ABOUT CARLO MOMBELLI
Bassist - Composer - Educator
Disconcertingly beautiful. THE JAZZ TIMES (USA)
‘Once in a while an artist comes along who produces music unlike anything you've heard. Avant-garde bass-focused jazz composition has rarely sounded so gorgeous.
Bass Player Magazine (USA)
‘His music is unusually and unexpectedly fresh.’ - Paris Jazz Man Magazine, (FRANCE)
Carlo Mombelli’s music is that of a quintessential Prisoner of Strange. It’s visionary, emotional and experimental, in a society that doesn’t applaud artistry and integrity. His music sits on the cusp of sanity, where madness and brilliance share space, where true art resides. Mombelli has found in his music the expressive soul of the developing world mixed with the technical profundity of the classical world. The Sunday Independent
Mombelli, now in his early 50’s, is still very much in rude creative health. He is still pushing the limits of sound and writing challenging, beautiful work. As an educator, he is molding and mentoring the next generation of South African musicians. Carlo Mombelli is nothing short of a national treasure – you cannot argue with the depth, passion and inventiveness of his music.
The Mail and Guardian.
BBC radio - London
I Pressed my Spine to the Ground, Mombellis’ recording was chosen by the BBC 3 late junction as one of their top 12 picks for 2016 played on the BBC late junction evening radio, London
Bassist Carlo Mombelli is something of a sage figure. As he approaches his 60th birthday, a time when many a musician has found their comfort zone and settled into it, he remains one of the most restlessly creative forces in South African jazz.
By Dan Bilawsky (New York) All about JAZZ
February 20, 2019
In his 40-year career as a bass player, band leader and composer, the South African Carlo Mombelli currently living in Johannesburg has bridged gaps between genres, musicians and the audiences.
A self-taught musician, he has recorded and performed at many respected festivals, including the Roma Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival, the Stockholm Jazz Festival, the German Moers Festival, the ‘On the Edge of Wrong’ festival in Norway and the Banlieues Bleues festival in Paris and the JazzWerkstadt in Bern to name a few, with amongst others, Mick Goodrick, Charlie Mariano, Jeroen van Vliet, Malcolm Braff, Jorge Rossy, Dejan Terzic, Wolfgang Haffner, Samual Blaser and Adrian Mears. He has also recorded for Enja Records with Egberto Gismonti as well as with Lee Konitz, and has contributed music and played on the 1989 tribute for Jaco Pastorius, ‘Basstorius’, that also features the bassists Mathew Garrison and Carles Benavent. Back home in South Africa he can be heard as a bassist on many recordings with amongst others, Marcus Wyatt, Afrika Mkhize, Simphiwe Dana, Sibongile Khumalo, and Miriam Makeba.
In addition to his over 100 recorded works and performances with his own projects, his composition commissions include more than 14 films/ documentaries and animations, music for a mobile game for the London gaming company ‘The Secret Police’, commissions for Zim Ngqawana’s Zimphony Ourchestra, (which Mombelli also conducted with Zim), commissions for the ‘Stockholm Saxophone Quartet’, piano music for the art film Exquisite Corps by Jonah Sack presented at the Jewish Museum in New York, and his recent piece for the Grammy award-winning New York String Quartet ‘Ethel’.
Carlo, a self-taught musician, has been involved in music education for many years. Starting in 1998 he held a teaching post at the Richard-Strauss Conservatoire in Munich, Germany. Since then he has taught and run ensembles at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and bi-annually at the Jazz Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland. In 2015, he led the DKSJ-all-star-project with 13 Masters students studying jazz in Switzerland.
In 2018 the Swiss/Italian 15 piece ‘Euregio’ Large Ensemble spent the year performing Carlo’s music at festivals around Europe.
Pulses in the Centre of Silence – Composition Scores and Artistry Concepts’ is published by Real African Publishing.
Mombelli’s Intergallactic Bass Book is published by Real African Publishers and Internationally by Hal Leonard.
Mombelli is a N.R.F Rated Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
DR Handmade Strings courtesy of MARSHAL MUSIC, Johannesburg