Vitali Imereli & Enrico Granafei with Friends
(GEORGIA & ITALY)
The Georgian violin virtuoso lives in Finland and specializes in swing and gipsy jazz, but is adept with mainstream and bebop, not to mention classical music. Born 1953 in Kutaisi, Georgia, Imereli started his violin studies at five and continued them later in the National Music Academy of Tbilisi. He worked the first half of the 80’ as a teacher at the Tbilisi Conservatorium. He has performed on most of the Russian jazz festivals, and, since moving to Finland in 1992, a lot in Western Europe, too.
Vitali has collaborated often with the Rosenberg Trio, not the least on his own album Tribute To Stephane Grappelli (-96). His other working partners include fellow violinists Michael Urbaniak and Didier Lockwood, the late great drummer/bandleader Art Blakey and the Cuban bass maestro Carlos Del Puerto.
Harmonica virtuoso, classical guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger, composer. Italian born Enrico Granafei is all of these. He graduated on classical guitar from the Conservatory of L’Aquila in Italy in 1976. In the early 80’s he discovered jazz through harmonica. Having moved to USA in 1991, Granafei got his MA in jazz from the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of the harmonica master Toots Thielemans. He keeps finding new expression for this rare jazz instrument, while also continuing in the classical vein with guitar.
Now he has a device that makes possible to play both instruments simultaneously. He also has a jazz club in New Jersey. Enrico has recorded with Eddie Gomez, Marc Johnson, Nnena Freelon, Ted Curson, and many others. His latest album is Nothing But The Truth.