Ada Montellanico

One of the most innovative and transversal songwriters and singers in the Italian jazz scene, Ada Montellanico approached the music scene in the early 1980s.

He is dedicated to researching Italian popular music, while at the same time taking music and singing courses at the Scuola Popolare di Musica di Testaccio. His official debut on the Italian jazz scene coincided with a performance in 1985 at the Four Roses Jazz Festival in Rome, alongside pianist Enrico Pieranunzi.

The 1990s opened with an encounter with two leading figures in modern jazz, drummer Jimmy Cobb and double bassist Walter Booker.

With the two U.S. musicians and pianist Massimo FaraĆ², Ada Montellanico held several concerts and recorded her first record entitled The Encounter, released on the Philology label. He recorded the album L’altro Tenco in 1996, with trumpeter Enrico Rava, guitarist Fabio Zeppetella, double bassist Piero Leveratto, and drummer Fabrizio Sferra. With this recording work, the singer is highlighted for her original choice of reinterpreting the lesser-visited repertoire of singer-songwriter Luigi Tenco in a jazz key.

Philological research of the history of Italian song combined with the Afro-American jazz tradition characterizes the album Ma l’amore no, recorded in 1997 with Enrico Pieranunzi’s trio and two special guests, Lee Konitz and Enrico Rava.

In the early 2000s Montellanico released her fifth record effort entitled Suoni Modulanti, containing her own songs, by Enrico Pieranunzi and Massimo Nunzi. In 2005 she recorded together with Enrico Pieranunzi, for the Perugian label EGEA, the album Danza di una ninfa, in which she interpreted four unpublished texts by Luigi Tenco set to music for the occasion by her and the Roman pianist.

In 2008, for the series “Jazz Italiano 2008,” a series combined with L’Espresso magazine, he recorded live at the Casa del Jazz in Rome a heartfelt and unprecedented tribute to the legendary vocalist Billie Holiday, earning positive feedback from the public and critics.

The record features trumpeter Giovanni Falzone as instrumentalist and curator of arrangements. In 2017 he released, with input from Falzone, the album Abbey’s Road, a personal tribute to the singer and civil rights champion, Abbey Lincoln.

In addition to her activity as a dynamic and passionate vocalist, Ada Montellanico has held the prestigious position of President of MIDJ (National Association of Jazz Musicians), of which she is now a representative.

Essential discography: Ada Montellanico/Jimmy Cobb Trio – The Encounter (Philology), L’altro Tenco (1996 – Philology), Enrico Pieranunzi trio & Ada Montellanico – Ma l’amore no (1997 – Soul Note), Suoni Modulanti (2002 – Abeat Records), Ada Montellanico Enrico Pieranunzi – Danza di una Ninfa (2005 – EGEA), Tribute to Billie Holiday (2008 – Casa del Jazz), Abbey’s Road (2017 – Incipit Records)