About Roberto...

“Completely different! Unique! Quirky and humorous with a dark side of truth lurking underneath the chuckles”. Frank Hennessy (BBC Wales);

“This song and melody were born in Roberto's heart. It is a powerful song of love which we feel within his fine playing. A very moving performance and I love it." (Danny Thompson - double bass titan and music legend);

"A charming genius! One of my all-time favourite performers." - Martin Stephenson, UK songwriting great and leader of the Daintees).

This is stuff people have said about me, and I am quite proud of it, but now I'll tell you about myself in my own words.

Roberto Cassani is my real name. I play double bass and I like stories, people and life. I was born in Milano, Italia and I was brought up in the crazy town of Rivolta d'Adda. I left many years ago and I am now based in Scotland, but my tough/wonderful/hilarious childhood and teenage years in Italy fully formed me as a person before I left.

These are times of shallow research and I suppose I struggle with the fact that there are many versions of me artistically... I started as an author and songwriter when I was barely a teenager in Italy. When I came to the U.K. I found fertile employment as a sort of comedy folk singer. I then became a session double bass player. When I’m asked, I am found playing jazz, the blues, folly stuff and every conceivable type of music in which I can squeeze a double bass. But I also write and curate musical monologues, do a bit of storytelling, do workshops with kids and constantly try to make stuff that is new and off the wall. But especially, I try my super very best to be a nice person.

I am eccentric by DNA and not by choice. It runs in the family. Being nice is a family trait as well, but it's also a constant work in progress. As it's music of course... The double bass is a magnificent instrument, which never allows you to become complacent and big-headed. Add all this to being a husband and a daddy and I have a full lifetime of work ahead of me for sure...

If you want to know about me as a person, listen to “Robertografia”, my solo monologue with double bass.

Anyway, I suppose I should speak about music. Nobody was a musician in my family, none of my friends, uncles, aunties, nobody I knew... But my cousin Stefano had a massive collection of jazz records, so I shall blame him for saving my life through music, whilst making sure I would stay poor through music...

In Italian, I seemed to have quite a gift for songwriting, so I was signed to a big record label at 17 when I was still musically very immature. They gave me a mentor, legendary jazz double bassist Giovanni Tommaso. It was thanks to Giovanni that I fell in love with the double bass, although many years would pass before I could afford to buy one...

I was a bit mischievous as a teenager, so I decided to abandon music and "do a runner"... I wanted to become a carer and look after people with a variety of complex needs. That did nothing for my knowledge of scales and arpeggios, but it made quite a difference to me humanly...and as we know, music and life are one and the same....

When I moved to the UK, I didn't speak English (plus I didn't have a penny). The latter has not changed much, but my English has picked up considerably. After a few years, I started writing songs again, but I had to perform them on my own, on guitar (which I cannot play!). Somehow, I very quickly went from playing in pubs to playing big festivals and radios all over the UK and USA, which was unexpected, and probably undeserved...

So I took a break from that and practiced the double bass haaaaard. I became a session musician with several roots and singer/songwriter acts, then I was in a folk "supergroup" called Kilmarnock Edition with some great artists (Alex Hodgson, Fiona J Mackenzie, Yvonne Lyon, Lisa Rigby and Stu Clark). We released a really good album in 2012 which you can look up if you want. We toured for a bit in the UK and Canada, then we stopped. I returned to session work, then I formed my own comedy swing-a-billy band "Roberto Cassani & the Tickety2" (with Owen Nicholson on guitar and Dave Clelland on drums), which did loads of touring and radio. There is a "Best of" available now, to substitute he two original albums that were sold out and out of print.

In 2016 and 2017 I released some solo music to experiment with being a lo-fi artist. The albums were called "Badabadoom" and "Protest Panda". As for all my albums, I did not pay for promotion (had no money for it, plus it's pointless in the long run), however, all the reviews were fantastic, which made me very pleased.

In 2018, I realised a life long dream. I worked for one full year (and a bit) with my idol, legendary double bass player Danny Thompson. Danny obviously focused on my bass playing, but most of all, he allowed me to become an artist who only does what he feels in his heart. Danny's influence is going to be lifelong, whatever I choose to do next. To start with, in 2019, I have released two albums. "Robertografia" is a favourite of Danny (and mine). I recorded in half hour at TPot studio with my friend and producer Robin Wynn Evans (my musical brother Owen Nicholson cameos on piano at the very end). It's just a wee monologue of voice and double bass. It'll never go platinum, but it's a honest, charming, funny and true autobiography. So that's that done. The other album is called "Oh!...L'Amore!" and I recorded it in a couple of days in Glasgow with another superbly talented friend and producer Andrea Gobbi. "Oh!...L'Amore!" got some astounding reviews as well. It's a nice feeling of course, but it just makes me want to do something different and better...

So, what next?...

As I said above, the double bass and the pursuit of kindness are a constant apprentiship, so if I have the good fortune of having years ahead of me, you can be sure I'll get myself into all sort of different mischief... I have some pretty crazy ideas I'm working on now, so please keep me on your radar,

Ciao.

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