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AAVV - The Man We Love Cd Digipack
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AAVV - The Man We Love Cd Digipack
Franco Russo Award 2007-2023

15 years of Jazz and more in Trieste.

Franco Russo was a jazz composer from Trieste, who was especially active in the area during the 1950s. He approached jazz at the age of 14, and his talent was so clear that he was chosen as a child prodigy in a selection organised by the American Red Cross Special in 1945 (when Trieste was administered by the Allied Military Government).

In the following years he formed his own group, composed and arranged for orchestra and worked weekly for both RAI and American radio (AFS) in Trieste.

He moved to Rome in the 1970s and worked for RAI in several successful Italian television programmes, including Bambole non c'è una lira, La granduchessa e i camerieri, Il paese di Alice, Tutte le donne, Due come noi, Il Ribaltone, Gigi Proietti e i suoi fratelli, Magic Show, Studio '80, Palcoscenico, Al Paradise (three editions), Buonasera Raffaella, Domenica In (with Raffaella Carrà), Fantastico 10, etc.

In 1976, in addition to his commitments with RAI, he began working as an accompanist pianist at the L. Recife Conservatory in Frosinone, and later at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome.

From 2001 to 2004, he gave concerts in Bayreuth, Bolzano, Rome and Trieste, revisiting and interpreting the themes he had always loved: jazz from the 1950s, film music and everything he considered “musica bela”: that is to say, music that was well-composed.

He had planned two concerts in Bayreuth and Civitavecchia for the end of 2005, but passed away suddenly on 29 September 2005.

The Franco Russo Award, strongly supported by his wife Silvia Fabian Russo, was founded in 2007 as a competition at the RAI in Trieste, where it was awarded to the musicians Enrico Zanisi and Alessandro Lanzoni, well-known names in the world of contemporary jazz. The Franco Russo Award has been given since 2009, in collaboration with Gabriele Centis, the director of the Scuola di Musica 55, and the Trieste Loves Jazz festival, to support young musicians in the field of jazz with a scholarship.

Silvia left us in 2022, and passed on to me the burden and honour of continuing this wonderful activity of supporting young talent.

I met Franco and Silvia back in 1972, in the mountains. I was a 9-year-old child and didn’t play the guitar yet, I was writing little stories, drawing, and inventing songs, but Franco saw the fire of the composer in me. In the years to come, until the day he passed away, he helped and encouraged me, playing an important role as a mediator with my parents to get me to study music.

I remained in close contact with Silvia until her final days, that is, for 50 years.

This CD is a documentation of all the talents that have emerged from the Franco Russo Award in recent years, but it is also a tribute to the Maestro, whose spirit and voice linger cyclically between one piece and another.

Stefano Giannotti 2023

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