If "too jazz for rock and to rock for jazz" were not a statement stuck on the great Bill Bruford, Alessio Riccio would use it to define himself.
Riccio is one of the most talented Italian drummers of his generation [see here]. Thanks to his keen and eclectic personality, he has been moving among experimental and adventurous musical styles and languages. He is also a percussionist and an electro-acoustic composer whose music has been featured on various fields: on theatre and performance - where he has been collaborating with actress and director Silvia Guidi in composing original music for many performances, on the academic environment - where two students' graduation theses dealt with his artistic journey [here], on specialized international magazines - his Drawing Opus 2: Paul Klee, in 2003 was featured Cd of the Month on the prestigious U.S. magazine Modern Drummer [see here and here].
Riccio has received many awards and scholarships which include a 1994 Outstanding Musicanship Award from Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA; a 1997 Modern Drummer/Drummers Collective International Contest in New York; a 1998 Percfest International Contest, and received a special mention among the best new Italian talents in 2000 and 2001 on the magazine Musica Jazz. He performed throughout Europe, playing concerts and recording albums with the like of Ralph Alessi, Claude Barthélémy, Stefano Battaglia, Tim Berne, Carla Bley, Steve Coleman, Monica Demuru, Ellery Eskelin, Michel Godard, Catherine Jauniaux, Steve Lacy, Evan Parker, Gianluca Petrella, Dominique Pifarély, Hasse Poulsen, Ernst Reijseger, Michael Riessler, Elliott Sharp, David Shea, Chris Speed, Achille Succi, Steve Swallow, Diana Torto, the French group Ars Nova and various jazz orchestras among which the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana di Jazz.
He performed at many major jazz festivals and music venues, among which Umbria Jazz, Time in Jazz at Berchidda, Rumori Mediterranei at Roccella Jonica, Rhythm Sticks at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Banlieues Bleues de La Cité de la Musique in Paris, Theater Olympics in Moscow, the Notte Bianca in Rome and the list of magazines, reviews and blogs where he has been featured is extremely substantial. Among them Modern Drummer, Drum!, Jazziz and Cadence (USA), Jazz Magazine (France), Jazz Special (Norway), Trust and Spex (Germany), Jazz’n’More (Swiss), RifRaf (Belgium), freiStil (Austria), Percussioni, Drum Club, Drumset Mag, Batteria, Musica Jazz, Jazzit, Solar Ipse, Guitar Club, Il Giornale Della Musica, Rockerilla, Blow Up, Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Alias from Il Manifesto (Italy) [see here for press archive and here for web archive].
His recent electro-acoustic turn is based on the development of a not hierarchical idea of rhythm and formal structure, on his wish to propose an immersive and active listening experience (almost in the meaning of anti-mainstream) on his desire to make visionary, imaginative, unconventional, captivating, unpredictable, cultured and yet filled with heart music [here some reviews of his last album]. All these features characterize his latest work Ninshubar - from the Above to the Below (2013) [here]. In the name of creative activism (or, as Giacomo Verde says, "artivism"), in 1998 Riccio founded his own label Unorthodox Recordings [here and here].
Iconoclast and rebel and yet meticulous and enthusiastic researcher of rhythm, language, technique and history of the drums and percussion instruments - Riccio mentions Flaubert's famous statement "be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work" - he has published various articles [here a selection], transcriptions [here] and interviews [here].
He has been giving seminars, stages, lectures and masterclasses all over Italy. Since 2001 he has been holding a teaching position at the Fondazione Siena Jazz.