B i o g r a p h y
One of the most precocious talents in the history of jazz.
When he was barely nine years old Francesco took his first steps, working with internationally famous musicians.
Meeting Wynton Marsalis in Pescara at the jazz Festival held on July 2002 was a decisive moment for Francesco’s career. Amazed by Francesco’s qualities, Marsalis took him along with his septet on his European tour 2003, where Francesco performed in prestigious theatres in the largest cities in Europe.
From that moment on, Francesco went through a series of important experiences both in Italy and abroad.
He won various important prizes: the Massimo Urbani National Award in Urbisaglia, the EuroJazz Award in Lecco, the International Jazz Festivals Organization Award in New York, the World Saxophone Competition in London, the Django d’Or in Rome and many others. In order to experience new musical styles and genres, Francesco went to New Orleans where he played with Ellis Marsalis and many other important local musicians. In 2004, he participated as a special guest in the Sanremo Music Festival.
In 2005 the Swing Journal, the authoritative Japanese jazz music magazine, confers him the New Stars Award, prize reserved to the emergent foreign talents.
Immediately after, the affirmation in the Top Jazz, referendum of the Italian Music Jazz magazine, that recognizes him as the best new talent of the year. Francesco has performed with world famous musicians: Hank Jones, Dave Brubeck, Cedar Walton, Mulgrew Miller, Jimmy Cobb, Ben Riley, Ray Drummond, Lewis Nash, James Williams, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, George Mraz, Kenny Wheeler, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani and many other musicians. In February 2006 Francesco achieved the Diploma in Transverse Flute at the Musical Institute Vincenzo Bellini in Catania. Since 2008 he has been Artistic director of the “Vittoria Jazz Festival” in Vittoria his native city. On January 19, 2009 he played in Washington DC during the celebrations in honor of President Barak Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. day. On July 17, 2009 the Umbria Jazz Foundation named Francesco “Ambassador of the Italian jazz music in the world.” In 2012, he arranged “Don’t Stop” the background music for the current commercial for the ENI station. In 2010, he obtained a Master Degree in Jazz at the Corelli Conservatory of Messina. Soon after he performed in China during the festival "The best of Italian Jazz" at the Expo in Shanghai. In July 2012, for the Olympics, he was invited to perfom in London, at the headquarters of the Casa Italia in the presence of the Italian Ambassador in London and of the leaders of CONI.
In September of 2012, during a long stay in the United States, he has held a series of master classes in Saxophone at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In June 2013, at the behest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Consul General of Philadelphia, in collaboration with the American Secretary of State John Kerry, Francesco was chosen to represent Italy to play during the celebrations for the Year of Italian Culture in the United States.
On February 20, 2014 Francesco, received in New York the “Grand Award of Merit” by the “American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit”, on behalf of the many contributions of Sicilian jazz musicians in the jazz music development and diffusion throughout the world.
In March 2015, the ambitious musical work called "3" (Alfredo Lo Faro Productions) was released.
It consists of three albums which are profoundly different from each other: “La Banda", "Contemplation" and "20 Cents per Notes.”
Published simultaneously, the three albums see Cafiso in the role of composer, arranger and performer.