Elisabetta Antonini is the first Italian vocalist to sign with renowned music producer Alan Bates’s prestigious label Candid Records. In 2014, she won the Best New Talent category in Top Jazz, Italy’s most prestigious jazz awards, published by Italian Monthly Musica Jazz. With her distinct, husky voice and elegant persona, Antonini is a magna cum laude conservatory graduate. Drawing from her in-depth studies of American and European vocal jazz, she has developed a personal style which is both intriguing and enchanting and has proven to have a wide-ranging, versatile approach in her many and diverse solo projects.
A sophisticated singer, as well as a talented composer and arranger, Antonini is highly active on the jazz scene, participating in shows and festivals throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and performing a varied repertoire which ranges from the American Songbook to original works and contemporary jazz. She has collaborated with many internationally acclaimed musicians, including Kenny Wheeler, Paul McCandless, Paolo Fresu, Javier Girotto, Francesco Bearzatti, Jim Rotondi, Dado Moroni, Roberto Gatto and Enrico Pieranunzi.
Her musical creativity and passion for literature influenced Elisabetta in her endeavour to found a unique and unusual project dedicated to The Beat Generation. The resulting cd, entitled The Beat Goes On, received praise in the press, and subsequent live performances in Europe, Japan and India were enthusiastically received by audiences.
Antonini’s interest in novel approaches to vocal expression, combined with the musical explorations of harpist Marcella Carboni, gave birth to Nuance, a project in which both artists employ live electronics and effects in a diverse repertoire of originals, jazz standards and classics from the Brazilian songbook. The success and resonance of their album Nuance produced a strong and longstanding bond, lasting over ten years, in which the duo has performed numerous concerts in Italy, as well as in Brazil, Spain and Hong Kong, with some important guest artists like Aldo Bassi and Javier Girotto.
Elisabetta’s first discographic effort, “Un Minuto Dopo”, was inspired by her love of European jazz and chamber music, and arranged for a small ensemble comprised of piano, voice and horns. Featuring multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless of the legendary group Oregon, she composed original music and rearranged famous songs by Enrico Rava, using evocative lyrics penned by Marina Tiezzi especially for the occasion. Celebrated trumpet player and composer Kenny Wheeler also gave a guest performance with this project at the prestigious Roman Jazz Festival Villa Celimontana.
As well as her more contemporary and original projects, Antonini has continued to cultivate her passion for mainstream jazz, founding the drumless hard bop project “In a New York Minute”, featuring famed saxophonist Maurizio Giammarco, and “Women Next Door”, a classic jazz quartet and album of the same name, inspired by the musical style of George Shearing.
As a guest vocalist, Elisabetta recorded a cd and performed live with the progressive world music project Different Lands, conceived and executed by pianist Fabio Armani and lauded by critics for its originality. She is also a member of the Pollock Project by percussionist/arranger Marco Testoni, with which she recorded two albums, “Ah!” and “Speak Slowly Please”. This project is a multimedia production which combines visual art with improvised music, in collaboration with NEM (New Era Museum), an international artistic movement of innovative modern photographers. Additionally, she has performed and/or recorded in a wide range of musical situations, including original jazz operas and various jazz orchestras directed by M° Gerardo di Lella, M° Bruno Tommaso, M° Massimo Nunzi.
Travelling to perform with her own groups in numerous theatres and jazz clubs has taken Antonini to Italy and abroad (Hong Kong, Japan, India, Brazil, Israel, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Greece). She has performed in important international jazz festivals such as: Umbria Jazz, Festival Internacional de Jazz de Madrid, Tel Aviv Jazz On The Boulevard Festival, Rio Harp Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai Jazz Festival, Torino Jazz Festival, Roccella Jonica, Casa del Jazz, Teatro Sistina, Auditorium Parco della Musica “Dialogo”, Villa Celimontana Festival, Festival Internazionale di La Spezia, Tuscia In Jazz, Roma Summer Jazz Festival and countless others.
Antonini is also a sought-after Jazz Educator of singing and vocal improvisation, teaching at a number of Italian and European Conservatories (Trento, Brescia, Benevento, London, Helsinki, Pamplona, Aalbog, Gent), as well as at various jazz workshops around Italy (Nuoro Jazz, Tuscia in Jazz Spring, Tuscia in Jazz Summer, La Spezia Jazz Clinics, Jazz ‘s Cool at SLMC in Rome) alongside outstanding musicians such as Paolo Fresu, Sheila Jordan, Maria Pia De Vito, Kevin Hays, Donny McCaslin, Peter Bernstein, Aaron Goldberg, Kenny Werner, Kurt Rosenwinkel. She is also the director of the jazz choir at the Saint Louis Music School of Rome.