Among the historical exponents of Italian jazz, Franco Cerri (1926 - 2021) following a self-taught training began his professional career alongside Gorni Kramer and the Quartetto Cetra. In the first part of his career, Franco Cerri also played the double bass, so much so that he was requested much more often in this role than in that of guitarist. At the end of the fifties he recorded some songs in which, flanked by the drummer Gianni Cazzola, he played both the guitar and the double bass. In November 1958 in Milan, in the role of double bass player, Franco Cerri, together with the pianist Mal Waldron and Gene Victory on drums, accompanies the American singer Bill Holiday, on stage at the Teatro Gerolamo in Milan.
In the same period he began his long career as an actor, dancer, presenter and musician in RAI broadcasts. In the seventies he forms a quartet in which, among others, the drummer Tullio De Piscopo and the double bass player Giorgio Azzolini militate. In addition to including in its numerous groups young musicians such as Dado Moroni, Gianluigi Trovesi and Nando De Luca, the Milanese guitarist has collaborated over the years with important foreign and Italian musicians: Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Chet Baker, Stephane Grappelli, Barney Kessel, Lee Konitz, Flavio Ambrosetti, Nicola Arigliano, Tony Scott, Martial Solal, George Benson and many others.
In the eighties he started a long collaboration with the pianist Enrico Intra, with whom he founded and directed i Civic Jazz Courses in Milan, among the most important educational institutes in Europe.
A melodically elegant musician with a technically peculiar and never overwhelming approach to the guitar, Franco Cerri during his career has divided himself with excellent qualitative results between jazz and pop music, holding numerous concerts and making as many studio recordings.
Essential discography: Franco Cerri (1964 – Columbia), La Sera A Casa Con Te (1965 – CGD), Metti Una Sera Cerri (1973 – Music Superstereo De Luxe), From Cathetus To Cicero (1975 – Malobbia), Demoiselle (1979 – Dire), Di Jazz in Jazz (1990 – Dire), Franco Cerri & Gianni Basso (1998 – Fonola), Bossa with Strings (2010 – Blue Serge), Barber Shop (2014 – Abeat Records)