Composer and guitarist Claudio Ragazzi has been writing award winning music for film and television, scoring hundreds of projects and performing with some of today's most respected musicians. Claudio attended Berklee College of Music where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was the recipient of the prestigious Duke Ellington Master's Award, receiving the Boston Music Awards that same year. Claudio went on to compose music for feature films, documentaries, works for plays and ballets as well as performing with his own ensemble. Claudio’s live performances include those at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, The Blue Note Jazz Club, The Lincoln Center and in theatres around the world. He has performed with some of today’s most influential and respected musicians, including Gary Burton, Yo-Yo Ma, Randy Brecker, Danilo Perez, Pablo Ziegler, saxophone legends Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett and Paquito D’Rivera. In 1998 he scored Brad Anderson's hit film Next Stop Wonderland produced by Miramax Films, and featuring Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto. The CD reached Billboard’s top ten chart for more than twelve consecutive weeks. Other production credits include scoring the music for the award winning film, The Blue Diner. Claudio’s work can also be heard in Something’s Gotta Give starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves. Claudio has scored hundreds of TV productions for the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Telemundo and PBS. Claudio has won numerous awards including a regional Emmy and a nomination for a national Emmy, grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts, and The Massachusetts Council for the Arts. His work has been commissioned by the Boston Ballet, the New England Conservatory. A native of Argentina, Claudio grew up in Buenos Aires, where he started playing music at a very early age. As a teenager, he was already recording and performing with some of Argentina's most influential musicians including Tango master Rodolfo Mederos and sharing the stage with some of Argentina’s top musicians including Luis Alberto Spinetta, Litto Nebbia and Antonio Agri.
Guitarist and composer Claudio Ragazzi is part of a generation of musicians as familiar and comfortable with jazz and rock as with ethnic style, as respectul of technology as of tradition.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and residing in the US, Ragazzi brings to his music echoes of Duke Ellington and Astor Piazzolla, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin and argentinean song writer Luis Alberto Spinetta. Here, the lines between blues and milongas, be-bop and bossa novas, blur. Manhattan turns into a porteño's dream. That's why rhythm, turns of phrase, harmonies, illuminate each other from unexpected angles. Throughout, Ragazzi reaches for a delicate balance. This is music with unmistakable roots but a cosmopolitan flavor, streetwise and slick, it speaks of anachronistic, heart on your sleeve emotion with no-nonsense directness.
The opening "Exiled in Buenos Aires", for example, imagines Pat Metheny -meets- Piazzolla and nudges New Tango forward. Regardless the approach, the quality of Ragazzi's writing and playing consistently first rate throughout the CD.
This is music that cannot be learned from books or pieced together out of curiosity or ambition. It wouldn't sound right. It wouldn't sound like this. This music has to be inhabited over time, lived with, forgotten and remembered - and then you have to have the technique, the intelligence and the heart to pull it off. Listen.
Fernando Gonzalez, 1996.
Gonzalez writes for the Boston Glove, The Miami Herald, Down Beat and Jazzis)