• Paolo Orlandi - Drummer

Paolo Orlandi

"Paolo has always been a gifted, swinging, sensitive drummer and all around musician. He also possesses a brilliant mind and he is a great teacher." John Patitucci

Paolo Orlandi is a jazz drummer and educator. During his career, Paolo has played with some of the most influential jazz musicians on the scene, taught university-level courses on the history and aesthetic of African-American music and lived in three continents. After the first playing experiences and the completion of his studies at the Milan-based Scuola Civica with his teacher and mentor Tony Arco, Paolo moves to New York. He will spend more than ten years there, playing with many resident musicians and teaching at the City College of New York, where he has earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance. He also advances his drums studies with Nasheet Waits, Adam Cruz, Tony Moreno and Portinho.

While in New York, Paolo collaborates with legendary bassist John Patitucci joining bands featuring the likes of John Ellis, John Coward, Gerald Clayton, Helen Sung, Gretchen Parlato, Rogerio Boccato, Dado Moroni and Myron Walden. He also plays with Anthony Wonsey, Ed Cherry, Marco Pignataro, Marco Panascia, Mike Holober, Franco Cerri among many others. As the leading drummer of the CCNY Jazz Big Band, he shares the stage with Dave Liebman and John Abercrombie.

In 2013 Paolo moves to Lebanon with his family. He is quickly offered a position as Assistant Visiting Professor at the American University of Beirut, where he spearheaded the introduction of courses such as African American and Hip-Hop music and creates his own festival, Jazz Talks, aimed at promoting musical culture among students and the Beirut community at large. This is an opportunity for him to delve into the music of the Middle East, to enrich his portfolio and to establish partnerships with some of the best musicians from the Mediterranean and Arab area.

Currently, Paolo lives with his twin daughters and wife in the Rhône-Alpes region of France, at the border with switzerland, where he keeps a successful career as a free-lance musician and carries on several projects. A member of the Milan-based Simone Daclon Trio along with bassist Marco Vaggi, he also collaborates with Grammy-nominated pianist Giovanni Ceccarelli and is the co-leader of a duo with Berlin-based saxophonist Ben Kraef. Paolo plays and endorses Canopus drums.

Current Projects

Simone Daclon Trio


Simone Daclon - Piano
Marco Vaggi - Bass
Paolo Orlandi - Drums

Ben Kraef - Paolo Orlandi duo





Academic teaching

I’ve taught history and aesthetic of African American music at the City University of New York (CCNY, CWE) and I am currently teaching at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Clinics, masterclasses and private lessons

I’ve been teaching privately drums, ensemble and masterclasses for many years. My newest idea is “Resolving Rhythm”, a project in which I try to explain rhythm in African American music blending academic discourse with performance practice



Jazz Talks

Jazz Festival in Beirut

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Contact Info

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