Enrico Pieranunzi was born in Rome in 1949 and has for many years been among the most significant and well-known protagonists of the international jazz scene. A pianist, composer, and arranger, he has recorded more than 80 albums under his own name, ranging from piano solo to trio, from duo to quintet.
His formative years embraced both classical and jazz piano. Emerging in the early 1970s, his lyrical approach quickly brought him to the forefront of the European scene and, in 1984, he formed a trio with Marc Johnson and Joey Baron, the first of several prominent groups with American musicians- this trio was said to be “one of the very top tier trios working today”.
Pieranunzi has worked-in concert or in the studio-with artists such as Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, Charlie Haden, Chris Potter, Marc Johnson, and Joey Baron. Pieranunzi has been named artist of the year four times by Musica Jazz magazine's poll (in 1989, 2003, 2008, 2020). He also won the French Django d'Or award as "Best European Musician" in 1997 and the German Echo Jazz Award in 2014 as "Best International Keyboard Artist."
Pieranunzi has performed his music all over the world at the most prestigious international festivals, from Montréal to Copenhagen and Buenos Aires, from Berlin and Madrid to Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. He has also been a regular performer at New York's most important clubs, most notably at the Village Vanguard, where in July 2010 he recorded the album Live at the Village Vanguard with Marc Johnson and Paul Motian. This is the first album ever recorded by an Italian musician (and one of very few by European musicians) at the legendary diamond-shaped 7th Avenue venue. A second Live at the Village Vanguard, "New Spring," was then recorded in 2015 with Donny McCaslin, Scott Colley and Clarence Penn, and a third, titled "The extra something," in 2016 with a quintet including Seamus Blake, Diego Urcola, Ben Street and Adam Cruz. All three Live at the Village Vanguard features almost exclusively compositions by Pieranunzi.
In addition to recording several albums, in fact, he has written a huge number of compositions, many of which have become true international standards such as Night Bird (recorded several times by Chet Baker), Don't forget the poet, Fellini's Waltz. Many of these works have been included in the prestigious "New Real Books" published in the USA by "Sher Music”.
“…along Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, he’s one of the greatest jazz pianists of his generation” (Irish Times)
“Remember the name, get lost in the music” (Josef Woodard, Jazz Times)
“Pieranunzi can swing – crisply and surely. But in those tempos, he remains his lyrical self. His music sings” (Nat Hentoff)
“Enrico Pieranunzi breathes new life into contemporary jazz” (Ray Spencer, Jazz Journal International)
“Pieranunzi has that rarest quality in a pianist: his own sound.” (Stuart Broomer, Down Beat)
“Pieranunzi merits wordlwide recognition” (Ken Dryden, New York City Jazz Record)