"Among the greatest in the world because he is capable of making cultured music available to everyone"
Francesco Buzzurro's lifelong privileged connection with guitar started at the tender age of six when his father gave him his first guitar, which will then lead him to study classical guitar. After earning his Diploma at "Conservatorio Bellini" in Palermo, he continues education with courses held by Aldo Minella and Oscar Ghiglia. He perfected himself at the "Arts Academy" in Rome under the guidance of Stefano Palamidessi and some big concert performers like David Russell, Alberto Ponce, Hopkinson Smith and John Duarte. After taking his Degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures, he started an intense concert activity that brought him to travel all over the world: from America, to Greece, to Germany, to Spain and Turkey. As a classical guitarist he won three national concerts: the "Città di Alassio", the "Benedetto Albanese" in Caccamo, Sicily, and the "Savona in Musica". On top of his studies of classical music and of his passion for folk music, he soon develops an interest in jazz music, which bring him to graduate in Jazz Music with Honorable Mention. Thanks to a deep search about this specific genre of music, he finds his individual and unique style of improvisation, which show influences from bossanova, ethnic music and latin jazz. Thanks to his distinctive technique of improvisation on classical guitar and to his recognition as a mould breaker guitarist, he is regularly invited each year from the "University of Southern California" in Los Angeles as a teacher for seminars available for both classical and jazz guitar departments.
His talent and abilities lead him to become a member of three prestigious Sicilian orchestras: the "Sicilia Jazz Big Band", the "Orchestra Jazz Siciliana", as a first guitarist, and later the "Orchestra di Musica Contemporanea Città di Palermo". Within this well known ensembles, he performs with some of the international and national jazz greats such as Toots Thielemans, Diane Schurr, Arturo Sandoval, Peter Erskine, Phil Woods, Joe Bowie, Bob Mintzer, Bill Russo, Vince Mendoza, Frank Foster, Bireli Lagréne, Mickey Howard, Roberto Gatto and Marco Tamburini.
He collaborates with the "Ente Autonomo Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana" in occasion of the "Concerto di Aranjuez", of Sarah Jane Morris' concert and of the "Nick The Nightfly". At the same time he works as a sideman with Tom Kirkpatrick, Jimmy Owens, Giulio Capiozzo, Massimo Moriconi, Gigi Cifarelli, Allen Hermann and also carries out an as much intense didactic activity, teaching improvisation's technique at "The Brass Group", a folk music school in Palermo. Noteworthy among these experiences are his performances – both as a soloist and as leader of a quartet – at the main Sicilian festivals and shows, like the "San Vito Jazz Festival", the Castelbuono Jazz Festival" or the "Festival Taormina Arte":
He plays in historical jazz clubs with sold out concerts, like in the "Blue Note" in Milan or the "Dakota Jazz Club" in Minneapolis, and he is on stage at the "Notte delle Chitarre" in Parma in 2009 with Maurizio Solieri, Ricky Portera, Cesareo, Max Cottafavi and Alberto Radius.
The French ex President Valéry Giscard D'Estaing requested his presence to the Worldwide Convention on Renewable Energy, together with his countryman and long time friend Francesco Cafiso, who often share the stage with him.
He teaches Jazz Guitar at the Conservatory and is one of the most appreciated and multifaceted Italian guitarist, voted by the famous Jazz Music trade magazine as one of the most talented of the national scene.
The titles of the Cds by Francesco Buzzurro hit the nail on the head by giving an exact description of the Sicilian guitarist. He needs neither a bass player, nor a percussionist, nor a pianist.
When Buzzurro takes to the strings, it sounds like a full big band, and some of his fellow guitarists have to take a second look to really understand what is going on.
Francesco Buzzurro indeed plays everything at the same time: the themes, accompaniment, bass and rhythm. And when he creates improvisations over jazz standards or any sort of music, the entire bass line follows, which regularly leaves the audience incredulous with astonishment.
His arrangements are buoyant, flowing and easily accessible, so it's just fun to listen to him. And that is something one could do for hours on end. On one of his most successful albums "L'Esploratore", Francesco Buzzurro - who was trained as a classical guitarist grown up at the same time with a strong passion for Latin Jazz - offers an incredible voyage around the world by playing different musical forms that contain pure ethnic elements often influenced by Jazz or Afro-American music. The performance of Francesco Buzzurro is like a global embrace, it symbolically represents stories of life, races, sounds and colors interweaving themselves and confirming that the language of music doesn't need any translation and knows no borders.