Fabio Zuffanti began his musical career in 1994. Since then he has been involved in the recording of more than 40 albums as a soloist and as leader of numerous groups and projects including Finisterre, La Maschera Di Cera, Höstsonaten, Rohmer, laZona, Aries, La Curva Di Lesmo, L’Ombra Della Sera, Quadraphonic, and R.u.g.h.e.. His total love of music, indomitable curiosity and willingness to put himself on the line have led him to work with various musical genres, including prog, electronic, pop, folk, singing-songwriting, psychedelia, post-rock, noise, industrial, metal, ambient, soundtracks, and dark-gothic.
He has performed live in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United States, Canada and Mexico. His numerous live performances, the sales of his albums and the response they have generated among critics have earned Zuffanti an international reputation as one of Italy’s most eclectic and highly representative musicians.
Zuffanti has also worked on numerous joint projects with artists including Tommaso Labranca, Roberto Colombo, Wu Ming, Franz Di Cioccio, Beatrice Antolini, Julie’s Haircut, Bologna Violenta, Roberto Dell’Era, Antonio Moresco, Andrea Tich, Giancarlo Onorato, Vittorio De Scalzi, Livio Magnini, Jenny Sorrenti, and Alberto Tafuri.
In his tireless career he has also worked as artistic director producing a number of bands, hosted radio and television programs, organized the Z-Fest live music festival, and published three books about music and a volume of poetry.
In 2016 the first book about Fabio Zuffanti’s musical career was published in Canada: “Jeux de Miroirs”, by journalist Michel Bilodeau.
Since 2008 Fabio Zuffanti’s albums have been published exclusively by AMS Records.
Zuffanti began his career playing bass with Finisterre, a wide-ranging progressive rock group that has been playing since 1994. Along with Zuffanti the group includes Stefano Marelli, guitar and voice, Boris Valle, keyboards, Marco Cavani, drums, and Sergio Grazia, flute. Various members of the group have changed several times over the years, though the trio Zuffanti-Marelli-Valle has remained unchanged. The group has published 4 studio albums, the last two of which were produced by Roberto Colombo and Franz Di Cioccio, and performed in Italy, Europe, the United States and Mexico. They have also produced two live albums. The group took a break in 2001 and reunited in 2004 to record the album La meccanica naturale.
In January 2002, while Finisterre was inactive, Fabio Zuffanti, Stefano Marelli, Marco Cavani and Agostino Macor formed laZona, a psychedelic post-rock project, leading to the publication of the album Le notti difficili by Mellow Records in February 2003, featuring Michele Nastasi on trumpet. The album centers around the piece Le notti difficili, never released by Finisterre, dividing it into four parts with a total duration of 45 minutes.
la Maschera Di Cera
The more progressive side of Finisterre was expressed in La maschera di cera, a project created by Zuffanti in 2002 with the addition of singer Alessandro Corvaglia (who had already performed with Zuffanti in Merlin rock opera), Agostino Macor (from Finisterre) on synthesizers, flautist Andrea Monetti (Alhambra, Ku, Embryo) and drummer Marco Cavani (Finisterre), who was replaced in 2003 by Maurizio Di Tollo (from Distillerie di Malto). The group published five studio albums drawing on the Italian progressive rock tradition, in its most classic form dating back to the seventies, two of which (LuxAde and Petali di Fuoco) were produced by Franz Di Cioccio. The group attained considerable success and performed live in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland and the United States, producing a live album and DVD and participating in the 2007 edition of NEARfest, one of the world’s most important progressive rock festivals. In 2009 the band went back to the US to participate in Progday. In 2010 the band published the album Petali di Fuoco with Aereostella/Edel and the addition of guitarist Matteo Nahum, who remained with the band until 2011. When the contract with Aereostella expired, in 2013 the band published “Le porte del domani” with AMS Records. The album is an attempt at a sequel to the “Felona e Sorona” concept of Le Orme, released in Italian and in English (under the title “The gates of tomorrow”).
