About the album
As a migrant from southern Italy, a land of emigration, I have always felt the need to dedicate a song to this big “family” to which I think to belong: the migrants of the world. This time I have been further in composing for them a whole album written under the spell of strong emotions. When composing the ten songs, my inspiration was nourished by personal experiences, written documents, films, newspapers, but above all by my encounters with other migrants, the true witnesses of deeply human stories which were for me strongly inspiring.This is what “Nowhereland” is about: like many others, the migrant finds himself alone and lost on board of a boat on its way to a new country only known through the images of postcards and television, in which he won't be welcomed most of the time. It's not his homeland, it's a “no-where-land” where he has to live in search of a better future.“Ryork” is about the first Italian migrants embarking for America without any money, but with a bad full of dreams. It tells the true story of a young Napolitan who intends to emigrate to New York, but embarks on the wrong ship which takes him to Rio de Janeiro! In spite of this “mistake” the city pleases him and he chooses to settle there and raise a family.“Rain in my lunch-box” is about a migrant working in London who, during his lunch-break on the yard where he toils, finds nothing in his lunch-box but rain water. This work is an attempt at conveying all these stories. Improvisation is always at the heart of it, but for writing the themes i was inspired sometimes by jazz, sometimes by classical or by film music, without imposing to myself stylistic barriers. Because music is, in my opinion, very similar to the migration process: it is the result of continuous meetings and exchanges between different cultures and even different styles can coexist enriching one another to create cyclically new styles, new cultures, new migrations.
Liner notes by Guillaume de Chassy:
The artistic development of Nicola Sergio is evocative of the ripeness of a good old wine: a promising beginning and a gradual maturation, the fruit of constant work and absolute determination. A refined composer, a lyrical improviser, the pianist is good at getting together the best musicians as the bass player Stéphane Kerecki, the drumer Fabrice Moreau and the sax player Jean Charles Richard.
Here he is, for the first time as soloist, inviting us on a ten-step visit through his poetical world. Piano solo: two words implying both exigency and deliberate risk. It means challenging truth leading the soloist to reconcile two opposite qualities: the control of the hand and the capacity to letting-go, something at which he brilliantly succeeds in this work.
His beautifull sound, his melodic inspiration, his harmonic palette are here at their best. The complexity of his rythms never impair the melody, the music flows like a brook would through a meadow. His piano technic matches his inspiration, the mind remains in control of the hand and there is no gibbering, no showing off. “Cinematographic” is the term that comes to one's mind when listening to this music, so sensitive (without sentimentalism), so full of imaginary figures.
With his remarkable sensitivity and his delicate piano-playing , Nicola Sergio leads us softly and safely along his first solitary voyage. We wish him more of the same.
Migrants promo video on Youtube: Migrants
“Die künstlerische Entwicklung von Nicola Segrio ist vergleichbar mit dem Reifeprozess eines guten Weins: ein vielversprechender Anfang und ein stetiges Reifen, das Bouquet konstanter Arbeit und absolute Entschlossenheit. Als versierter Komponist, der lyrisch improvisiert, ist es dem Pianisten ein leichtes die besten Musiker für seine Zwecke zu vereinen: Stéphane Kerecki, Fabrice Moreau und Jean Charles Richard. Zum ersten Mal stellt er sich hier seinem Publikum als Solist und läd es ein, eine Reise über zehn Etappen in seine poetische Welt zu unternehmen.” Guillaume de Chassy
Nicola Sergio is a pianist/compositor/arranger. He holds a degree in Economics, as well as a diploma with honors in Classical music and Jazz music at the Conservatory of Perugia. At Conservatory he also obtained diplomas in Music Pedagogy and Music Education. In addition, he earned the “Prix Jazz” at the CNR Conservatory in Paris, city where he has been living since 2008. Sergio has received various certificates of merit in numerous competitions and festivals of classical music for young performers. He is leader of a Paris based trio bearing his own name, including two special guests, saxophonist Michael Rosen from New York and Argentine saxophonist Javier Girotto. With this project, he recorded the CD “SYMBOLS” for the Dutch label CHALLENGE RECORDS INTERNATIONAL. With the same label, he signed an exclusive contract for the production of 3 CDs. The first CD of the series is entitled Symbols, and is currently distributed in Europe, Japan and the United States. Two tracks from the album Symbols, Il Labirinto Delle Fate e Seven Six were been selected by Frédéric Charbaut for airplay on all Air France international flights. In the same year, he received numerous awards from international critics. In addition to two awards in Italian monthly magazine JAZZIT, for Best Record International (Critics Award) and Best Italian composer (Audience Award), the disc was reviewed with enthusiastically by European jazz press in : Jazzit, Jazz Music, Jazzthing,Jazzthetic, Ensuitekulturmagazin, Horeindruck, Jazzman Jazzmagazine , Piano, Netherlans Dagblad, Pianowereld, Andy Magazine, University Magazine. The album was also broadcast by many radio such as : BRF Jazztime, TSF Jazz, Jazz à FIP , Radio Aligre, Radio France Musique, Radio France Bleu, Radio Campus Paris, Radio King International, Radio Phonica, Teleradiostereo. In February 2012 Nicola Sergio recorded a new album, “ILLUSIONS”, produced by Challenge Records, with Stéphane Kerecki on bass and Fabrice Moreau on drums. Nicola has also recorded as leader a Reportage and a CD for the project “CILEA MON AMOUR” – jazz reinterpretation of major works of the composer Francesco Cilea – NAU RECORDS label, in quintet with Joe Quitzke, Stéphane Kerecki, Yuriko Kimura, Michael Rosen. In 2015 Challenge Records releases his new CD in piano solo “MIGRANTS”, inspired by the theme of migration and dedicated to all migrants in the world. Currently he also works in various projects jazz music, chamber music, pop music, and in music for film theater, projects, in which he directed the studio orchestra. He also plays in various clubs and jazz festivals in France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Netherlands.
"Sergios elegant, fluid style with many classical borrowings and analogies, and the sometimes flashing tougher jazz attacks rest upon the themes like a blueprint..."
"...this solo music is wonderfully composed and insightfully improvised."
"There's always a lot of immediate inventiveness involved. The 'division of labour' between left and right hand is phenomenal!"
Jazzthetik Best Of 2015, Stefan Pieper, Category "Latenight".
["] .. All of the above may sound pompous and possibly some sentimental , but is quite essential for the beautiful moving music to" estimate Migrants " at its true value . Nicola creates a very atmospheric picture with his soulful warm piano playing , there is much to enjoy his music , despite or perhaps partly because of the distressing subject. I have not enjoyed myself in times as with this musical pearl... Highly recommended!"