BIOGRAPHY

Antonio con la Gibson 175 ...e Pulcinella!

Antonio Onorato (Aquilonia IT, January 13th 1964)

The Neapolitan guitarist and composer Antonio Onorato has had an outstanding 30-year career in the world of music. He is one of the few Italians to have held his own concert at the Blue Note in New York, the historic temple of international Jazz.

His experience also includes world music, with the publication of several albums contaminated by various world cultures, and symphonic-orchestral music, with several works written for symphony orchestra.
An eclectic musician, he ranges from jazz-rock to world music and composition for orchestra. A researcher in ethnomusicology, his research is based on the fusion of the harmonic-melodic stylistic elements of the Neapolitan music with Afro-American, Middle Eastern and Brazilian one, which have led him to identify a completely personal musical language. As an ambassador of Italian culture abroad, he has taken his “Italian” music all over the world, playing in Chile, Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Angola, Uganda, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Turkey, England, Denmark, Switzerland, Albania and Slovenia.

Among the stages that have contributed substantially to his artistic and human growth there are concerts in America, where he has established artistic contacts with some Native American populations (Lakota), for whom he has always had a great passion, following their principles and worldview. In 2002 he went to Baghdad with a fearless delegation of Italian artists to protest against the second Gulf War, holding two concerts for peace in Baghdad and Baqubah.

About thirty albums have been published with various record labels. In 2005, he was the director of the publishing series ‘Noteinedite‘ for the Sigma publishing house. A book about his life has recently come out: ‘Antonio Onorato … jazz e oltre‘ (Antonio Onorato … jazz and beyond) (Rogiosi publisher). Among his albums, there are some of contamination with African culture: “The soul breath” and “Quatro linguas uma alma” with the participation of Angolan singer Dodo Miranda; with the culture of Native Americans: “South winds“, “Emmanuel” with the participation of Cheyenne poet Lance Henson and Apache musician Danny Many Horses, “Native Angels” with the participation of Hopi singer-percussionist Bo Koinva; with Brazilian culture with two albums, “Un grande abbraccio and “From Napoli to Belo Horizonte“, made with the great Brazilian guitarist-composer Toninho Horta.

In 2010 he celebrates 20 years of recording career and for the occasion his record label pays homage to him with a Greatest Hits.

At a very young age, he attended lessons with the great jazz guitarist Eddy Palermo and numerous workshops held by world famous guitarists such as Jim Hall, Mick Goodrick, Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie and John Scofield, who told him “I would have liked to play the guitar when I was twenty like you play it“. Today, he gives workshops on improvisation techniques himself.

Among his various guitars, he also plays a very special instrument, the Yamaha G10, a model of synth guitar that he himself renamed breath guitar. It is characterised by the fact that the strength, intensity and dynamics are managed through the emission of the musician’s breath thanks to a breath controller (a mouthpiece similar to that of a wind instrument) and not by the usual brush stroke or arpeggio.

Over the course of his prestigious career, Antonio Onorato has collaborated with numerous artists: Pino Daniele, Franco Cerri, James Senese, Tullio De Piscopo, Gerald Cannon, Toninho Horta, Enrico Rava, Joe
Amoruso, Paco Sery, Tony Esposito, Enzo Gragnaniello, Rino Zurzolo, Roberto Murolo just to name a few. From 2012 to 2014 he was a special guest in several Pino Daniele concerts.

In 2018 he founded the project “Italian Jazz Guitars” with Fabio Mariani and Gigi Cifarelli. He has taken part as a soloist in numerous prestigious international festivals with artists of the calibre of John Scofield, Jan Garbarek, Charlie Haden, Steve Grossman, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Tito Puente, Toots Thielemans, Tuck & Patty, Gary Burton, Bob Geldolf, Rita Marley, George Benson, etc.

Awards

2014. Premio alla carriera Nino Rota
2013. Premio Internazionale Sebetia-ter
(targa d’argento del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana)
2013. Premio Sorrento Jazz Festival
2013. Premio Mio Magazine
2012. Premio Pompei Cinema Festival
2011. Premio Cimarosa
2010. Premio Gallo d`Oro
2010. Premio Giglio Marino
2006. Premio Tirana Jazz
2004. Premio Vittorio Annona
2003. Premio Associazione Aiutiamoli a vivere
2001. Premio Positano Jazz
2000. Premio Napoli per il Mozambico (FIMP)
1999. Premio Stella di Napoli
1998. Premio ALTS (Ass. lotta tumori al seno)
1998. Premio della critica stampa estera (Festival di Napoli)
1994. Premio G. Roccella (concorso nazionale per giovani musicisti)
1994. Premio Vulcano Metropolitano
1991. Premio Musicalmente Napoli

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