South African bassist/composer Carlo Mombelli started his professional playing career in the band of one of South Africa’s most important jazz guitarists, the late Johnny Fourie. In 1985 Carlo started the group ‘Abs- tractions’, developing and performing his original compositions at weekly gigs in downtown Johannesburg clubs like Jameson’s and Kippies, as well as a weekly midnight solo bass set at the Black Sun in Berea. His band Abstractions recorded for Shifty records.
Carlo has since recorded and performed at many festivals around the world, including the Rome International Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival, the Stockholm Jazz Festival, the Moers and the ‘Leipziger Jazztage’ festi- vals in Germany, as well as the Paris Banlieues Bleues festival, with Egber- to Gismonti, Lee Konitz, Mick Goodrick, Charlie Mariano, and the ‘Ethel String Quartet’, amongst others.
Back home he can be heard as a bassist on many South African recordings with Tony Cox, Johnny Fourie, Tlale Makhene, Zim Ngqawana, Marcus Wyatt, Simphiwe Dana, Sibongile Khumalo and Miriam Makeba, to name but a few. Besides the many ballets that have been choreographed to his music, he has also recorded several CDs and DVDs of his own works and has been nominated three times for a SAMA (South African Music Awards).
He has given composition and performance workshops around the world, from the Munich Richard Strauss Conservatory to the ‘Berklee College of Music’ in Boston, USA. Carlo’s book ‘Mombelli’s Intergalactic Bass Program – Volume 1’ 2011, is published by Real African Publishers, Johannesburg.
Carlo currently teaches jazz studies and composition at The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Johannesburg, where he received his doctorate in composition (DMus) in 2009.
Carlo Mombelli @ JIMF 2014
31 January 2014, Cinema Improvisando