As a child, Stefano Bollani
sent a cassette tape to the Neapolitan pianist Renato Carosone. The Italian was then advised by his fellow countryman to listen to jazz and blues, in order to develop his voice and piano playing to their best. Bollani painstakingly followed the advice of the master, developed his own style and went on to graduate from the Florence conservatory. Meanwhile, Bollani has become a rising star on the jazz firmament and not only his homeland, but also in countries in the Far East. The American magazine All About Jazz called the Italian one of the most important musicians of the year in 2007, alongside legends likeSonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman. Although in our country, he mainly gets acclaim from connoisseurs, the 36-year-old pianist has rendered his own voice to the world of jazz for over a decade. During the North Sea Jazz Festival, Bollani will receive the rightly deserved Paul Acket Award for the Artist Deserving Wider Recognition.