Photograph courtesy of Andy Porter

Can you tell us about your new album?

“Primary Colours” is my second studio album, and it features Sam Leak on Hammond Organ, Tom Ollendorff on guitar, Jay Davis on drums and Tara Minton as special guest on harp.

My new music explores the world of human feelings and emotions: to me it’s all about finding shades and balance; accepting changes with awareness.

In the same way in which primary colours combine themselves crating new tones, emotions and feelings interact flowing into new ones and life experiences and changes.

So, I wrote a journey from “Black” – about the loneliness experienced with depression – to “Yellow”, which mark the transition from this loneliness to joy – expressed through the lyrics of William Wordsworth’s poem Daffodils”.

This sense of joy leads us to the sense of belonging and love expressed in “Blue”, a tune that I wrote inspired by my motherland and dedicate to my son.

This love become passionate in “Red”, that explores the eternal battle between emotions and rationality in romantic relationship and whose lyrics are drawn on Apuleius’s myth of Cupid and Psyche. This battle ends reaching the balance between the two which bring us to calm and awareness of “White”.

What other projects are you currently involved with?

Since 2022 I’ve been part of The Kham Quartet, founded by Palestinian Nay Master, Jazz Flutist, Percussionist and Composer Faris Ishaq with Tara Minton on harp and Richard Olatunde Baker on percussions.

With Kham, we record some original compositions and arrangements by Faris that were released on digital platforms and YouTube and performed last March at Al Bustan Festival in Lebanon. Kham is such an exciting and inspiring project for me and I’m very proud of being part of it so I really look forward to what will come in the future.

After a long break, I’ve recently performed at Toulouse Lautrec in London with my first ever UK project, the Jazz in Cinema Project alongside double bass player Joe Boyle. JiC’s aim is to celebrate jazz music that has a correlation with the world of silver screen. We stopped a few years ago as both Joe and I were more and more focused on our solos career but after this come back, we intend to start gigging and recording together again.

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

I’ve recently started to listen carefully to Randy Newman’s music: I just adore the simplicity but power of his lyrics, combined with gorgeous melodies and clever harmonic choices.

With new music coming out, I’m also listening a lot to Tom Ollendorff – the guitarist involved in my music. His playing and musicality really move me deeply.

Last CD that I bought – after their gig at The Barbican – was SFJAZZ Collective’s “New Works Reflecting The Moment”. Their gig just grabbed me, and the album is just as good: the topics of the tunes – from racial injustices to the global pandemic, and daily life struggles because of current political and social situations – the arrangements of old songs of freedom and peace…it’s just a beautiful work delivered by an amazing ensemble.

Last download I bought was Italian singer Maddalena Ghezzi’s “On the Flower” – from her EP Emerald. The track features pianist and producer Maria Chiara Argiró and it’s simply stunning…very immersive.

What is your all-time favourite album and why?

This will probably surprise you but I have to mention something that is not a jazz album as my all-time favourite – “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. I could listen to it on repeat over and over again! From the album art to each single track: to me it’s just a real masterpiece.

Who has caught your attention recently that we should be listening out for?

I’ve recently came across with EYM Trio; their album Bangalore with Varijashree Venugopal – whose work I admire as well! – is mind blowing in every possible way: intricate harmonies and melodies flawlessly meet odd rhythms to make you travel all over the places, thanks to the different ethnic influences that clearly converge in the music. Inspiring!