Rino was a double bass master, active as a soloist, bandleader, theater musician, sideman and teacher. He has performed with Gato Barbieri, Chet Baker, B. Cobham, Pino Daniele, Mons. Milingo, G. Gaber and many others.
R.I.P Rino Zurzolo (June 14, 1958 – April 30, 2017).
Born in Naples in 1958, Rino Zurzolo graduated from the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in double bass with top marks, and quickly also passed the Scala of Milan theatre exams. At the same time he made forays into the jazz world. In 1984, he founded the group Rino Zurzolo Jazz da camera, in which he explored both the classical and jazz sides of its musical personality. He also kept busy as a classical bassist, performing regularly with the A. Scarlatti Orchestra of RAI, Naples. As a soloist he performed in several Roberto De Simone shows. He appeared in all the most important Italian theatres, with R. Fabbriciani, C. Bruno, E. Fisk, T. De Piscopo and others. He participated in many recording sessions for radio and television, and concerts with prominent international musicians such as Gato Barbieri, Chet Baker, Bob Berg, Vladimir Denissenkov, Don Cherry, Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd, Toots Thielemans, Trilok Gurtu, Ustad Nisha Khan, and Nanà Vasconcellos.
Rino has received many awards and acknowledgments, including the “Best Double Bass Player reader’s poll award” from ‘Guitar Club’ magazine in 1990.
He has recorded and performed with many Italian artists including: Giorgio Gaber, Mia Martini, Giorgia, Tullio De Piscopo, Enzo Gragnaniello, James Senese e Napoli Centrale, and Riccardo Zappa. He wrote the song “Tiempo” for Roberto Murolo’s “Italia è bella” album. He has been collaborating with Pino Daniele since his first album, playing on his most important tours in Italy and internationally, including the recent tours for the “Medina”, “Concerto” and “Passi D’Autore” releases. Rino also co-wrote and co-arranged an album with Monsignor Milingo.
In 1990, Rino’s first album as soloist, “Fuorlovado”, enjoyed a great response from both the public and critics. In 1994 he built on this foundation with his second album, “Rua Catalina”, making the double bass a more prominent voice in the arrangements. “Alchimusa” was released in 1998, and his most recent work, “Wunderkammer,” followed in 2004.
Since 1981, Rino has also included teaching in his busy schedule, currently as the double bass instructor at the Conservatory of Benevento. His double bass method book, “Tecnica a Dita Sciolte” was published in 1996. He has given numerous clinics in Italian Conservatories on improvised music, also in connection to music therapy.
Rino appears on the new Pino Daniele album “Ricomincio da trenta” and will tour this summer in support of the record with a reunion of the Neopolitan supergroup, featuring Tullio De Piscopo (drums), Tony Esposito (percussion), James Senese (sax) and Joe Amoruso (keys)–the same group that played for 200,000 people in 1981 at Plebiscito’s square in Naples.
Rino passed away on April 30, 2017 – missing you so much, Maestro.