Rohmer was established in 2008 featuring Fabio Zuffanti on bass, Boris Valle on piano, Agostino Macor on synthesizers and Maurizio Di Tollo on drums. The group’s name is a homage to French film director Éric Rohmer and was inspired by the idea of transposing the atmospheres of French films into music. The group’s first album, Rohmer, was released in November 2008 on the AMS label.
Aries is a duo consisting of Fabio Zuffanti and singer Simona Angioloni which recorded the album Aries for Mellow Records in 2005, a prog with folk influences. In 2010 the group’s second album, Double Reign, was released by AMS records, marking a shift toward darker, more electronic atmospheres.
R.U.G.H.E. is Fabio Zuffanti, Boris Valle and Carlo Carnevali. R.U.G.H.E. combines noise music with noise, electronic music, classical music and doom metal. R.U.G.H.E.’s first CD was released in October 2009 by Niente records.
Quadraphonic is an experimental project by Fabio Zuffanti including six self-produced albums, one of which, Il giorno sottile, was later republished by Mellow records.
Höstsonaten is a project created by Fabio Zuffanti in 1996. Höstsonaten’s music is influenced by progressive rock, classical music, jazz and folk. The group is named after Ingmar Bergman’s film Autumn Sonata, and the musicians joining Zuffanti in the group have varied over the years. The group’s first two albums, Hostsonaten and Mirrorgames, produced by Mellow Records, were followed by four more (produced by AMS records) forming the Seasons Cycle. The four parts in this great cycle, the ‘SeasonsCycle Suite’, are Summereve (part 1), Autumnsymphony (part 2), Winterthrough (part 3) and Springsong (part 4). Following this vast project, Zuffanti began working on a musical transposition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The rime of the ancient mariner”. The album containing the first four parts of the work was released by AMS in 2012. In December 2012 “The rime…” was presented in the theatre in a version including live music, theatre, dance and multimedia elements. The performance was recorded and published in 2013 in the DVD+CD set “Alive in theatre”. In 2015 Fabio Zuffanti decided to include keyboardist and arranger Luca Scherani in the project, and the pair worked together on the next album, the first in a series of symphonies combining classical and rock influences. “Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche” is a symphonic suite for band and orchestra released in April 2016.
Fabio Zuffanti soloist
Since 2007 Fabio Zuffanti has pursued a parallel solo career. The first work he published as a soloist was Pioggia e luce, a 20 minute EP released in 2007 by the Genoese label Marsiglia Records. In parallel he began work on his first album, published under the title Fabio Zuffanti in 2009 by AMS Records. In March 2010 he published his second work, entitled Ghiaccio (Mellow Records), the title of which was inspired by Anna Kavan’s book Ice. The EP and the two albums reflect the influence of the singer/songwriter, prog and electronic music traditions, with various rarefactions of sound suspended between dream and reality. In 2011 Zuffanti published his third album, La foce del ladrone (Spirals Records/Long Song Records), inspired by Franco Battiato’s famous album La voce del padrone. This new project with its markedly pop connotations was an instant success, driven by the single and music video Musica strana, directed by Luca Giberti. In 2014 Zuffanti produced his fourth solo album: La quarta vittima, a return to Zuffanti’s beloved prog atmosphere. the album is inspired by Michael Ende’s book Mirror in the mirror: a labyrinth and heralded as one of the most important albums of the new prog wave, well-received by the public and critics alike. Following a successful concert tour that took him around Italy and to Canada, Belgium, France and the Netherlands, in December 2014 Zuffanti published the live album “Il mondo che era mio – Live in studio 2014”, in which the Genoese musician is accompanied by the band that shared the stage with him on his tour. The group, known as ZBand, includes Zuffanti himself on bass and voice, Giovanni Pastorino on keyboards, Paolo “Paolo” Tixi on drums, Matteo Nahum on guitar (replaced by Simone Amodeo in 2015) and Martin Grice on sax/flute. In March 2017 the group released a new EP, almost entirely acoustic, entitled “Amore onirico”, published only in the form of a limited edition cassette tape and digital download.
