Guitarist and composer Gianfranco Continenza started to play guitar at 8 years old thanks to his father, (jazz guitarist) Nino. He studied classical guitar for 5 years before concentrating his studies on modern and jazz guitar. In 1991, he moved to Hollywood, California to attend Musicians Institute; he graduated (with a 100% score) from G.I.T. (Guitar Institute of Technology) in September 1992, after studying with such masters as Joe Diorio, Don Mock, Scott Henderson, Ron Eschéte, Howard Roberts, Peter Sprague, Gary Willis, Jennifer Batten, Steve Trovato, Jeff Berlin, Tommy Tedesco, Mike Miller and many others.
Gianfranco has performed and recorded with many world famous artists, including Bill Evans, Joe Diorio, Mark Egan, Don Mock, Bob Mintzer, John Beasley, Michael Manring, Tetsuo Sakurai, Jeff Richman, Scott Kinsey, Jamie Findlay, Barrett Tagliarino, Richard Smith, John Stowell, Marco Minnemann, Ray Rindeau, etc. He has also worked with Billy Cobham, Jimmy Bruno, Phil Upchurch, Vic Juris, Dean Brown, and Carl Verheyen.
Gianfranco is professor of Jazz Guitar at the L. D’Annunzio Conservatory of Pescara (Italy). In 1994, he founded the Contemporary Music Academy of Pescara, one of the most advanced modern schools in Europe. He teaches jazz/fusion guitar there. Since 2000 he has been writing a regular jazz guitar column on the Italian site Jazzitalia.net. Since 2009 he has been contributing jazz lessons to the popular American magazine Just Jazz Guitar, and was also interviewed in their May 2009 issue.
Gianfranco produced two solo albums; his first, “The Past Inside The Present” (2008, featuring Bill Evans and Scott Kinsey) that hit number one on the list of best 100 Jazz Guitar Albums for Tower Records USA, and was the 2nd bestselling album for ESC Records. His upcoming CD, “Face The Truth”, features Don Mock, Bob Mintzer, John Beasley, Mark Egan, Michael Manring, Tetsuo Sakurai, Walter Martino, Alessandro Centofanti, Dino D’Autorio and many others. He also appeared as a leader on two Mahavishnu Orchestra tribute albums: “Mahavishnu Re-Defined vol. 1 & vol. 2” with all-star musicians including Mark Egan, Michael Manring, John Patitucci, Billy Cobham, Dennis Chambers, Gary Husband, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Mitchell Forman.
Currently, Gianfranco is recording a CD tribute to Bruno Martino (composer of the famous standard “Estate”) by his son Walter Martino
. There’s a whole chapter dedicated to Gianfranco in the American book "Originality is Everything: a Life and a Near-death Tale of an Independent Record Label" written by John McGlasson. He performed as a leader at “Bratislava Jazz Days 2008”, one of the most important international jazz festivals in Europe.
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Easy to work with it, both for live and studio session."
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