Lello Molinari

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Career Highlights
  • Acoustic and electric bass player
  • Leader of the Lello Molinari Quintet
  • Coleader of the band 3Play 
  • Principal bassist, Melrose Symphony Orchestra
  • Member of the Cape Ann Symphony, Hillyer Festival Orchestra, Salem Philharmonic, and Gordon College Orchestra
  • Performances with George Garzone, Kenny Wheeler, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe Diorio, Victor Lewis, and Mike Melillo
  • Recordings include No More Mr. Nice Guy, On a Boston Night, Multiple Personalities, American Waltz with 3Play, and Chiaroscuri with the Italian Vocal Ensemble
  • Performed at national and international jazz festivals, including Umbria Jazz in Italy, Pori Jazz in Finland, Tamana Jazz Festival in Japan, Toronto Jazz Festival in Canada, and the Boston Globe Jazz Festival in Boston
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • M.M., New England Conservatory of Music
In Their Own Words

"As a teacher I believe in producing a constant creative environment, where the students can feel free to experiment without the fear of failure. I find that the fear of failure is a common and recurring issue with musicians of all levels of proficiency. But you not only learn from your mistakes, you can use them. I often play examples of the masters, like Coltrane or Miles Davis, playing what you'd technically call 'mistakes,' to show students how quickly they can turn into a musical positive. That can be very liberating."

"When students come in feeling that they don't know enough, I try to convince them that they already know a lot, and would be better off mastering whatever they already know. I tell them to master things at all levels—to strive for greatness immediately—and not wait until they 'know it all.'"

"I teach a wide range of ensembles. Instead of asking students to play 40 different tunes, I'd much rather pick a selected number of tunes with very specific challenges, so that they can memorize them. Therefore, when they do encounter something with a similar difficulty, they know what to do with it. Basically I try to teach students how to teach themselves."

"I push students as much as possible, but pride myself in assessing their limits, because I don't want them overwhelmed. Time management can be a major problem, so I try to coordinate with other teachers. If I know students have to work on arpeggio scales or chord voicing, for example, I encourage them to apply them to what we are doing. Or if they have to analyze a melody, why not a melody that we are doing in the ensemble? The idea is for theoretical classes to help the performing classes."

"Music is a journey without an arrival point, so we have to enjoy the trip. If they're not having fun in their practice, rehearsals, and performances, students will have a hard time achieving the freedom that will allow their music to reach any substantial artistic value."