Fabio Zuffanti wrote the musical Merlin – The Rock Opera in collaboration with British theatre director Victoria Heward, who directed a number of performance of works including Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The music from the musical was published by Iridea Records in 2000. In 2011 the double cd was remixed and remastered with the addition of new musical parts and published with a new cover in April 2012 by AMS. In May 2014 a preview of a new musical, Cogli l’attimo, was performed, with a libretto by writer Pee Gee Daniel.
L’ombra della sera
In 2012 Agostino Macor, Mau Di Tollo and Fabio Zuffanti produced a self-titled album under the name L’ombra della sera. The album consists of the group’s versions of a number of themes from famous Italian mystery television series from the 1970s.
La Curva Di Lesmo
La Curva Di Lesmo is a project by Stefano Agnini (La Coscienza Di Zeno) and Fabio Zuffanti incorporating influences from Italian prog, vintage electronic music, b-movie soundtracks, singer/songwriter and pop music. Agnini named the project after the first comic book (dated 1965) in which Guido Crepax’s character Valentina appears. Comic books of the fifties, sixties and seventies, especially those invoking surreal, Gothic and horror atmospheres, are one of the many passions shared by the two composers. Crepax’s Valentina appears on the album cover, reproducing a number of illustrations by the famous Italian cartoonist with the kind permission of his heirs. The album “La curva Di Lesmo” was released on October 15 2015, as a CD, LP, and a limited edition LP with a pop-up cover, by AMS records. The album includes three long pieces (9, 17 and 26 minutes) featuring a long series of prestigious guest performers including Beatrice Antolini, Max Manfredi, Jenny Sorrenti, Claudio Milano, Jutta Taylor Nienhaus and many more.
Other work/Joint projects
In addition to his work on various musical projects, Zuffanti has worked as a composer for Warner Chappel Music and his music has been used in sound effects, advertising jingles, soundtracks, music therapy, books and dance performances.
He has also collaborated with a number of writers, including Tommaso Labranca and the Wu Ming collective. With Labranca, Zuffanti participated in the readings Appelsina (2008) and Una zampa più corta (2010), while he produced the soundtrack for Wu Ming’s Manituana (published by Einaudi). Zuffanti is currently working on a new musical and literary project with writer Antonio Moresco.
In 2016 Zuffanti joined the CHRISTADORO project set up by drummer/DJ/writer Mox Cristadoro. The band also includes Andrea Dal Santo, Pier Panzeri and Paolo “ske” Botta. In 2017 CHRISTADORO produced an album of rock versions of songs from Italy’s great singer/songwriter tradition (Giorgio Gaber, Claudio Baglioni, Antonello Venditti, Franco Battiato, Enrico Ruggeri, Lucio Dalla, Roberto Vecchioni). Guests who appear on the album include Garbo, Giuseppe “Pilly” Cossa of Biglietto per l’inferno, cellist Zeno Gabaglio and world-renowned guitarist Franco Mussida. The album was produced by Livio Magnini.
Productions for other artists
Zuffanti has worked as artistic producer for a number of artists and record labels since 2012. A list of his productions appears in the “Discography” section.
Zuffanti has been a writer as well as a musician since 2012.
He published his first book in 2012, the pamphlet O Casta Musica, published by Vololibero Edizioni.
In February 2014 he wrote the preface to the book I 100 migliori dischi del Progressive Italiano by Mox Cristadoro, published by Tsunami Edizioni.
In May 2014 he published Ma che musica suoni? – Diario tra prog e vita (Editrice Zona), an autobiography covering Zuffanti’s twenty-year career in music and forty-five years of life.
In January 2016 he published Prog Rock, 101 dischi dal 1967 al 1980, written with Riccardo Storti and published by Arcana Editrice.
In September 2016 his poetry collection, Il giorno sottile, was published by Mora Edizioni.
Z – Fest is a music festival first held in 2015 by Fabio Zuffanti. The intention of its creator is that the Z – Fest should allow him to share the stage with artists with different musical backgrounds and experiences. The first festival was held in Genoa in 2015, after which it moved to the Legend Club in Milan.
DJ and television host
In 2011/2012 Zuffanti hosted the radio program Astrolabio on Yastaradio with Riccardo Storti. In 2012/2013 the same program was broadcast live by the television channel Teleliguria.