. Cristina Zavalloni

Cristina, for whom I had already written several other pieces, is the first singer I've met since Cathy Berberian who has the same musicality and flexibility, and who is able to cross over the borders of different singing styles.
Louis Andriessen, May 2003

ExB is the worldwide manager for Cristina Zavalloni' jazz groups and original projects.


Singer-composer, Cristina Zavalloni was born in Bologna (Italy) in 1973.

While graduating at the modern language school she decides to dedicate professionally to music. She immediately shows a strong interest towards modern art which leads her to attending the circle of musical and mostly vocal experimentation.
She starts working in the jazz field: in 1993 she joins the OFP Orchestra - a vocational training stage promoted by CEE - in the double role of singer and arranger-composer.
Parallel to her musical activity in the field of jazz and experimental music, she cultivates an interest in contemporary music and composition.

In 1994 she starts studying opera singing as a mezzo-soprano and she starts the Open Quartet, with which she has recorded two CDs: Danse à Rebours (1996) - produced by the German label yvp - and Come valersi non servilmente di Bertolt Brecht (1998) by CMC.

In 1995 she joins the musical association Bassesfere: an organism which supports improvised music. In 1999 the association opens a label called BassesfeREC.
The interest for research leads her to take part to projects like Impasse - from an idea of drummer Francesco Cusa. This project has been recorded in 1996 and it's published by Splasc(h) with the title: Su Jacques Prévert (1997).

In 1998 she enters the Assemblage ensemble, which is the result of a collaboration between the Italian association AMJ and the French association AFIJMA.
With this group she participates to several festivals: Una striscia di terra feconda (Rome - 1998), Jazz ed altro oltre al jazz (Molfetta - 1999), Rumori Mediterranei (Roccella Jonica - 1999).

In February 1999 she opens the Metastasio Festival with an original production placed on order for the Metastasio Foundation (Prato - Italy): it deals with the addition of a new soundtrack to the famous silent movie Aurora (1927) by W. F. Murnau, at which she works both as a composer and as a performer.
In May she performs at Bimhuis (Amsterdam) with her group Open Quartet and special guest Michel Godard.
During a radio broadcast she also meets Misha Mengelberg and Guus Janssen.
In October she records a new CD in duo with pianist Stefano De Bonis, entitled Scoiattoli Confusi. The CD is released by BassesfeREC in 2001.
In November she performs with the new version of her band Open Quartet at Bergen Jazz Forum (Bergen - Norway), where she had already been in 1997.

In April 2000 she premieres a new project called Pas d'Oiseau featuring Swiss percussionist Pierre Favre.
In May she performs in Holland in duo with Stefano De Bonis at the Bimhuis and appear in the TV show Reiziger in Muziek.
In October she presents the new CD New Original Soundtrack for Aurora (co-produced with the Teatro Metastasio Foundation and released by BassesfeREC - September 2000) at the Jazz Crossing Festival (Ravenna and Bologna), with Andy Sheppard as special guest.

In January 2001 she is on tour in Holland with her ensemble Open Quartet + French trombone player Yves Robert and Italian trumpet player Roy Paci and also performs live at Rai-Radiotre (Milan).
In March she joins the Italian ensemble Dolmen Orchestra in the recording of a new CD produced by English label Leo Records.
In September she performs at the Festival Jazz ed altro oltre al jazz (Puglia - Italy), both with Open Quartet and Dolmen Orchestra. With this ensemble she had also sung in Sassari (Sardinia - August).
In November she performs in duo with Stefano De Bonis at Teatro ITC (San Lazzaro - Bologna) and Teatro Rasi (Ravenna), for the festival Musica in Gioco.

In March 2002 she performs again in duo with Stefano De Bonis: at the Europe Jazz Network festival in Modena (Italy) and on the radio broadcast Jazz Club (Rai Radiotre), lead by Carlo Boccadoro.
In May she performs at the Angelica Festival (Bologna), joining the original production Galleria San Francesco by Dutch cello player and composer Tristan Honsinger.
In September, she joins the Meeting Improvisers event organised by the Bimhuis (Amsterdam - Holland): two days of "impromptu" performances together with musicians such as Simon Nabatov, Phil Minton, Han Bennink, Ernst Glerum, Mary Oliver, Tobias Delius, Michael Moore etc.
In December, Cristina Zavalloni holds a recital at Teatro Regio (Turin) accompanied both by pianist Stefano De Bonis and by members of the Teatro Regio Orchestra, like the brass quintet PentaBrass.

In April 2003 she opens the Musica 90 Festival (Turin) with a new project about focused on the Italian Song of the 60's: Metti una sera.... With her on stage are Stefano De Bonis, Gianluca Petrella and dutch Ernst Reijseger on cello. Metti una sera... is staged again in April 2004: Paris (Banlieues Bleues) and Amsterdam (Bimhuis), featuring drummer Cristian Calcagnile.
In July she sings at the Festival Jazz in Puglia (Lecce - Italy), as a guest of Nicola Conte's group. This collaboration starts in a recording studio: Cristina sings a couple of songs in the new album by Nicola Conte (released in 2004 by Blue Note).
In July she also partecipates to a Residency organised by the Clusone Jazz Festival. She works with Médérick Collignon, Paul Rogers, Hasse Poulsen, Roberto Dani, Roberto Ottaviano, Tobias Delius, Stefano De Bonis and Gianluca Petrella. The project consists of four concerts of improvised music, during which the 9 musicians perform in different combinations. An extract of the Residency has been released on the Europe Jazz Odyssey - demo cd (2004).
In August she takes part to Die Schwarze Madonne, a new project by Michel Godard. The rest of the group is made of Pierre Favre, Linda Bsiri, Helène Berschand, the vocal ensemble Calixtinus, Gabriele Mirabassi and Godard himself. Die Schwarze Madonne premieres at the Alpentone Festival (Switzerland). After that the whole crew moves to Provins (France) to record it and to film it for Swiss Television.

In February 2004, the Italian label Felmay releases the album When you go yes is yes!. It's a live CD recorded in April 2003 at SJU Jazz Festival (Utrecht - Holland). The rest of band is Fabrizio Puglisi, Francesco Cusa, Antonio Borghini and the guest Gianluca Patrella.

She has met artists such as Kenny Wheeler, Steve Coleman, Marc Ducret, George Russell, Gianni Gebbia, Carla Bley, Steve Beresford, Sadiq Bey.


- T.A.O.
Amaremandorle, YVP music 3041 (1994)

Danse à rebours, YVP music 3053 (1996)

Su Jacques Prévert, Splasc(h) Rec. (1997)

Come valersi non servilmente di Bertolt Brecht, CMC (1998)

Catalogo Bassesfere I e II, BassesfeREC (1999)

New Original Soundtrack for AURORA, BassesfeREC (2000)

Scoiattoli Confusi, BassesfeREC (2001)

Cristina Zavalloni, Sensible Records (2003)

When you go yes is yes!, Felmay Records (2004)

An updated version of the complete biography is available on: www.cristinazavalloni.it

Last updated April 2004