As a child, Stefano Bollani sent a cassette tape to the Neapolitanpianist Renato Carosone. The Italian was then advised by his fellowcountryman to listen to jazz and blues, in order to develop hisvoice and piano playing to their best. Bollani painstakinglyfollowed the advice of the master, developed his own style and wenton to graduate from the Florence conservatory. Meanwhile, Bollanihas become a rising star on the jazz firmament and not only hishomeland, but also in countries in the Far East. The Americanmagazine All About Jazz called the Italian one of the mostimportant musicians of the year in 2007, alongside legends likeSonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman. Although in our country, hemainly gets acclaim from connoisseurs, the 36-year-old pianist hasrendered his own voice to the world of jazz for over a decade.During the North Sea Jazz Festival, Bollani will receive therightly deserved Paul Acket Award for the Artist Deserving WiderRecognition.