Having started studying guitar at the age of 25, and being very attracted to the concept of improvisation, Italian guitarist and composer Francesco Lo Castro developed his style and technique under the tutoring of the great jazz guitar maestro Gianni Cataleta. Having moved from Italy to the UK in 1999, he decided, in 2004, to quit his day job and economic studies to fully focus on music. Two years later he graduated in Music Performance from Thames Valley University and in the same year he won both the Best Guitarist Award at the Guitar Institute in London and the Vice Chancellor Award at TVU which granted him a Master Degree in Music Performance.
ABOUT STYLE AND TECHNIQUE
Francesco Lo Castro’s guitar style suggests an intriguing and smooth combination of melodic Italian sense, sound-scapes and grooves fused with jazz harmony and improvisation. As he pointed out “On one side I love jazz and its great traditions and masters while on the other I am very aware of where I came from historically and geographically. I like when music feels like a soundtrack but I also love improvisation both sonic wise and from a musical point of view, hence I try and combine these different elements in many different ways”.
WITH WHO AND WHERE
Aside from his solo work he has a long standing collaboration, as guitarist and musical director, with international multi-platinum recording artist Patrizio Buanne with whom he has toured the USA, Australia, Asia, Europe and Sounth Africa. He has also recorded for Geoff Wilkinson (Us3) and performed with Jim Mullen, Francesco Mendolia (Incognito), great italian trumpeter Fulvio Sigurta’, Roberto Manzin (James Brown), two times Grammy Award Winner Eric DeFade, Matteo Becucci (XFactor Italy winner 2009), jazz award winner singer Michela Lombardi, Maurizio Minardi and Bruno D’Ambra among others. In his career so far he has performed in prestigious venues and festivals. Among others the Montreal Jazz Festival, Hamer Hall (Melbourne), The State Theater (Sydney), The Concert Hall (New York), the Expo Center (Singapore), The Berklee Performance Center (Boston), the Benedum (Pittsburgh), Barbican Center (London), O2 Arena (London), the Pisa Jazz Festival and Palatrussardi Arena (Milan).
WHERE WE ARE NOW
Having funded his own record and publishing label (Flocastro Records) Francesco has released several successful albums under his own name plus two records with the US based DLC Project. At the time of writing “Dresden” from the album “Chasing Beauty” is listed in the Top 200 “Most Downloaded of all times” chart compiled by the prestigious All About Jazz, USA.
He has also lectured, for 11 years, in Music Business, Music Industry, Guitar, Songwriting and Production on the BMus Courses held by ACM (University of Middlesex) and he is currently lecturing at degree level at BIMM, London. He currently tours, performing his music, with his trio or quartet formations featuring Sam Leak/Marco Marconi/Claudio Corona (organ, piano and keys), Rob Statham/Johnny Wickam (Bass) and Cosimo Keita/Robert Castelli/Gwilym Jones (Drums).