Nello Toscano


From “Dizionario del jazz italiano” di Flavio Caprera, ed Feltrinelli.

“Nello Toscano (Brescia, 1952; double bass, composition) is a double bassist of considerable experience and reputation. Able to range through the different genres of jazz, he has built up over the years a background as a reliable and proactive musician, both when playing a leading and wingman role. Toscano is Brescian by birth but Catanese by adoption from an early age.

He began studying guitar as a child under the supervision of his virtuoso mandolin player father. After graduating in philosophy, Toscano devoted himself to the study of double bass and graduated from the Liceo Musicale V. Bellini in Catania. In 1986 he specialized by taking a course taught by double bassist Dave Holland. He later studied in Paris with George Russell.

He is interested in delving into jazz and composition, experimenting a lot, and trying to bring together written music, electronics and improvisation. His jazz has one foot in the tradition and the other in the avant-garde. And his career develops along those lines, at least on the side of leading projects and productions. A multifaceted musician, he also writes music for ballet and theater. In 1994 he released Winter Sky, a valuable record played as a quintet with Enrico Rava on trumpet.”


Nello Toscano in 1995 creates the Anaglyphos Cultural Association organizing numerous festivals and educational activities through courses and seminars that increase the spread of jazz in Sicily. He also gives birth to the record label (ANAGLYPHOS RECORDS) that testifies to the vitality of Sicilian jazz.

In 1998 he created OJdM (ORCHESTRA JAZZ DEL MEDITERRANEO) of which he is producer and artistic director. Within it over the years numerous talents have formed, suffice it to mention Dino Rubino, Francesco Cafiso, Tony Cattano, Antonella Leotta.

In addition, OJdM has been directed by big names in Italian and international jazz such as Gianni Basso, Bob Mintzer, George Gruntz, Maria Schneider, Pietro Tonolo, Maurizio Giammarco and has hosted soloists of the caliber of Enrico Rava, Fabrizio Bosso, Barbara Casini.

In 2015 he realized with OJdM a project on Vincenzo Bellini’s NORMA with arrangements by Paolo Silvestri and with Paolo Fresu as soloist, in 2018 the CD was released on the label ‘Tuk Music’.

Nello Toscano during his career has recorded several records under his own name, and as a session man he boasts recordings with Enrico Rava, Massimo Urbani, Phil Woods, Paolo Fresu, Pietro Tonolo, Gianni Basso, Maurizio Giammarco, Stefano Di Battista, Roberto Gatto, George Robert, Stjepko Gut, Francesco Cafiso and many others.

As a double bassist in his career he has collaborated with a considerable number of foreign jazz musicians such as Alain Jean Marie, Bob Mintzer, Bob Mover, Bobby Watson, Bruce Forman, Charles Tolliver, Conte Candoli, Dusko Goykovich, Gary Bartz, George Cables, George Gruntz, George Robert, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, Jack Walrath, Jimmy Owens, Jon Hendricks, Kenny Barron, Lee Konitz, Lew Soloff, Maria Schneider, Mark Morganelli, Paul Jeffrey, Phil Woods, Red Holloway, Steve Grossman, Stjepko Gut, Tom Harrell, Tom Kirkpatrick, Valery Ponomarev, Victor Lewis, Walter Bishop and with the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra conducted by Gunter Schuller.

Of the Italians we remember Barbara Casini, Claudio Fasoli, Dado Moroni, Danilo Rea, Enrico Intra, Enrico Rava, Enzo Randisi, Fabrizio Bosso, Fabrizio Sferra, Flavio Boltro, Francesco Bearzatti, Francesco Cafiso, Franco Cerri, Gianni Basso, Gianni Cazzola, Giulio Capiozzo, Javier Girotto, Massimo Urbani, Maurizio Giammarco, Nicola Arigliano, Nicola Stilo, Paolo Fresu, Pietro Tonolo, Roberto Gatto, Rosario Giuliani, Salvatore Bonafede, Sandro Gibellini, Stefano Di Battista, Tony Scott, Tullio De Piscopo and many others.