A vocalist with a jazz background, Diana Torto has worked with: Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Anders Jormin, Chris Laurence, Palle Danielsson, Louis Sclavis, Danilo Rea, Enrico Rava, Paolo Fresu, Eric Vloeimans, Vince Mendoza, Mike Stern, Steve Coleman, Hugo Wolf String Quartet, Altenberg Trio, Uri Caine, Enrico Pieranunzi, Stefano Battaglia, Nguyên Lê, Gianluigi Trovesi, Javier Girotto, Alfredo Impullitti, The WDR big band, the Metropole Orchestra, and the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, etc.
She has performed concerts, besides Italy, in France, Switzerland, England, Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Holland, Luexmbourg and she taken part in several international festivals like: Grenoble, Bordeaux, Le Mans, Jerusalem Jazz Festival, Topad Jazz Festival in Wroclaw, Umbria Jazz Winter 2, Lucca, Noci, Roccella Jonica (several editions), Montepulciano’s Cantiere Internazionale D’Arte, Rome’s Villa Celimontana and Massenzio, Pescara Jazz, Parma Jazz Frontiere, Vicenza Jazz, Iseo Jazz; and has performed in prestigious music venues such as Tel Aviv’s Opera House, Vicenza’s Teatro Olimpico, Milan’s Piccolo Teatro, Roma’s Parco Auditorium della Musica etc.
Diana Torto teaches singing and vocal improvisation at the music conservatories of Milano, Bologna, Parma and Pescara as well as at the Accademia Musicale Pescarese, and she also holds several vocal master classes in Italy & abroad.
In 1996 she won as lead vocalist the ISMEZ competition to join the Is Ensemble Orchestra conducted by Paolo Damiani and she started to perform concerts in Italy and abroad. That same year she also performed Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts as a solo soprano in the production of Palermo’s OMC-Orchestra Musica Contemporanea. More recently, together with the Paolo Damiani Ensemble’s Ladybird was awarded the second prize as best Italian record in the 2004 Top Jazz poll of “Musica Jazz” magazine. And with the same ensemble the CD Al tempo che verrà was voted, best CD of the year 2007 from “Musica Jazz”, as well as “Jazz Magazine”.
Seven years ago she started a regular and succesfull collaboration with Kenny Wheeler, whom she joined on the stages of Verona, Prato, Modena and and several other cities in Italy and abroad United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Norway, Luxemburg, Israel, etc., being highly appreciated by both critics and audience.
She also participated in the first Italian performance of Wheeler’s Suite 2005 at Modena’s Teatro Comunale.
In 2006 she performed and recorded new works with Kenny Wheeler and the Metropole Orchestra in Holland conducted by Vince Mendoza. In August 2006 she took part with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler in a new project with jazz quartet and string quartet project performing Taylor’s and Wheeler’s original works. The first performance of this project was held at the prestigious Sorrento Festival, and then presented at Bremen’s Jazzahead Festival in March 2007 and in Novembre 2008 at the Topad Jazz Festival in Wroclaw receiving critical acclaim.
In February 2009 and in March 2011 she participated at two broadcasting productions for the German radio with the prestigious WDR big band and she recorded new scores and arrangements for big band composed by the great Anglo-Canadian composer.
In 2010 with the Kenny Wheeler 80th birthday Big Band project, featuring John Taylor, Evan Parker, Ray Warleigh, Chris Laurence, Martin France and many others superb English musicians welcomed Kenny Wheeler on stage on the occasion of the trumpet player’s 80th birthday tour in UK with several concerts all around the country.
Since 2005 she also started to play regularly in duo with the pianist John Taylor: natural result of the previous bands the duo shows in a perfect way the fantastic interplay, the freedom, the delicate intimacy as well as the incredible energetic power of these two musicians. As Kenny Wheeler was saying listening a concert of them: «you should call this band “Go anywhere duo”!».
In September 2009 two new recordings of Diana Torto were released: her first CD – Triangoli – where she is co-leading the band together with John Taylor and Anders Jormin and a big band CD with new arrangements by Kenny Wheeler: 19 + 1.
A special place in Diana’s career is the collaboration with the prestigious WDR big band, started in 2009. Besides the two Wheeler’s productions already mentioned, she was also involved in March 2010 in a project commissioned by the WDR – Close Encounters – in which together with John Taylor and the WDR big band she was performing and broadcasting in an orchestral version some pieces of the duo repertoire as well as new compositions written for the occasion by John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler and in April 2011 she was once again invited to participate to the production Antiche Danze e Canti Italiani, involving also the WDR Rundfunk Orchestra. Her performance was receiving a standing ovation and a full critical acclaim and she has been immediately invited for a new project conceived on her vocal talent and skills for the fall 2012.
Diana Torto is the only musician invited by the WDR big band for five different productions in the short period of three years time.
Further commitments in 2011 are previewing: In May, Diana Torto & John Taylor will be performing at the Wigmore Hall in London for the new jazz series, directed by Brad Mehldau; in Juy she has been invited in Canada at the Ottawa Jazz Festival together with Kenny Wheeler, Jon Irabagon and Myra Melford; in August the debut performance of a new band Nèa Quartet, together with John Taylor, Palle Danielsson and Francesco Sotgiu and she will be also performing in Italy a big band concert with Kenny Wheeler with first world performances of new pieces by Wheeler and in October 2011 she toured with Triangoli band in Germany.
Sligo International Summer School & Jazz Festival 19-24 July 2016