To understand the beginning of Arbore's love for Jazz in general, and for the clarinet in particular, we need to go back to the time when he moved from Foggia, his birth city, to Naples, where he spent much time in the American district. The USO (United States Organization) club in Calata San Marco recognized his enthusiasm and talent and allowed him to perform for the NATO soldiers. His great passion is music and, despite many other interests and a long, varied, and prolific career, Renzo Arbore still defines himself as simply a jazz clarinet player.

His national debut as singer and clarinet player came with the theme song for the television program "Telepatria International" (see TV page), the sarcastic "Smorza 'e lights" (Dim the Lights), which became a constant in his ensuing live performances. After selling more than 800,000 copies of "Ma la notte" ("But the Night", famous theme song for the TV program of the same name) and 500,000 of the "Meglio dal vivo che dal morto" album ("Better Live than from the Dead"), Arbore published "Il Clarinetto" ("The Clarinet") in 1986 as part of his second record as singer and songwriter, "Prima che sia troppo tardi" ("Before It's Too Late"), the first record was "Ora o mai piú, ovvero cantautore da grande," ("Now or Never, That Is Outstanding Singer/Songwriter") his debut album in 1981. "Il Clarinetto" is a goliardic song with many witty puns and layers of meaning, and it climaxes with two clarinet solos by Renzo himself. He performed this song at the Sanremo Festival, lightening the mood of that singing competition. He was rewarded with a second place, behind Eros Ramazotti, the phenomenon of that year. This was the beginning of a long tour of concerts and performances, accompanied by the "Barilla Boogie Band", with whom he records the album "Viaggiare, oh, oh" ("To Travel, Oh, Oh").

Then, began the challenge of bringing quality music to television and "D.O.C." was born. This was a daily, live show with Gegé Telesfore, Monica Nannini, and guests, which evolved into a prime time show emulating a nightclub, with jazz, soul, and other quality music.

In between all the television successes, the international musical career took off as well. In 1991 Arbore founds The ORCHESTRA ITALIANA, composed of fifteen famous musicians, intended to popularize Neapolitan traditional songs, bringing back into the spotlight the forgotten mandolin.

Renzo Arbore is also the president of Umbria Jazz.
In 2002 Arbore starts another band, "Renzo Arbore and the Swing Maniacs." The first record produced, "Tonite! Renzo Swing" goes platinum. At the same time he continues to perform with The Italian Orchestra as well, alternating between the two bands.



A cura di Denis Gianniberti