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Photo by Aldo Palazzolo

Gioconda Cilio was born in Siracusa in 1964.

She started singing in 1981 after she met Stefano Maltese, then began a musical journey that has for over twenty years of activity, led her to explore different languages. Not solely in concern jazz standard form, but above all, transforming, or inventing melodies and vocal rhythms that do not preclude any stylistic front, or form limits.

Describing, evoking, interpreting the musical idea introduced from the composition, her songs, her way of speaking, the ventricular sounds and the words themselves, project, settle and fix labyrinthine forms and sometimes visionary perspectives, always original and extraordinarily charming. All this allows Gioconda to find an inner poetic expression; undoubtedly personal.

She immediately received unanimous acclaim, both from the public and the critics, participating in reviews and at national and international music festivals.

In 1982 Gioconda Cilio formed the “Walking Blues Band”, underlining in this way, her propensity towards blues and soul music. During this period she also collaborated with the producer Franco G. Forte on songs that include “Prometeo” and “Porte chiuse” (Sartre).

Radio and television programmes likewise are attracted to Gioconda Cilio, with RAI inviting her to appear on shows such as “A ciascuno la sua Casa Bianca” (1982), “Rivers and Bridges” (1996), “Audiobox” (1998), “Radio Tre Suite” (1997, 1998, 1999).

In 1985 with the “Stefano Maltese Orchestra” she appeared on her first record, and then in 1987 she recorded her first work as a leader. In the same year she took part in the creation of the “Open Music Orchestra”; the first Orchestra to gather musicians of the ‘new’ jazz from all over Italy.

Since 1993 she has been working with the established Maltese’s orchestra “As Sikilli Ensemble”. It is with this ensemble that Gioconda Cilio performs many concerts, recording three critically recognised works.

Above all she has the platform to show her own, individual, expressive abilities.

 

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  Photo by Alessandro Botticelli

In 1994 a new collaboration with Arrigo Cappelletti and Gianni Coscia saw her taking an interest in tango and fado, as well as in poetry set to music. For an RAI production in 1998, together with the “Open Music Orchestra”, she recorded “Open Letter to Mingus” published on CD by the monthly review Musica Jazz.

In “Top Jazz” referendum, she has more than once been voted for the categories: “Record of the Year” (“Sombra Del Sur”- Stefano Maltese Orchestra) and “Jazz formation of the Year” (As Sikilli Ensemble and Open Music Orchestra).

Gioconda Cilio’s innate talent has resulted in her collaborating with some of the greatest musicians of the international scene, including: Stefano Maltese, Antonello Salis, Antonio Moncada, Riccardo Lay, Pino Minafra, Carlo Actis Dato, Martin Joseph, Keith Tippett, Julie Tippett, Evan Parker, Joëlle Léandre, Arrigo Cappelletti, Gianni Coscia, Umberto Petrin, Marcio Mattos, Claude Deppa, Steve Noble, Marilyn Crispell, Sophia Domancich, Paul Rogers, Arkady Shilkloper and many, many others...

 

 

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  Photo by Claire Turyn

 

Currently Gioconda Cilio leads his own quintet - with Stefano Maltese on reeds, Fabrizio Puglisi on piano, Alessandro Nobile on bass, Antonio Moncada on drums - and works in duo with Fabrizio Puglisi.
Moreover with her octet, “Songs with Strings”, which includes the excellent “Bellini Quartet”, or with the five formations directed by Stefano Maltese: Open Sound Ensemble, Aka Quintet, As Sikilli, Open Music Orchestra, Sikelé Orkestra.