Born in Rome on 6th October 1958, his professional debut dates back to 1975 with Trio di Roma (Danilo Rea, Enzo Pietropaoli). He has been playing all over the world and Europe with his own groups as well as with international artists. In addition to a refined timbre research and a perfect technique, the groups under his name are characterized by a warmth which is peculiar to Mediterranean culture. This undoubtedly makes Roberto Gatto one of the most interesting drummers and composers both in Europe and in the world.
He surely is the most renowned Italian drummer abroad, boasting important collaborations with artists inside and outside the jazz world. Many are his collaborations as sideman : Chet Baker, Freddy Hubbard, Lester Bowie, Gato Barbieri, Kenny Wheeler, Randy Brecker, Enrico Rava, Ivan Lins, Vince Mendoza, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joey Calderazzo, Bob Berg, Steve Lacy, Johnny Griffin, George Coleman, Dave Liebman, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Grossman, Lee Konitz, Barney Wilen, Ronnie Cuber, Sal Nastico, Michael Brecker, Jed Levy, George Garzone, Tony Scott, Paul Jeffrey, Bill Smith, Joe Lovano, Curtis Fuller, Kay Winding, Albert Mangeldorff, Cedar Walton, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Kirkland, Stefano Bollani, Mal Waldron, Ben Sidran, Enrico Pieranunzi, Dave Kikosky, Franco D’Andrea, John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Billy Cobham, Bobby Hutcherson, Didier Lockwood, Richard Galliano, Christian Escoudè, Joe Zawinul, Bireli Lagrene, Palle Danielsonn, Scott Colley, Eddie Gomez, Giovanni Tommaso, Paolo Damiani, Emmanuel Bex, Pat Metheny, Adam Rogers, Rita Marcotulli, Niels Henning Pedersen, Mark Turner, Lew Tabackin, Chris Potter, Mike Moreno, Dado Moroni.
As a leader, he has recorded many albums: Notes, Ask, Luna, Jungle Three, Improvvisi, Sing Sing Sing, Roberto Gatto plays Rugantino, Deep, Traps, Gatto-Stefano Bollani Gershwin and more, A Tribute to Miles Davis Quintet, Omaggio al Progressive, The Music Next Door, Roberto Gatto Lysergic Band, Remebering Shelly.
Over the years he has composed film music, creating together with Maurizio Giammarco the soundtrack for “Nudo di donna” directed by Nino Manfredi, and in collaboration with Battista Lena the soundtracks for the films “Mignon è partita”, which got five David di Donatello awards, “Verso sera” and “Il grande cocomero”, all directed by Francesca Archibugi.
In 1983 he was number one in the monthly magazine Fare Musica poll as best Italian drummer. In 1983 and 1987 with the group Lingomania he was the Top Jazz poll winner of the magazine Musica Jazz in the Best group category. In 1988, 1989, 1990 he came first in the drummer category of “Your favourites” Guitar Club poll. In 2007, 2009 and 2010 he was voted as thebest drummer in the Musica Jazz poll. In 1993 he made two didactic videos “Batteria vol. 1 e 2”. He was the artistic director of the Jazz in progress project at Teatro dell’Angelo in Rome. For over twelve years he taught drums and ensemble music at the Siena Jazz seminaries. He attended Santa Cecilia Conservatoryin Rome and the Conservatory in L’Aquila. He holds the chair of jazz drums at Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome.
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