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 – Nicola Mansutti, 2 alto sax – Matic Mikola and Elias Faccio, tenor sax – Nevio Zaninotto, 2 trumpets – Stefano Muscovi and Roberto Santagati , trombone – Matija Mlakar, tuba – Daniele Spano, guitar and banjo – Tiziano Bole, piano – Giulio Scaramella and drums – Giulio Petracco.*
The orchestra leader is Petar Matošević, who, 10 years after its inception, has replaced the founder 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.
Young accomplished Tip Tap and Lindy Hop dancers participate in the TEJO shows, as well as the female vocal trio Anakrousis.
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.
Consistently with its philological approach, TEJO employs little or no amplification at indoor concerts.
*The following musicians have cooperated: Antonio Kozina and Sebastiano Frattini (violin), Giuliano Tull, Giovanni Cigui, Bostjan Simon and Marcello Sfetez (alto sax), Piero Purich (tenor sax), Flavio Davanzo (trumpet), 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 Tom Hmeljak (drums), Marko Rupel (tuba).
The following artists have also cooperated:
– the singer Ana Pilat
– the vocal trio Les Babettes
– the dancers Giovanni Panasiti e Samantha Benedetti
– the Tip Tap dancers of the TocToc school of Trieste
– the Lindy Hop dancers Špela Premelč, Jure Rus, Eva Počivavšek Janhar, Metod Javornik