The annual Bridging Europe festival always has big things in store to showcase the culture of the city under the spotlight. This year, one of the most prominent jazz artists in Rome, and of course in a broader sense in Italy, Roberta Gambarini, celebrates not only the legacy that her native country has left to the jazz singer, but also the 25th anniversary season of the Budapest Jazz Orchestra. Roberta will be in good hands, as the BJO has worked with some truly renowned vocalists over its quarter-century of existence.
Roberta Gambarini's fate was sealed before she was born, when her parents met at a jazz concert. Growing up in Turin, her father's record collection was a great inspiration for the little girl, who was fascinated by the great jazz artists of old, Louis Armstrong, then Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan. She first learned to play the clarinet, but then felt she could be more fulfilled by letting her beautiful alto voice soar. By the age of 17, she was a regular performer in clubs. She made the podium in a national jazz competition, which further strengthened her resolve to pursue a career as a singer. A few years later, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and while in the United States, she entered the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, where she again found herself on the podium; but her greatest prize was the recognition and subsequent patronage of jazz legends Benny Carter and James Moody. Two of her albums have been nominated for a Grammy Award.
George Duke, Raul Midón, Al Di Meola, Joe Lovano, Jane Monheit and Peter Erskine have all spoken enthusiastically about their collaboration with the Budapest Jazz Orchestra. Roberta is now also endeavouring to sing with them in her mother tongue as well as in English.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest