Marco Zenini is an Italian bass player born in Rome.
His musical journey began almost fifteen years ago when he started playing the bass in a number of rock and metal bands. His first teachers, Luca Barberini and Toni Armetta, introduced him to the vast world of jazz, where he discovered the freedom inherent in improvised music.
Musical development quickly became a fundamental part of Marco’s personal path. The balance that exists between structure and improvisation in jazz represented an expression of nature for him. Here, he found the instruments to navigate between the concrete and the abstract in communicating the self, a way to be honest in music by creating a balance between soul and mind.
At the age of 18, Marco started attending the Conservatory of Frosinone in Italy, studying in the classical department with Luca Cola and Gianluigi Zampieri among others. He also participated in a series of intensive one-on-one lessons with Antonio Sciancalepore, Principal Double Bass of the Orchestra at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He completed his classical studies at the Conservatory in 2010 with honors.
The long journey through classical studies (playing with orchestras and chamber ensembles) helped Marco realize that jazz remained his primary passion. The experiences he had playing the electric and double bass in very different musical situations encouraged him to devote his time to jazz music, and brought him to the Netherlands, where he enrolled in the jazz department at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies in 2013 and his Master of Music in Double Bass in 2015.
In early 2015, he was awarded the prize for Best Bass Player at the B-Jazz international contest.
He currently balances his time between study, teaching and several musical projects.
Current projects include: Archive Valley, Vuma Levin Quintet, BvR Flamenco big band, Acquaphonica, Christian Pabst trio, BvR quartet, Attila Gyàrfàs Trio, Edsart ‘Mil Familias’, Sietske, Yasam Hancilar.
The Netherlands (2010-2017)
In Amsterdam, Marco has been deeply involved in the dynamic music scene of the city, having the chance to play with noted musicians such as Harmen Fraanje, Michael Moore, Martijn Vink, Dick Oatts, Jasper Blom, Marco Tamburini, and many others.
Marco toured extensively throughout India during his sojourn there in 2014. He played with some of the country’s best known musicians, including Louis and Gino Banks, Ranjit Barot, Sharik Hasan, and Adrian d’Souza.
Orchestral Ensembles: John Cabot Chamber Orchestra, World Youth Orchestra, L’Anello Musicale orchestra.
Other Projects: GioMaMa trio, Prophilax, Andrea Gentili, Carlo Petruzzellis quartet, Ghita, Indaco, Traditional Argentinian tango trio “Por Tres Tangos”, Tango nuevo quartet “Trio de la sombra”.
Teaching is an important facet of Marco’s musical experience. Finding the right way to walk the thin line between “rules” and musical sensibilities in working with a student is an art in and of itself. The result can be a meaningful interaction that motivates continued research and wonder for both the teacher and the student.
For these reasons, Marco has always worked as a teacher alongside his activity as a performer. In Rome he taught privately as well as in music schools. Over the years, he has given workshops and private lessons while touring in Latvia (Ventspils Groove summer workshops), South Africa, (Grahamstown Jazz Workshops; University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg), and India (The Hyderabad Public School–Hyderabad Western Music Foundation; Nidus Academy of Music– Ahmedabad). In 2014, he began collaborating as Head of the Bass Department with the True School of Music in Mumbai (Bombay).
Marco has traveled extensively as a member of various musical projects. The following is a selection of main stages, clubs and festivals at which he has performed:
- The Netherlands (Bimhuis, Northsea Jazz Festival, Tivoli Vredenburg, Northsea Jazz Club, Amsterdam Jazz Fest, Cafe Alto, Laren Jazz Festival, Middelburg Jazz Festival, Meerjazz, Amersfoort Jazz Festival, Jazz in Duketown)
- Italy (Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival, La casa del jazz – Rome; Jazz by the pool – Padua)
- Germany (Kultur Sommer Nordhessen Festival – Kassel; Young Euro Classic Festival, Konzerthaus – Berlin)
- Austria (Kunstuni – Graz)
- France (PeaceFestival – Chaumont)
- Belgium (B-Jazz; Jazz at Home – Mechelen; The Music Village – Brussels)
- Luxembourg (LiquId; Cat Club)
- Switzerland (Langnau Jazz; Musikklub Mehrspur – Zurich)
- Latvia (Ventspils Groove Festival; Joseph Willow’s Jazz Club – Riga)
- Lithuania (Vilnius Mama Jazz Festival)
- Spain (Jamboree – Barcelona; Orihuela Flamenca; Summer Jazz – Alicante; )
- Turkey (Akbank Sanat – Istanbul; Konser Salonu at the Bilkent University in Ankara; Classical Music Festival in Bodrum; Lufti Kirdar Centre – Istanbul)
- South Africa (Straight No Chaser – Cape Town; King Kong, The Orbit – Johannesburg; Grahamstown Jazz Festival)
- Hungary (Jazz Showcase, Palace of Arts – Budapest)
- India (Blue Frog, Bandra Base, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Palm Expo 2014, Hard Rock Café, Café Zoe – Mumbai; Shisha Jazz Café – Pune; Alliance Française – Bangalore; Jazzabad Club – Ahmedabad; “Monsoon Regatta” – Hyderabad)