Loi, Antonio Albanese, Luigi Magni, Ben Von Verbog, Bigas Luna, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani , Luis Sepulveda, Mario Monicelli, Jos Stelling, …) and for television dramas under the direction of Germano Mazzocchetti, Nicola Piovani, Carlo Di Blasi, Lucio Gregoretti, Giovanna and Francesco Marini, Franco Piersanti, Renato Serio, Piero Pintucci, Stelvio Cipriani, Paolo Silvestri, etc …
Since 2010 he has been collaborating as double bass player and electric bass player with the Italian Cinema Orchestra, the first Italian symphonic team specialized in the interpretation and execution of film music repertoire, both in the recording studio and live (project “The sound of Neorealism ”, which made its debut in Rome in Piazza del Campidoglio under the high patronage of the President of the Republic). In April 2011 the Orchestra was invited to Beijing by the Chinese government and performed in 3 concerts, as the main event of the first edition of the “Beijing International Film Festival”. The first is in the opening ceremony in the splendid “National Center of Performing Arts”. The two subsequent symphonic-multimedia concerts take place in the “Great Hall Of The People” in Tiananmen Square, the historic seat of the Chinese government, in front of about 10,000 spectators. In November 2011 the Orchestra was invited to play at the Rome International Film Festival. In July 2012 he made a live world premiere of the Oscar-winning film “The Artist” under the direction of Ernst Von Tiel, with the composer Ludovic Bource at the piano, at the Ravello Festival.
In 1991-92 he participated with the jazz trio of Lelio Luttazzi in the television program “Buon natale” by TMC.
In 1999 with the big band “M. J. Urkestra ”prepares a tribute to Duke Ellington which is performed live in the radio broadcast Radiotresuite, on the occasion of the day dedicated to Ellington by European radios.
In 2002 he played for RAI2 in the show “Tuttalavariety” (by Sabina Guzzanti), and for RAI1 in “L’Ultimo Del paradiso” (by Roberto Benigni), and in 2003 in the show “October 16, 1943” (with Luca Zingaretti).
With the Klezroym group he participates as a resident group in the RAI3 broadcast “Dove Osano Le Quaglie” with Marco Presta and Antonello Dose (15 episodes in 2003, 21 episodes in 2004 and 7 episodes from the Sistina Theater in Rome in 2005).
With the Klezroym group he performed the “Yankele nel ghetto” suite for the “Concerti del Quirinale” live on Radio3 in January 2004.
In 2005 he participated in a cycle of 7 “Protestatesimo” broadcasts on RAI2 performing his own original music and other pieces composed together with Gabriele Coen.
In 2006 he plays live in the RADIO3 program “La stanza della musica”.
On 9 April of the same year, the film “Yiddish Soul” by Turi Finocchiaro and Nathalie Rossetti with “Klezroym” airs on the ARTE ’Television satellite channel.
In the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 seasons he was part of the resident orchestra (conducted by Maestro Cestana) of the RAI2 program “Mezzogiorno in famiglia”.
In January 2009 he participated with Nicola Piovani’s quintet in the special episode on De André in the show “Che tempo che fa” by Fabio Fazio on RAI3.
In March 2010 he participated with Nicola Piovani’s quintet in the great live event “RAI per una notte” at the PalaDozza in Bologna.
In April 2011 with the Italian Cinema Orchestra he plays in the opening ceremony of the 1st edition of the “Beijing International Film Festival” in Beijing, in the “National Center of Performing Arts” live on CCTV – channel 3, the largest network mainland China television with over 1.2 billion viewers through its 19 television channels.
In December 2011 an episode of “Prima della Prima” on RAI3 was dedicated to “I Viaggi di Ulisse” by Nicola Piovani and the concert in the Aula Magna of the La Sapienza University of Rome was broadcast live on RADIO2.
In September 2014 he sonorises the live performance of Sabina Guzzanti with original music (together with Aidan Zammit) in the broadcast “Servizio Pubblico” of LA7.
He writes and arranges pieces for various formations, from the small group to the big band, for rhythm section, winds, voices, woodwinds and strings; his arrangements and compositions have been performed in dozens of reviews and festivals in Italy and Europe. Many of these songs have been recorded on discs by groups named after him or by groups with which he collaborated, see the section “Discography” below.
He composed and arranged music for documentaries (for the Istituto Luce and for the L’Altro Baobab association), for theater (“Il Custode”), for television (RAI: incidental music and theme songs for “Dove Osano Le Quaglie “And” Protestantism “).
He was assistant collaborator of Bruno Tommaso at the Siena Jazz ’88 and ’90 seminars for the laboratory orchestra.
He was director of the theoretical courses department at the University of Music in Rome from 1990 to 2000, an institute where he taught theory, modern harmony, arrangement and double bass; he also taught electric bass and double bass, among other things, at the Jazz University of Terni.
He has taught in many seminars, including the Euro Summer Campus in Syracuse from 2006 to 2009, with Robben Ford, Greg Howe, Carl Verheyen, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, Guthrie Govan, Greg Koch, Kee Marcello and Richard Smith.
