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