A look at del Ferro’s worldly musical outlook, and how he has helped the development of jazz internationally, in some farflung locations.
Mike del Ferro has performed in over 100 countries, which when you look at his resume and musical background, might not be that surprising after all!
The son of Leonardo del Ferro, the noted post-War opera singer, Mike’s early schooling in classical music undoubtedly paved the way for him to become the musician he is today, and to be as comfortable with so many different genres. It is not an exaggeration to say that Mike has dabbled in everything from salsa to Dixieland and back again, and has usually excelled while doing so.
Although he has undoubtedly made his mark as a performer over the years, since finishing his extensive musical studies in the mid-1990s, he is also known for the commendable contributions he has made to music off the stage. As the director of American Voices, he has led jazz programmes around the world to impoverished countries such as Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Myanmar and Latvia. There are also tours planned in the West Africa and South America regions, as the initiative really takes off as a force for good around the globe.
The desire to pass on his love of music to others clearly has appeal for Mike, who taught jazz piano at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent in the mid-1990s.
Recordings, Musical Collaborators and a Dip into Indian Classical
Mike has recorded his musical talent, most notably in the 1998 album ‘Make Someone Happy’, with the help of long-time musical accomplice, Toots Thielemans. It is an album of ballads which, while not representing the full extent of Mike’s considerable musical scope, does capture some of his best skills.
Fellow performers he has played alongside include Jack DeJohnette, Scott Hamilton, Thijs van Leer, Jan Akker, Benny Bailey, Fernanda Porto, and Stian Carstensen, among others. He has been a valued ‘sideman’ on more than 20 albums released by his contemporaries, underlining his versatility.
Mike’s ambitious musical outlook has really come to the fore in recent times – he was one of the headliners at the Sharjah World Music Festival, where he tried his hand at Indian classical music, alongside fellow Dutch musicians Jeroen Vierdag and Bruno Castelluci.
Mike has a steady stream of dates coming up in his native Netherlands – including in Rotterdam, Leiden and Haps – as well as a more exotic assignment at the Quartier Latin in Pétionville, Haiti.