Tommaso Ruggero Elio Vittorini (Tommy) is an Italian American composer, arranger, saxophone player.
As a jazz performer he started in the Seventies along with other young musicians like Massimo Urbani, Maurizio Giammarco, Danilo Terenzi, Enrico Pieranunzi, Danilo Rea. The timing for such a sudden and massive access of underage musicians to the stage was favorable, as pros were desperate for new workforce. Later, he played with European and American jazzmen such as Lester Bowie, Kenny Wheeler, Roswell Rudd, Steve Lacy, Enrico Rava.
He worked side by side with Mario Schiano on musical and non-musical projects spanning from parodies of lounge music to comedy playwriting and acting.
Always interested in world music, he played with musicians elaborating traditional music from the Mediterranean culture: Area, Canzoniere del Lazio, Carnascialia, Mauro Pagani.
Still a teenager, Vittorini started the Living Concert Big Band recruiting a quite diverse ensemble of musicians from the jazz environment, the conservatory, and the symphonic band of a well known Italian law enforcements agency. This latter component discouraged some musicians from getting high before concerts, resulting in greater adherence to the charts.
Later he founded the Grande Elenco Musicisti, a big band lining up talents such as Giancarlo Schiaffini, Antonello Salis, Roberto Gatto, Rita Marcotulli.
Other ensembles he has been leading were the Banda della Scuola Popolare di Musica di Testaccio, the Eliseo Big Band and recently the Big O Orchestra, a New York based, all female big band that he perilously joined through affirmative action, which also played at the Symphony Space Theater and the Blue Note.
Arranging and Conducting
Vittorini started working as an arranger and conductor in the music industry thanks to producer Italo Lilli Greco (RCA), who assigned him the arrangements for Paolo Conte ’s album “Appunti di Viaggio”. He has worked with many singers and bands, including Claudio Baglioni, (with producer Pasquale Minieri), Gianni Morandi, Almamegretta, Vinicio Capossela. Outside the Italian scene, he has written arrangements for Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, conducted the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic and the Mosfilm Symphony Orchestra & Choir of Moscow, and the RAI orchestra in many occasions like the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte di Montepulciano, and several TV shows.
Film Scoring and Composing
His activity in film scoring started with Lina Wertmuller (“Scherzo del destino….” ) and Roberto Benigni (“Tu mi turbi”). After an initial rough impact with conversion tables translating yards into music bars, he scored several feature films (among which Bidoni, Oro, Scardaba’, Empoli 1921, Queens Over Jacks), TV series (Felipe Ha Gli Occhi Azzurri, Nebbia In Valpadana, Lezioni Di Guai), educational and industrial documentaries, cartoons, and advertising. Tracks for institutional programs include segments for Siemens, RAI, TIM, Telecom, and several media for park conservation governmental programs. He has also written many themes and station breaks for radio and TV programs (TG1, TVSette, Va’ Pensiero, Un Certo Discorso, TG Sport), in Italy and abroad.
As music per se he composed symphonic pieces, a work for orchestra, choir and organ, and pieces under commission for smaller groups, from string quartets to percussion ensembles.
Among his clients and publishers are Warner Music, EMI, Sony Music, BMG, CAM.
Other related and unrelated activities
Vittorini was among the founders and teachers of the Scuola Popolare di Musica di Testaccio, which he also directed for a few years.
As an artistic director he has been in charge of Gershwin, Un Sogno Americano, a live TV show with an international cast of artists.
He has written articles on music and multimedia, presentations and cover notes for albums, and lectures. “Musica in Libera Uscita”, an essay on improvised music, has been published by Mondadori.
He has been the host of a radio night program mysteriously named Il Jazz, where he used to air anything from Algerian folk songs to Frank Zappa, and made appearances in some films, most notably Profondo Rosso by Dario Argento and Sogni d’Oro by Nanni Moretti.
He produced a TV documentary shot in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.