In 2009 he held a course in electric bass and double bass at the F. Cilea conservatory in Reggio Calabria as part of the experimental upper three-year level of jazz.
Since 2011 he has been teaching “Jazz Harmony” and “Forms, Systems and Languages of Jazz” as part of the experimental upper three-year period of I level in jazz at the O. Respighi Conservatory in Latina. Since 2013 he has been teaching “Analysis of the compositional and performative forms of jazz” in the second level two-year course.
In 2013 he held a master class at the G. Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro on “Polimeters, polyrhythms and multitemporal music” for composition and improvisation.
In 2014 he was again invited to the Pesaro Conservatory, this time for a masterclass on “Tempi in 5 e in 7, tempo odd”; he also holds a seminar at the “Corelli” Conservatory of Messina dedicated to his professional activity entitled “3 adventures of a jazz player outside the confines of jazz”.
In 2015, as part of the European Erasmus + program, he was invited to Spain by the superior conservatory of Oviedo to hold a 2-day masterclass on “Polimeters, polyrhythms and multitemporal music”.
He is the author of a method of theory, functional harmony, musical reading and ear training in four volumes (“Theory and Harmony” ed. Sinfonica) and of a method dedicated to the analysis of melodies and their harmonization in three volumes (“Analysis and Arrangement “Symphonic Edition)
The translation of the theory method into Spanish is underway; the first two volumes have already been distributed on the Spanish market.




“Pithecanthropus e altre storie” Andrea Avena Group
“Tetracolors” Tetracolors
“Canti di scena” Orch. Aracoeli, V.Cerami, N. Piovani
“Massimo Santantonio quintet, featuring Antonello Salis”
“West side story” (versione italiana) dir. R. Parrinello
“Concerto Premio Rota 1997” Nicola Piovani
“Il viaggio della sposa” (colonna sonora orig.) G.Mazzocchetti
“Mingus” M. J. Urkestra (dir. R. Spadoni)
“La teta y la luna” (colonna sonora orig.) N. Piovani
“A che punto è la notte” N. Piovani
“Tu ridi” (colonna sonora orig.) N. Piovani
“Live” Umberto Sangiovanni
“Ùrkestra” M. J. Urkestra
“In nome del popolo sovrano” (colonna sonora orig.) N. Piovani
“Script” Massimo Santantonio
“Made in Italy” Fabio Di Cocco Trio
“Piccola luce” Capezzuto-Avena-Chiaraluce feat. J. Girotto
“Lavori in sorso” Tomei-Merone 4et
“Nowhere” (colonna sonora orig.) N. Piovani
“O’ Re” (colonna sonora orig.) N. Piovani
“Pinocchio” (colonna sonora orig.) Piovani-Benigni
“Archcello”  Hajime Mizoguchi
“Estrela da tarde” M. J. Urkestra
“Dances” M. J. Urkestra
“La controra” Umberto Sangiovanni & Daunia Orchestra
“Ti porto in Africa” (brano“Forse Che Si, Forse Che No”) Mango
“Il diario di Sabn Guzz” (libro-video by Sabina Guzzanti)
“Semo o nun semo” Nicola Piovani
“Nella pioggia” Marco Turco
“Maigret, La Trappola” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“Kaos – Suite per Giovanni Falcone” N. Piovani
“Matilde” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
 (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“Das Sams” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“Das Sams in gefahr” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“La tigre e la neve” (colonna sonora orig.) Piovani-Benigni
“Odette Toulemonde” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“Big Ben” Down Time Group (Quarta-Spadoni-Avena)
“La cantata dei cent’anni” (Cerami-Piovani)libro + cd audio
“25 Aprile” (live in Fossoli) Klezroym
“In un altro paese” (colonna sonora orig.) A.Pandolfo
“Notturno bus” (colonna sonora orig.) Coen-Rivera
“Stelle in eccedenza” Fabrizio Emigli
“Em – ovvero Emanuel Carnevali va in America” Acustimantico “Ner duemila” Canzoniere di Roma
“Parada” (colonna sonora orig.) Andrea Guerra
“La strada (a teatro)” di G. Mazzocchetti con Tosca
“Epta” di Nicola Piovani
“The river will carry me” Pasquale Laino
“Scantu” Marenia
“Welcome” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“Le code a changè” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“Running free” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“In quintetto” Nicola Piovani
“La conquête” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“In Solitario Splendore” Anthony Manfredonia
“Non C’è Niente Da Ridere” Piovani sonorizza 3 comiche di Laurel e Hardy
“Viaggi di Ulisse” Nicola Piovani
“Facciamo Finta Che Sia Vero” Adriano Celentano
“D’onde” Aurora Curcio
“Christmas Favorites” Il Volo
“Ciliegine” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani
“Cinecittà” Roberto Giglio
“Storie”  Pierluigi Pietroniro
“Sulla Strada” Francesco De Gregori (brano“Forse Che Si, Forse Che No”)
“Comme Un Chef” (colonna sonora orig.) Nicola Piovani“Cantabile” Nicola Piovani (Giorgia, Jovanotti, De Gregori, ecc…)