Life as a Session Pianist at Musiversal

Professional Session Musician at Musiversal, Marco Cremaschini

Hello! My name is Marco Cremaschini. I’m an Italian pianist and keyboard player, and I’ve been a session man at Musiversal for about a year. 🎹

I’m writing to share with you my experiences as part of the innovative company that is Musiversal. 💡

My music background

I touched a piano for the first time when I was five. You could say it was love at first sight, and I took advantage of every occasion to make hideous sounds on two tiny little keys. I wasn’t very good until I became decent, and my zeal has lasted for years. The people who showed me the piano doomed me to a lifetime of passion and zero interest in anything but music.  

Over the years, I’ve been a self-taught artist who preferred to “steal” techniques and inspiration from those who were better than me, hoping that the student would become the teacher one day. Given the fact that I’m now a modern piano teacher at the “L’Altrosuono” school in Brescia, Italy, you could say that I kinda made it.  

When I’m not performing, composing, recording music in my studio, or using the piano as brain food, you may find me cooking actual food and cycling around the country to work it off.

How I got here

I studied harmony and jazz improvisation with R.Cipelli and M.Piacentini, perfecting my style under the tutelage of F.Donatoni and F.D’Andrea at Milan’s CPM and at Conservatorio Luca Marenzio in Brescia.

I then participated in several modern music seminars at “Siena Jazz” with P.Fresu and Cremona’s L’Arci with Han Bennink.  Besides performing with various jazz formations, I’ve accompanied numerous artists of varying musical genres (Jazz, Pop, Rock, Salsa, Bossanova, etc.), accumulating substantial experience in accompaniment, improvisation, and performance.

I’ve played with more musicians than I can list here but among them are: Larry Thompson (Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald ), Fulvio Sigurtà (who played on Jamie Cullum’s Interlude). Lisa Marie Simmons, Simone Boffa, Anna Maria Castelli, Tempo Rei, Alan Farrington, Lisa Bell, Cheryl Porter, V.Abeni, G.Bombardieri, R.Bonisolo, A.Farrington, S.Gibellini, S.Guiducci, Rosa Emilia, A.Peli, M.Slaviero. The Italo-Cubano group “Raiz Latina” and the recording label “Looking Forward” as composer, pianist, and arranger, working with singer A.Gotti, with whom I recorded the c.d. “Ordinary Woman”.  I’ve also played with the quartet of guitarist Luciano Poli (C.D.’s “Chiacchiere” and “Off Topic”); and many jazz and soul vocalists (Silvia Dalla Noce, Blue Sisters, Key Foster Jackson, Jenny B. Cheryl Porter, Miles Simmons, and others.)  

In 2005 I released my second album with the O.T. Trio (Organ, Guitar, and Drums). In 2013 I played keys on the American singer/ songwriter Lisa Bell’s album ‘The Italian Project’.

Musiversal Session Pianist Marco Cremaschini's baby grand piano 

Currently, I am the producer, composer, and pianist/keyboard player of both albums for my band Hippie Tendencies and my most recent project NoteSpeak. 

January 2020 found me in India presenting my new project, NoteSpeak, in anticipation of its March 13th release on our USA label Ropeadope Records, in clubs in Verona, Austria, and then off to Prague for the International Jazz Festival. We finished up the tour on the Music Stage at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India. We were all thrilled with the live audiences’ response to the project, and exceptionally pleased with the 4-star review the iconic Downbeat magazine gave the album…

…but then the pandemic arrived and changed all of our lives.

Like all of the musicians around the world, I was hit hard. We adapted. I spent the time promoting NoteSpeak through lockdown videos and composing for new projects.

On Facebook one day, I saw an ad for Musiversal. I was immediately intrigued and went to check it out.

Why is Musiversal innovative?

The process to become a session musician for Musiversal was rigorous and immediately convinced me of the seriousness with which they had set up the company as well as the esteem in which they hold their musicians

It was apparent from the get-go that they were “musician-friendly” and eager to help us navigate their fresh vision of playing sessions in live time. Remote recording has been notably clunky up to now.

With their approach finally, recording live works seamlessly. It took a minute to learn the ropes, but the hands-on Musiversal staff was with me all of the way. Staff doesn’t even seem to me to be the right word; it honestly felt like a family from the start, so let’s say team!

Everyone on the Musiversal team is very informal and friendly despite the meticulous planning and seriousness necessary to bring all of the pieces together to make music in this inventive fashion. 

A day in the life at Musiversal

One of the many great things about this platform is taking on the hours that work best for me. I typically work in the afternoons from 2:00pm until 6:00pm and thus far have collaborated on hundreds of projects.

The variety is one of the best parts, that and the people. Music is infinite; there is always more to learn; I’ve loved digging into genres that I haven’t focused on previously and working with eager people from all around the globe.

I call Musiversal innovative because of this approach to recording live. It is a whole different ball game when you can be in the same “room” with the people you are working with, and in this fashion, it’s possible to work with a wide variety of cultures, musical styles, and mentalities, right from my home studio. Navigating new methods of recording as I work with different approaches has been a rich learning experience.

Musiversal Session Pianist Marco Cremaschini's home recording studio

I have many repeat clients, and it’s exciting to develop a rapport musically as well as friendly relationships. The first time we meet is always an adventure. I need to be open to bringing out different approaches looking for the desired results; it’s the best kind of challenge, then the more I meet with each client, the easier it is just to jump right in, as I know exactly what they are looking for.  

I believe that Musiversal will continue to grow at a tremendous rate as more and more musicians see the myriad benefits of working in this manner. The opportunities for growth and creativity are enormous because of the immediacy of influences from around the world, as I mentioned previously. Having a steady pay-check coming in whilst doing what you love most sure doesn’t hurt either!

Life is full of inspiration. It can come from the most mundane things or the most brilliant thoughts―but it always comes in different forms. I believe in using the piano as a single instrument capable of expressing every human emotion – from the excitement of nailing a new pasta recipe to a general state of annoyance with the world.

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Musiversal!

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