Gabriele di Franco, born in Italy and naturalised Belgian, is a multi-award-winning composer, writer, and guitarist, working in the contemporary field.
Gabriele is fascinated by storytelling and music and is interested in collaborations and explorations of new approaches to narration.
He defines himself as an ambiguous artist: living that undefined space between jazz, classical, and world music, focusing on deepness and consciousness in the process of making choices. In other words: composing.
He has spent a long stretch of his life composing, performing, and recording with many artists/ensembles coming from all over the world. (SJO/CGN -DE, UMO -FI, Aphrodite Patoulidou -GR/DE, Bud Powell Jazz Orchestra-IT, KugJazzOrchester-AT, Stefan Gottfried-AT, Marcello Allulli-IT, Andy Middleton US, Wen Hui Tsai-TW, Fil Caporali -BR/BE, Raul Santana-ES, Daniel Jonkers -NL, Francesco Negro-IT, Marco Puzzello-IT, Poem Vocal Band-TW, etc..)
Gabriele graduated in 2014 with a major in Jazz guitar at the Conservatory of Nino Rota (IT) with an additional year of study at the renowned Musik und Kunst Privatunisität der Stadt Wien (AUS).
He holds a Master in Composition & Arranging from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (KCB – 2018), here he studied with composers such as Kris Defoort, Lode Mertens, Peter Swinnen.
Gabriele has received several international awards and honours for his works.
In 2012 he won the “Band Revelation of the year” price at Jazzup Festival (Frosinone – IT) with his project Bija. That same year, he was also the finalist of the “Tiberio Nicola Award 12” and at the “Jimmy Wood Award”.
He also achieved the podium at “International Fara Jazz Contest 2014” (IT) and at “International Jazz Competition of Bucharest 2015” (RO) with the Mynah trio; the “Brussels Jazz Marathon 2016” (BE) together with his band Rubiks; the 1st prize at “Multiculturita Black Music Contest 2017” (IT) and the “Audience Price” at Sibiu Jazz festival 2017 (RO) with Bija.
In 2017 Gabriele won the SIAE (Italian Copyright Company) scholarship for authors under 35.
Again in November 2017, he won the 2nd prize at the three-year competition “Jazz Comp Graz 2017” for Jazz Orchestra composers under 30 (jury: Ed Partyka, John Hollenbeck, Michael Abene and Jörg Achim Keller).
In February 2018, Gabriele is the only composer from all Belgian conservatories to be selected to lead the masterclass with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Jazz Orchestra at BOZAR in Brussels.
In September 2018, Gabriele got selected as a residency artist for the Bijloke Summer Academy (partners: LOD music theatre, Music Centre De Bijloke, Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) & Royal Conservatory Ghent, SPECTRA Ensemble, and JazzLab).
From 2016 to 2020 Gabriele worked as composer, arranger, and conductor for the Italian big band Bud Powell Jazz Orchestra.
In August 2021 premiered his first participative music-theatre project “LULELA” (produced by LODmuziektheater – BE): a multi-layered jazz concert with storytelling where the destiny of the protagonist (and the whole performance) is in the hands of the audience.
For LULELA Gabriele was composer, writer, performer, and director.
In June 2021, Gabriele was awarded 3rd prize at the “Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest” with his composition Berlin (jury: Bob Mintzer, Ed Partyka, Antti Rissanen, and Iro Haarla). In the same year, he was also a finalist at Barga Jazz Composing Contest and was one of the selected composers for the European Composers project of the Subway Jazz Orchestra/CGN.
In August 2022 two of his compositions (“Berlin” and “Acqua”) were awarded at the 1st Ise-Shima International Popular Music Composition Competition.
A month later, Gabriele was also awarded 1st prize at Scrivere in Jazz 2022 international composition and arrangement competition for jazz orchestra (cat A) with “Betsabea” (jury: Marco Tiso, Corrado Guarino, Michele Corcella, Gianluigi Trovesi).
In March 2023 two of his composition “’Nguè” was awarded at the 2nd Ise-Shima International Popular Music Composition Competition (Japan).
In July 2023 Gabriele was awarded 3rd prize at the Composition Competition for Symphony Orchestra “Spheres of a Genius Honoring Carla Bley” (by ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra & JamMusicLab) with “05.08.2015 for Carla”. (jury: Bill Dobbins, Marin Alsop, Angelika Möser, – Christoph Becher, Marcus Ratka).
Teaching is also one of Gabriele’s passions. Having taught for many years, he encourages his students to see beyond music. Showing how improvisational knowledge and technique combined with compositional knowledge is a key asset to being a good musician.
DEEP Gabriele di Franco, Jasper Iturrospe – (Etcetera Records – BE/NL 2023)
BUBUSETTETE Bija Trio – (Indipendemo Records – IT 2022)
CONSOULIN’ Q-some Big Band – (Caramel Records – BE 2022)
SYNOLON Gabriele di Franco // Francesco Negro – (Workin’ Label – IT 2022)
QUIET DRAMS Ramon van Merkenstein trio – (homerecords – BE 2021)
DREAMIN’ Q-some Big Band – (Caramel Records – BE 2020)
EP Tesseract trio – (auto production – BE 2020)
DEDALO Bud Powell Jazz Orchestra – (Ass. Cult. Jazz Bud Powell – IT 2018)
SO FAR Gottfried di Franco – (Sena Production – NL 2018)
INTRO Mynah – (Emme Record Label – IT 2015)
BIJA Bija – (Slam production – UK 2014)
• Lulela – il Libro (Albatros il Filo – IT 2021)
awarded at: High Mention Cultural Merit – Mr. Hyde Awards
2nd prize at International Award “Europa in versi e in prosa” 2021
Critics’ award – Nero su Bianco – Mino De Blasio Literary Prize (X edition)
“3rd prize” – Spheres of a Genius Honoring Carla Bley Composition Competition for Symphony Orchestra (by ORF Vienna & Jammusiclab) –”05.08.23 for Carla” (2023)
“Special prize” – Ise-Shima International Popular Music Composition Competition – “‘Nguè” (2023)
“1st prize” (cat A) – Scrivere in Jazz International Composition & Arrangement Competition for Jazz Orchestra –”Betsabea” (2022)
“Special prize & mention” – Ise-Shima International Popular Music Composition Competition – “Berlin” (2022)
“Special prize” – Ise-Shima International Popular Music Composition Competition – “Acqua” (2022)
“winner composer” – European Composers (Sound of a generation) SJO/CGN (2021)
“3rd prize” – Helsinki International Big Band Composing Contest – “Berlin” (2021)
“Elevator Jazz Pitch” – injazz.nl – berthold rec – LULELA (2019)
“Second best Composer” – Jazz Comp Graz composition competition – “Aspetta” (2017)
“SIAE” scholarship for authors and composers under 35 (2017)
“Audience Award” – Sibiu Jazz Contest – Bija (2017)
“Black Music Contest” – Multiculturita – Bija (2017)
“Band Revelation Of The Year” – Jazzup – Bija (2012)
“Soundslice” – Bija (2012)