170. Claudio Lo Cascio (1934- )

Born in Palermo, in 1956 Lo Cascio founded the “New Jazz Quartet” and participated to the 2nd National Jazz Festival in Rome. In 1957, he constituted the “New Jazz Society”, a formation with which, for the next 25 year, he would held concerts, produce records, and participate to jazz festivals worldwide.

Lo Cascio was a promoter of jazz renditions of Italian and European folk themes (folk -jazz). An eloquent example of his work is the record “Oleodotti a Sud Est” recorded with a quintet in 1975. In 1976, Lo Cascio renovated one of the oldest mansions in Palermo, Villa Pantelleria, and from 1977 to 1990 made it the headquarter “Centro Django Reinhardt” an interdisciplinary, cultural center where jazz has an absolutely equal position with symphonic music, opera, electronic and folk.

In 1983, Lo Cascio changed the name of his band in “New Jazz Quartet” which became “Modern Art Quartet” in homage to John Lewis, under whose direction makes a tour with the Symphony Orchestra of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. In 1984, as part of a teaching program that is still ongoing, he put together a big band of 19 elements, the “Sicilia Jazz Big Band” (formerly “Reinhardt Jazz Studio Orchestra”) that has performed over 300 concerts to date, has produced nine records and has hosted soloists such as Dusko Gojkovich, Gianni Basso, Sergio Fanni, Rudy Migliardi, Paolo Damiani and others. In 1990, Lo Cascio set the octect “Sicilia Jazz Dixielanders” to propose an accurate reconstruction of the jazz of the ’20s.
In October 1991, Lo Cascio received the honorary citizenship of the city of New Orleans.

Professor of History of the Jazz at the Institute of History of Music of the University of Palermo (2003), in 2004 joined the Conservatory ” Vincenzo Bellini” of Palermo as professor of History and Aesthetics of Jazz. In 2003 he wrote the book “History of jazz – Nick La Rocca”.

1. Jazzmeblue, http://www.jazzmeblues.it/Claudio%20Lo%20Cascio.htm
2. Instituto Technologia Musicale, IMUTER, http://www.imuter.com/locascio/Claudio_Lo_Cascio_Biografia.pdf
3. OnlineJazz.net, http://www.online-jazz.net/2015/11/27/claudio-lo-cascio-il-padre-del-jazz-folk/

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