Earlier this week, the Rossano Sportiello Trio kicked off a two-week engagement at Café Carlyle titled “The Smiling Piano: A Tribute To The Artistry Of Jazz Piano Icon George Shearing.” They will perform their program nightly, beginning from June 11th through June 22nd.
Café Carlyle supper club lies within the infamous Upper East Side hotel, The Carlyle, which has headlined talents such as Ute Lemper, Woody Allen, and Bobby Short on its stage. The walls are painted by French artists Vertès, the Oscar-winning art director of the 1952 Moulin Rouge, who depicted lively scenes of music and art.
Award-winning jazz pianist Rossano Sportiello hails from Italy and began studying piano at the age of 9, continuing his education in classical piano from the Conservatory in 1996. At 16, he was performing professionally at jazz venues in Milan, and in 1992, he joined one of Europe’s historic jazz bands, the “Milano Jazz Gang.”
Sportiello’s influencers include Ralph Sutton, Dave McKenna, Barry Harris, Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Earl Hines, Ellis Larkins and Bill Evans, to name a few. He established himself in NYC around 2007 and has been in great demand ever since, performing at Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Birdland, Feinstein’s, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, and Town Hall, as well as at jazz parties and festivals all around the US and internationally.
Drummer Dennis Mackrel is currently one of the greatest jazz drummers and arrangers, as well as the Musical Director of The Count Basie Orchestra. George Shearing himself said, “If I ever have a record date coming up that calls for a drummer and Dennis is not available, I’ll postpone the session. He’s that good.”
Bassist Frank Tate has been the sought-after accompanist for legendary musicians and has played alongside Marian McPartland, Benny Goodman, Hank Jones, Dave McKenna, Wild Bill Davison, Teddy Wilson, Joe Venuti, Milt Jackson, Zoot Sims, and a slew of other legendary jazz greats who turned to Frank for his brilliant bass lines. Frank worked at the Cafè Carlyle every night with Bobby Short for the last 9 years of Bobby’s career until 2004.
Throughout the set, Sportiello would pause to speak to the audience about his inspiration and a glimpse into the life and style of George Shearing. The performance included a fantastic fusion of classical piano with jazz, from melancholy ballads to a fast pieces with complicated riffs for added flair. Guests are invited to dine on the fine cuisine offered by the Café Carlyle before the show, where we indulged in some delicious grilled salmon, steak, and French vanilla cheesecake with passionfruit sauce.
Café Carlyle is located in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (35 East 76th Street @ Madison Avenue). The Rossano Sportiello Trio will play Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:45pm from June 11th to June 22nd. There is a $65 music charge ($45 bar seating) Tuesday through Thursday and a $75 music charge ($50 bar seating) for shows on Friday and Saturday.
Book your reservations now for this fantastic performance of a lifetime. For additional information, visit www.thecarlyle.com.