B i o g r a p h y
Born and raised in Naples in the Piscinola - Marianella district, he studied saxophone and began performing in public at the age of seven. He then graduated in flute at the San Pietro a Majella conservatory.
In the years 1976-1977 he collaborated with Pino Daniele on the album Terra mia; the collaboration with Edoardo Bennato dates back to 1979-1980, for the 1980 albums Uffà! Ugh! and They are just songs.
In 1982 he released his first record as a leader entitled Avitabile, consisting of nine songs, including a dedication to his late friend Mario Musella, Dolce sweet "M".
In 1983 he released Better soul with songs like Charlie, in reference to Charlie Parker, Gospel mio, sung with Richie Havens and When I believe. The following year, Corre quickly was released, dedicated to his daughter Connie, again for the record label EMI Music.
1986 saw the release of S.O.S. brothers, which contains the song Mamma Che Caos (also made in remix version), Soul express and Black Out, which in the remix version will win an award in Ibiza as the best dance song of the year. The cover of the disc was made in comic style by Andrea Pazienza.
Enlightening was the meeting with James Brown when Avitabile was chosen to open his concerts in Italy. It was Brown who said to Avitabile: .. "start over from your land", and so Avitabile changed his vision of music.
In 1988 he published High Voltage, the title of the homonymous song on the album and a collaboration with Afrika Bambaataa for the Street Happiness album. In 1990, however, Stella dissident from the cover of Milo Manara. The following year Enzo Avitabile made an album with the same title, with the collaboration of Corrado Rustici.
In 1994 Easy comes out where he puts to music "'A livella" by Totò and sings in a duet with Randy Crawford Leave me or love me. In 1995 he writes the music of And there is still sea song sung by Giorgia included in the album of the singer-songwriter Come Thelma & Louise. The attention paid to rap and jungle music and a return to the use of Neapolitan in the lyrics, led to the creation of Addò in 1996.
O-issa, album dated 1999, contains the single "Mane e Mane", written with Mory Kante; a portion of the proceeds will go to support UNICEF's initiative to guarantee the right to school for girls in Benin. Twelve songs and two remixes, the two songs written with the African artist, Mane and Mane (Kelendi-Kelendi) and O-issa.
In 2000 the collaboration with the producer and manager Andrea Aragosa and the first experiments with the Bottari di Portico began.
He has been the artistic director of the International Festival of World music "Sentieri Mediterranei" since 2003 and of the Leuciana Festival since 2015.
In 2004 Salvamm '' o munno was released, a record in which Khaled, Manu Dibango, I Bottari di Portici, Amina, Simon Shaeen, Hugh Masekela, Luigi Lai, Cantori del Miserere by Sessa Aurunca and Baba Sissoko collaborate, the cover notes of his records they are signed by the anthropologist Marino Niola. In 2005 and 2006 he received 4 nominations at the BBC World Music Awards.
In 2006 an introspective recording project was released, Sacro Sud, a journey in which the author, through sacred and spiritual music that starts from Sant'Alfonso Maria De Liguori, is led to explore the peripheries of the soul.
In 2007 the double cd Festa, farina e forca was released with the collaboration of Manu Dibango in the reinterpretation of Soul Makossa, the second disc entirely dedicated to remixes was attended by Matthew Herbert, Ludovic Llorca, Bill Laswell, Gigi, Fredric Galliano, Banco De Gaia, Pole , Temple of Sound. In 2009 he released a second special Neapolitan project with which he won the Targa Tenco for the best record in dialect.
In 2012 the album Black Tarantella was released, which saw the participation of Pino Daniele, Francesco Guccini, Franco Battiato, David Crosby, Bob Geldof, Enrique Morente, Idir, Toumani Diabate ', Mauro Pagani, Co'Sang, Raiz. It wins the second Targa Tenco 2012 for the best album in dialect and the Lunezia Award 2012 for the musical-literary value of the album "Black Tarantella".
Also in 2012, director Jonathan Demme dedicates him a docufilm that is presented at the Venice Film Festival, Enzo Avitabile Music Life.
In 2012 the soundtrack of Enzo Avitabile Music Life was released, with the participation of many artists.
In 2013 he is present in the first solo album (Il Courage Impossible) by his nephew and rapper Ntò, in the track Se ti avessi ora.
In 2016 Lotto infinito was released for Sony Music, and saw the meetings with Francesco De Gregori, Renato Zero, Giorgia and many others.
He has written over 300 works for quartets, chamber orchestras and symphonic orchestras, he is the author of the music for symphony orchestra and choir of the opera Il Vangelo by Pippo Del Bono.
During his career he has performed in various events such as Womad Festival, London Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz, Montreal Jazz Festival, Sziget Festival, May Day, New Year's Concert in Naples, with tours all over the world.
On 27 March 2017 he won two David di Donatello awards for the soundtrack of the film Indivisibili by Edoardo De Angelis: Best Musician and Best Original Song (Have mercy on us). On 1 July 2017 he too won at the Nastri d'Argento.
A year later, he was called to participate in the 2018 Sanremo Festival paired with Peppe Servillo in the Champions category with the song Il courage di every day, finishing twelfth.
In 2019 he won the Silver Ribbon for the best soundtrack, inserted in the film The vice of hope. Also this year are his collaborations with Kamasi Washington and Marcus Miller and a tour of 100 concerts, including the one held at the Ravenna Festival with Francesco De Gregori and Tony Esposito. He also oversaw the artistic direction of the SETTEMBRE AL BORGO festival now in its 46th edition, and that of SACRO SUD -ANIME SALVE, in its 2nd edition.
In 2022 he is a guest in Jovanotti's piece "Corpo a corpo", included in his album 'Mediterraneo'.