With his imaginative piano playing, Antonio Ciacca has made his presence felt on both sides of the Atlantic. Born in Germany and raised in Italy, Ciacca has accompanied such stellar jazz musicians as Steve Lacy, Craig Bailey, Benny Golson, Art Farmer and Lee Konitz. The founder and music director of the Detroit Gospel Singers, Ciacca performed a twenty city tour of Europe, with the group, in December 2000. He previously toured Europe with the Larry Smith Quartet, in 1995 and 1996, and with Joe Henderson and Steve Lacy in 1999. He performed in Japan with the Eiji Nakayama Quartet in 1998. Playing piano since the age of seven, Ciacca's teachers included Steve Grossman, Kenny Barron, Marcus Bellgrave and Barry Harris. He dedicated his 1998 album, Hollis Avenue, to Jaki Byard, with whom he studied in 1998 and 1999. Ciacca holds a masters in Afro-American musicology from the University of Bologna. Ciacca continues to play a strong role in the evolution of European jazz. The founder of C-Jam Music, a non-profit, Italy-based, organization dedicated to the promotion of world music, he organized and served as music director of the Appennino Music Festival in 2001.
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