«That of Minafra is a music of exchange and contamination, rich in oriental echoes, of minimalistic contents, with ethnic references. You can define it as jazz but it is a limitative definition. Of course the improvisation, the instantaneousness are the supporting beams» says the journalist Amedeo Furfaro.
Winner of the important Italian “Top Jazz” prize in 2005, 2008 and 2011, Livio Minafra primarily performs solo and has also engaged in many prestigious collaborations as pianist, composer, arranger and accordionist with such groups as the MinAfric Orchestra, Kocani Orkestar, Canto General, Radiodervish…. At the same time he got four music degrees: Classical Piano, Orchestration for Banda and Jazz at Bari Conservatory and Music Composition at Matera Conservatory.
To date he has released piano solo albums ‘La Dolcezza del Grido’ (Leo Records – Uk), ‘La Fiamma e il Cristallo’ (Enja Records – De), ‘Sole Luna’ (Incipit Records – It) and as leader of the Livio Minafra 4et, ‘Surprise!!!’ (Enja Records – De).
Other important collaborations have included Louis Moholo, Keith and Julie Tippetts, Marko Markovic, Paolo Fresu, Bobby McFerrin, Gianluigi Trovesi, Roland Neffe, Jerry Gonzalez, Frank London, Mario Schiano, Sergej Kuryokhin, Paul Rutherford, Peppe Barra, Lucilla Galeazzi, Michele Lomuto, Daniele Sepe, Fakhraddin Gafarov, Darko Rundek, Aldo Caputo, Michel Godard, Flavio Boltro, Evan Parker, La Villa Barocca, Eugenia Cherkàzova, Sayoko Onishi, Giorgio Rossi…
He produced the docufilm Iazz Bann on post-war jazz in Puglia, directed by Lorenzo Zitoli and Salvatore Magrone. At the same time, with Angapp Music, he takes care of the rediscovery of Apulian musicians of the past with a series of CDs called Lost Tapes that recover recordings from the postwar period to the 90s. His rediscoveries by Enzo Lorusso, Santino Di Rella, Nunzio Iurilli, Mimì Laganara, Luciano Zotti, Basilio Giandonato, Alfredo D’Ascoli, Gianni Quin Jolly, Dominic and Enzo Sgarra, Menghino Saulle, Filippo Pellicani, Franco Sette, Vincenzo Ciliberti, Antonio Petrone.
Born in 1982, he has toured and performed on all continents and has recorded for Raitrade, Ed. Il Manifesto, Stradivarius, Incipit and Sud Music (Italy), Enja Records (Germany), Leo Records and Ogun Records (UK).
Livio currently teaches Jazz Piano at Bari Conservatory, Italy, for which he wrote a book: 120 Finestre sull’Improvvisazione (120 Windows on Improvisation).