"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."
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 Scuola Civica with Tony Arco in Milano, Paolo moves to New York. He will spend more than ten years in New York, playing with many resident musicians and eventually starting teaching at the City College of New York, where he has previously earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance. He also continues his drums studies with Nasheet Waits, Adam Cruz, Tony Moreno and Portinho. Paolo’s drumming has often been employed by John Patitucci, who has hired him to play in groups featuring the likes of John Ellis, John Coward, Gerald Clayton, Helen Sung, Gretchen Parlato, Rogerio Boccato, Dado Moroni and Myron Walden. He has also played with Anthony Wonsey, Franco Cerri, Marco Pignataro, Alessio Menconi, Dave Liebman, Mike Holober, Roberto Tarenzi, Marco Panascia, the CCNY Jazz Big Band and many others. He is a member of the Milano-based Simone Daclon trio along with bassist Marco Vaggi and a frequent collaborator of Grammy-nominated pianist Giovanni Ceccarelli and Berlin-based saxophonist Ben Kraef. He has played at Umbria Jazz Winter, “Art After Five” series at the Philadelphia Museum of Arts, International Jazz Festival of Guatemala, Peperoncino Jazz Festival, Berchidda “Time in Jazz”, Italian Jazz Graffiti, International Jazz Day in Beirut “Beirut Speaks Jazz”, Boston WBGH-Radio, New York WBGO-Radio, CUNY Jazz Festival, Cornelia Street Cafe, 55 Bar, and many other venues in Europe, US, and the Middle East. In 2013, Paolo moves to Beirut with his wife and twin daughters. In Lebanon, he keeps playing and touring while holding a position as Visiting Assistant Professor in Fine Arts at the American University of Beirut. Paolo endorses Canopus drums.
“Paolo Orlandi plays with a true mastery of the drums and a deep and soulful connection with the music. His musicianship and feeling come from a real understanding of the jazz tradition and a remarkable sense of freedom and creativity, unique only to great musicians.”
Marco Pignataro, Managing Director @Berklee Global Jazz Institute
“I have had the pleasure of knowing , teaching , performing with and watching Paolo Orlandi develop over many years now. He has always been a gifted , swinging , sensitive, drummer and all around musician. He also posesses a brilliant mind and is a great teacher . In the many decades i have taught , he is on top of my list for all around greatest former student. The proof is that i have used him to play with me in concerts on various occasions over the years. He ALWAYS makes me proud of who he has always been and who he is becoming!”
“Paolo is a musician who really listens, I always enjoy very much playing with him. I love his touch on the drums, and that truly makes the difference!”
“Every teacher in any field hopes that, sooner or later, that "special" student will show up, usually looking and thinking like an older guy in the body of a kid. Alan Dawson had Tony Williams, Joe Morello had Danny Gottlieb, and the list goes on.....In my case my "special one" has been Paolo Orlandi. Right away I knew that he would eventually join the musical world at the highest level. He has talent, smartness, and dedication (never failed a lesson). I'm proud to see that I was not wrong.”