Enzo Avitabile - Napoletana

The Conservatory of Music . Pop Music. Afro- American Rhythm. Pastellessa and Zeza ancient music. Sacred Chant: this is the real profile of Enzo Avitabile.

Enzo Avitabile has spent his life pursuing his musical quest in order to discover a new untrodden musical ground and a personal sound , somehow original, vital and essential. He has subverted the rules of the Show Business, looking beyond it and overcoming the limits of ideals and misleading labels.
Talented Singer , composer and multistrumentalist , Enzo Avitabile was born in 1955 and raised in Marianella – ( a poor area at the outskirts of the city of Naples ).
As a child he studied saxophone , then he performed at several clubs frequented by American people stationing in Naples. Later he earned his diploma in flute at “ S.Pietro a Majella “ Conservatory of Naples and he soon started collaborating with a great number of International pop , rock and soul artists, such as James Brown and Tina Turner, never losing sight of his own personal and unique style.

›› Between the years 1982 and 1994 he released a string of successful solo albums edited by EMI Production:
1982 – Avitabile – his debut record
1983 – Meglio soul – ( duet with Richie Havens)
1984 – Correte in fretta-
1986 – S.O.S Brothers-
1988 – Alta tensione - where the provocative cover image featured a picture of an electric chair . Fascinated by that project, Afrika Bambaataa ,one year later, participated in - Street Happiness- , Enzo’s sixth record.
1990 – Stella dissidente –
1991 – Enzo Avitabile -
1994 – Easy –( containing the track “ Leave me or Love me “ – vocal duet with Randy Crawford)

›› In 1996 he started the return to his roots enriching and using his native language with modern neologisms and its prosodic features thanks also to both evocative and digital arrangements . Addò and Aizeté ( whose title-track is “Incantesimo Napoletano” soundtrack) belong to this artistic moment that marks a clear dividing line between his past and present works.

›› In 1999 he was honoured to be appointed a goodwill UNICEF Ambassador and on that occasion he composed “Mane e Mane” ( a duet with Mory Kante) , a poignant and heartfelt song whose proceeds were donated for children school improvement in Benin.
The song , at present times , embodies the very spirit of dialogue among cultures in the Mediterranean area ;that experience paved the way to O-issa album release (1999).
In the meantime he went on composing for Theatre ( Decamerone) Film ( Beffa della vita e della Morte) and for several International women artists , such as Giorgia ( Italian singer) and Amal Murkus ( from Palestine).
His deep sense of identity and belonging, along with a full acceptance of his linguistic heritage eventually led him to “the Bottari” from Portico in Caserta .The ensemble is made up of barrel , vat and sickle- beaters who stress ancient processional rhythms directed by a “Capopattuglia” .The ancestral , primitive , energetic and obsessive beats pace genuine trance.
This intriguing project aimed at blending his truly personal sound with the Ancient Tradition of the Bottari whose origins date back to the 13th century.
“ It was time to turn away from evident American influence on my musical language “ - said Enzo –
He definitely did it!!

The resulting CD’s Salvamm o munn ( Let’s Save The World) received four nominations for BBC World Music Award (in 2004 -Best radiophonic audience- category and in 2005 - Best European-World band -category ). The album covers a wide spectrum of musical genres , from Liturgical Chants to the traditional Vesuvian a cappella singing “ a fronna “ and also avail itself of the highest profile world music artists’ collaboration such as Khaled , Manu Dibango, and Zi Giannino Del Sorbo , Miserere from Sessa Aurunca, Luigi Lai, Alphonsiana Poliphonic Vocal Quartet and Baba Sissoko as well .
In 2006 Enzo Avitabile dedicated himself to popular holy music giving rise to Sacro Sud , edited by Ethnosuoni/Musiche Migranti.

›› Since 2006 he has been teaching at the Suor Orsola di Benincasa University of Naples holding course/seminars in Ethnomusicolgy - “ Tradizione e Cemento” ( book is now available) - focused on the revival of the traditions in urban society.

›› In 2007 was released “ Festa Farina e Forca” ( double album with the Bottari ,Matthew Herbert, Bill Laswell, Banco De Gaia, Manu Dibango, Djivan Gasparian and Luigi Lai) . Through sacred and secular images, Enzo Avitabile wrote / composed , sang , played and told stories about the populations of the world , the modern colonial power that turn them into slaves and the icons that still survive.
Enzo’s versatile talent has recently emerged again. Indeed after measuring himself with several musical projects, he brushed up his strong liking for classical composition. The result is “ Symphony N°1 – La Lazzara” , first performed in Chieti under Sir Di Iorio’s direction ,an internationally renowned flutist, at the Marruccino Theatre; since that first performance , his classical music repertoire has grown.

He is currently at work on “Napoletana” , a project- research containing unreleased songs that reflect contemporary urban society ;at the same time, it inherits and echoes back to the work songs and old villanellas . New facets of music deriving from art of yesteryear , somewhat refined , meaningful and with innovative use of language .