Gianluca Liberatore was born in 1990 in Palermo, Sicily. The Italian island is the major in the Mediterranean sea and it has always been hosting an astonishing mix of cultures. The search for diversity became for Gianluca an important feature in his musical experience.
He started playing the guitar at the age of 12 and the bass guitar at 14. Discovering the music of Bill Evans brought him in contact with jazz music and, consecutively, with double bass playing.
Gianluca studied in Italy at the Brass Group and the Open Jazz School of Mimmo Cafiero, attending masterclasses and having lessons with Harvie S, Reuben Rogers, Eric Revis, Eddie Gomez, Clark Cables, Gregory Hutchinson and others.
In 2010 he moved to the Netherlands, where he studied at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under the guide of Frans van der Hoeven. In the four years of Bachelor program he got in touch with a variety of genres and musicians. Results of these years of studies and collaborations are performances in a number of festivals in Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland.
Has performed alongside Ronal Douglas, Deborah Carter, Bob Stoloff during the summer jazz workshop at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. In 2013 he released a record with the Australian leader, composer and saxophone player Gemma Farrell.
As an educator Gianluca has been teaching privately bass guitar, double bass and music theory.
1. How was your experience at the conservatory of Amsterdam? What was your practice routine?
It was hard, but what a great experience! The level was very high, both of teachers and students. I was very lucky to find great musicians that became even greater friends and that were the best part. We would practice together and share inspiring music we were listening to.
As for my practice I remember going to practice one or two hours before my lessons would start, and then spend 3 or 4 hours more in the afternoon. Usually in the nights we had rehearsals or jams, so by the end of the day I would have spent between 6 and 8 hours on the bass.
2. In your opinion can anyone be a pro musician through hard work and practice or is it something one is born with?
I had many doubts and struggles when I started taking music seriously and I never felt talented, but I always believed in hard work and fed my love for music and for making music. With time the hard work started paying back.
As a musician, just like any artist, we never feel we are as good as we are supposed to be but we shouldn’t let this frustration stop us, distract us or make us doubt. We should focus on what we really love, and keep working on our weaknesses. In a way becoming a good musician should mean becoming a better person too. Having said that, I think anyone who is ready to put enough dedication and work into music and personal growth can become a professional musician.
3. What made you come to India? How has your stay been so far?
I heard about the True School from some friends who were teaching here, it seemed very interesting so I got in touch with the school. I had never been to India so I was also very curious and intrigued. Also, after 5 years in Amsterdam I wanted to check out some new place.
My stay so far has been fantastic! My daily life here is completely different from what it used to be in Amsterdam or Italy and that’s the change I was looking for. Also, here I found very interesting artists I collaborate with; it’s very exciting to be part of the growing music scene in India!
4. What is your mantra for dealing with stress?
Once again I’m very lucky to be working with unbelievably great people, inspiring teachers and students. It’s a great environment where I don’t feel the stress of work.
But when it’s really too much to deal with and I feel the need to ease up, I like to take the sea link: it feels like the only quiet place in Mumbai!
5. If you could get stuck in an elevator for 30 mins with one more musician alive or dead, who would that be and why?
Snoop Snoopy Dogg seems like a fun guy or maybe I would pick Ian Anderson, the leader and vocalist of Jethro Tull, just because I really admire his musicianship!
Check out Gianluca’s recommended playlist :