Best characterized as a versatile and reliable sideman, his resume is a “who’s who” of jazz and pop legends “Emi” Emiliano Vernizzi is one of the most in-demand and versatile saxophonists on the international music scene. He also leads and co-leads several original projects marked by a blend of influences, ranging from post-bop, European jazz and avant-garde to funk, hip-hop, American roots, rock and pop.
Emi was awarded the National Youth Contest of Verbania (IT) in 2000, listed by TopJazz for his work as co-leader of the acclaimed jazz project Pericopes: which won first prize of both the Umbria Jazz Contest and Padova Carrarese (presided by Paolo Fresu). He obtained his M.S. in Jazz Music (cum laude) from Parma, attended seminars by John Taylor, Gideon Levensohn, Steve Coleman, Graham Collier, Barry Harris, Giorgio Gaslini, Berklee Clinics of Boston and continued private studies in New York with luminaries Walt Weiskopf, Dave Liebman, Joel Fraham and Melissa Aldana.
During his career, Emi is credited on more than 30 recordings and toured across the USA and Europe dozens of times performing at prestigious venues including: Blue Note (Milan, IT), Sunset / Sunside (Paris, FR), Stockwerk (Graz, AU), The Blue Lamp (Aberdeen, UK), ShapeShifter (NYC), Chris’ Jazz Cafe (Philadelphia, USA), The Maison (New Orleans, USA), Jazz Dock (Prague, CZ), and The Jazz Bar (Edinburgh, UK). He’s also graced the stage of many festivals, including Gateshead International Jazz Festival (UK), Jazz on5 Festival (CZ), UNESCO International Jazz Day (FR), Graz Jazz Nacht (AU), Burg Jazz (DE), Summer Fest (San Francisco, USA), Umbria Jazz (IT), Jamboree (IT) to name a few.
During a period in Italy, Emi collaborated with: the Civica Jazz Band (guest artists Eddie Daniels, David Raksin, Dave Liebman, Max Roach, Bobby Watson, David Murray, Evan Parker, Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava) and Bobby Durham, Paul Jeffrey, Steve Grossman, Tommy Campbell, Fabrizio Bosso, Gianni Cazzola, Roberto Gatto.
In 2010, while living temporarily in New York City, Emi began to collaborate with an American band led by guitarist Izzy Zaidman. They’ve recorded four studio albums and traveled almost every state of US and Europe.
In 2012 he expanded Pericopes into a successful trans-Atlantic trio with NYC-based drummer Nick Wight. Coined Pericopes+1, the trio (co-led by Vernizzi and Alessandro Sgobbio’s pragmatic and artistic vision) has made a strong impression to audiences and media on both sides of the Atlantic. Famed American magazine DownBeat described it as “Modern jazz that’s heavy on intelligent melody and spirited improvisation” and Dave Liebman added, “These guys have a history to be sure”.
Currently Emiliano still stays busy as a sideman from freelance jazz, theatre performances (for example American poet Jack Hirschman), to pop and entertainment productions such as his newest collaboration with the international Italian superstar, Ligabue, who uses to perform 150,000 audience record for concert. As a composer his commissions include soundtracks for short movies (Civica Cinema, Milan), commercial DVD (Pagani Zonda for Motor&Life magazine and Japanese Rosso), and radio programs (RaiTrade, Rai Radio Uno).
He is currently Professor of Jazz Saxophone at Music Conservatory of Parma (Italy).