Giovanni Rago

Played instruments: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar

Spoken languages: Italian, English

Country: Italia



Teacher and Director of Pre-Conservatory Jazz courses Sep 2012 - present
Vivaldi Music Academy (Sapri, Italy)

• Delivering individual and paired lessons, focusing on jazz guitar, harmony, composing, ear training (20 1-hour classes per week); planning the content of lessons according to each student’s requests for specific pieces or techniques
• Teaching basic and advanced classes (20 students per class) on theory, technique, rhythmic, jazz repertoire evolution
• Developing and rolling out yearly course programmes for the whole department, based on the national curriculum
• Taking part in exam committees, writing and marking 3 exams per year (entry, mid-term, final tests)
• Organising performances for students, so they can put learning into practice and receive feedback
• Key achievements: Introduced the Berklee method, pairing technique training with a focus on the creative aspect of making music; my innovations earned the Academy recognition at a national level. Introduced ear training, to help students recognise their phrasing. Helped increase course sign-ups (from 4 to 25 students in 9 months). Wrote 5 textbooks on ear training, harmony, composition and innovation in jazz (all published in 2013 – 2014).

Head Organiser of Summer Clinics/Guitar Teacher 2014 - present
Sapri Jazz Waves clinics (8-day full immersion courses, recognised by the Italian Pre-Conservatory Association) – Sapri (Italy)
• Recruiting and managing a team of 7 teachers, in order to prepare programmes for all courses before the clinics
• Teaching daily guitar, ear training and ensemble courses (40 - 60 students per class, 3 groups based on skill level)
• Organising open-air workshops every evening, giving students opportunities to perform live at the festival
• Key achievement: Built and nurtured relationships with the organisers of other jazz festivals, leading to opportunities for talented students to book further live performances and work with renowned musicians.
Modern Guitar Teacher (self-employed private tutor; regular work with various music schools in Italy) Sep 2004 - present

• Delivering individual lessons, teaching improvisation, rhythmic and harmony (28 1-hour lessons per week)
• Planning lessons according to the students’ preferred styles (e.g. pop, rock, funk), or requests for specific techniques
• Liaising with school administrators to arrange lessons, or booking private lessons directly with students

Live Musician (rock, pop, blues, jazz guitarist) 2001 – present

• Supporting musicians and bands on regular live performances and tours: organising parts with the band leader, attending rehearsals, playing live shows booked by an agency, tour manager or the band itself
• Taking part in ad-hoc recording sessions and live shows as supporting guitarist: contributed to over 150 records from artists including Linda, Zeroassoluto, Peppino di Capri, Simone Tomassini, Mariella Nava, Luca Barbarossa
Key ongoing projects (details of other collaborations available upon request):
• Dean Bowman Quartet (rock, funk): taking part in recording and video shooting sessions; performing with the Quartet throughout the Italian tour (large venues and festivals, audiences up to 60,000 people).
• Hartmut Saam Trio (jazz): taking part in the European tour of Italy, France and Germany; directly managing contacts with venues and festivals, to book live shows in niche jazz clubs.
• Giovanni Rago Duo (own band, first album in progress): writing instrumental pieces; performing live with a pianist.

Guitar Tutor, Composer and Arranger Sep 2010 – Dec 2015
JAM (Jobs, Arts and Music) – music school, recording studio and promotion agency in Padula (Italy)

• Taught guitar lessons to emerging musicians, and supported them with the arrangement and recording of pieces
• Key achievements: My sound engineering expertise helped increase the quality of records, and develop the studio’s portfolio (from 3 to 9 projects per month within 2 months). Co-produced 20 works, generating copyright earnings.

Soundtrack Composer and Arranger Sep 2008 – Jun 2013
RAI – Italian national television network
• Composed and recorded soundtracks for feature/short films, TV commercials and documentaries (guitar section)

Music Teacher (external faculty, 20 hours per week) Oct 2008 – Jun 2009; Apr 2010 – Jun 2010
Public middle schools of Caselle in Pittari and Sapri; public high school “Carlo Pisacane”, Sapri (Italy)

• Taught Music Technology classes to pupils aged 11 - 14, focusing on the musician’s role and the practice of recording
• Delivered an educational project to pupils aged 11 – 14, composing music and playing instruments they built in class
• Delivered an educational project to disabled students aged 14 - 19, helping them compose and play music in groups

Sound Engineer and Musician Oct 2006 – Jan 2008
Groove Recording and Dubbing Studio – Roma (Italy)

• Supporting the musicians working at the studio: mixing, editing, arranging, recording and synchronising tracks
• Sourcing and operating the most appropriate sound engineering systems for each project