Paolo Vinaccia and Heavy Gentlemen

The ensemble Heavy Gentlemen was among leading bands on mid 80s Norwegian music scene. They consisted of some of most important musicians of that time offering their audience an interesting sound that combined funk, rock and blues, but they never released a record even though the band members each participated on hundreds of releases in numerous other formations.

Heavy Gentlemen performed mostly in Oslo. The band quit performing together more then 25 years ago and gathered last night on stage of the Rockefeller in Oslo. According to last night’s audience – they sounded like they never quit playing together. Reason for the reunion was a celebration of the 60th birthday of drummer Paolo Vinaccia. This native Italian lives in Norway for more then three decades during which he has released more then 100 albums under his own name, and as sideman.

Beside music collaborations with important musicians he also produced and recorded many discography releases. We introduced him to the audience at Jazz Fest in 2002 when he performed as member of the Terje Rypdal Trio, then met him again in 2005 as member of an ensemble introduced by Ferenc Snetberger and Arild Andersen and two years ago when he played a concert with the trio ZVRN with Bojan Zulfikarpašić and Miron Rafajlović.

The Terje Rypdal Trio concert in Sarajevo was released on Paolo’s album Very Much Alive in 2010 for Jazzland Records.

Since 2002 Vinnacia has been the main sound engineer at Jazz Fest’s concerts for few years and has contributed in a way to setting high production standards of this festival.

At last night’s Heavy Gentlemen concert Paolo shared the stage with some Norwegian artists we had the opportunity to see on Jazz Fest stages in past years – Eivind Aarset, Audun Erlien, Staale Storlokken i Bugge Wesseltoft.

Watch one of rare TV performances of Heavy Gentleman from mid 80s.

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