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Enrico Rava, Italy's Gift to Jazz

Jazz saved Enrico Rava's life. That's what the 66-year-old, self-taught trumpet player likes to say. It allowed him to follow a path away from his family's shipping business, a prospect he dreaded.

With a distinctive style that's part Miles Davis, part Chet Baker, he's now a musical legend in his native Italy.

Discovered in the jazz clubs of Turin, Rava went on to play avant-garde jazz in New York in the 1960s with saxophonist Steve Lacy.

He returned to Italy in 1977, where he has become a national celebrity and a mentor to young jazz musicians.

Rava and his quintet were recently back in the States for a show at New York City's famed Birdland. Rava spoke there about his musical influences, European attitudes toward jazz and finding harmony in music and life.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tom Vitale

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