Trieste Early Jazz Orchestra – TEJO is an orchestral ensemble of some of the top jazz players from Trieste and surrounding areas who are known also on the international jazz scene . It consists of : violin – Sebastiano Frattini, 2 alto sax – Bostjan Simon and Marcello Sfetez, tenor sax – Piero Purini, 2 trumpets – Flavio Davanzo and Roberto Santagati , trombone – Matija Mlakar, tuba – Marko Rupel, guitar – Tiziano Bole, piano – Giulio Scaramella and drums – Tom Hmeljak.*
The orchestra leader is Livio Laurenti, who also founded and leads the Joplin Ragtime Orchestra. With TEJO he has gone further to explore the decade 1924 – 1934 – when ragtime was forgotten and jazz became more and more popular in its early larger orchestrations – with pieces by D. Ellington ,F. Henderson , G. Gershwin , etc. In other words, a trip through the “Roaring Twenties” with wild syncopated rhythms that ignite the atmosphere as used to happen at New York’s “Cotton Club” and with the very same sound too! Internationally there is only a handful of similar ensembles that have adopted this philological approach. It is worth mentioning that all arrangements were conceived for a kind of proto-big band .We still find the violin but not yet the string bass. The saxophone section is composed of 3 instrumentalists as is the brass section (2 trumpets and 1 trombone) . After the second half of the 30’s things had changed radically to arrive at the big band as we know it today with a total of 17-19 instruments,of which 5 saxophones , 4/5 trumpets, 4/5 trombones , no violin and the string bass to replace the tuba. Yet, in spite of its only 11 instruments , one of which the violin, TEJO’s sound impact is considerable both in the melodic and in the more rhythmic pieces, this due to the beauty of the original arrangements. As it was often the case at the time that many pieces were written for Broadway musicals,TEJO also has its own vintage crooner : Paolo Venier
Two young accomplished dancers,Samantha Benedetti and Giovanni Panasiti, the tappers of Michela Bianco’s school of dance and the vocal trio “ Les Babettes “ often cooperate with the TEJO.
The pieces are introduced by Livio Laurenti in a logical thread enabling the audience to immerse in the times and better savour some gems of early jazz.With its gaiety and ease of listening, the musical genre will appeal to everyone.
Consistenly with its philological approach, TEJO employs little or no amplification at indoor concerts.
*The following musicians have cooperated: Antonio Kozina (violin),Giuliano Tull and Giovanni Cigui (alto sax),Maurizio Cepparo,Alessandro Maras,Miron Hauser and Max Ravanello(trombone),Francesco De Luisa (piano),Marco Steffè and Fulvio Vardabasso (guitar),Franco Feruglio (bass),Paolo Muscovi and Gabriele Petracco (drums).