Andrea was born in Viareggio (Lucca, Italy) on July 26, 1965. Mentioned on Wikipedia in 5 languages and in many other music books and encyclopedias, he began to study music and trumpet in 1975 in the wind ensemble of his village Torre del Lago Puccini with some musicians close to Dean Benedetti, the famous italo-american jazz saxophonist mentioned in all official Charlie Parker biographies.
In 1979, at the age of 14, Andrea started working locally with some professional big bands and commercial music groups, and in 1981 he began performing professionally in the classical music field too, while simultaneously attending the Conservatory at the "Istituto Musicale Pareggiato L. Boccherini" in Lucca (Italy). In 1987 Andrea finished his Conservatory studies with highest full marks, graduating cum laude. That same year he studied with Armando Ghitalla (soloist trumpet with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and teacher at the University of Michigan) and consolidated his jazz studies with O. Valdambrini and S. Fanni, trumpet soloists of the RAI Television Orchestras in Rome and Milan.
In the jazz music field, Andrea has performed with great jazz musicians like Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band (in Italy, London and United States 2000/03/05/06), Randy Brecker and Claudio Roditi (Luxemburg Trumpet Summit 2007, ITG 2012), Peter Erskine (1996 Italian Tour), Gino Vannelli (Italian Tours 2012 and 2016), Kenny Wheeler, Tom Harrell, Paul Jeffrey, Dave Liebman, Steve Swallow, Eric Marienthal, Brad Leali, Butch Miles, Carmen Bradford, Dusko Gojkovich, Frank Foster, Till Brönner, New York Voices, Valery Ponomarev, Carl Anderson, Lee Konitz, John Taylor, Palle Daniellson, Denis DiBlasio, Lew Soloff as well as the greatest italian jazzmen like Enrico Rava, Bruno Tommaso, Massimo Nunzi, Paolo Fresu, Gianni Basso, Stefano Bollani, Giorgio Gaslini, Gianluigi Trovesi, Henghel Gualdi and many others.
He performed as soloist and/or lead trumpet also with the Atlanta Seventeen Big Band, Joe Gransden Big Band, Rowan University Big Band, New England Jazz Ensemble, San Diego State University Jazz Band, RCC Wind Ensemble Honor Band, Upland HS Jazz Band, Deer Valley HS Jazz Band (USA), Radio Big Band RTS Belgrade (Serbia), Sandvika Storband (Norway), Yuzo Kataoka All-Star Big Band (Japan), Ralph Pyl’s All-Star Big Band (Australia), Luxembourg Jazz Orchestra, Opus78 Big Band, Harmonie Bascharage (Luxemburg), Dani Felber Big Band, SMZ Big Band, ZHdK Big Band (Switzerland), Jazzorchester Karlsruhe (Germany) and Dizzy Boyz Brass Band (Poland), Paradiso Big Band (France).
On September 20th, 2006, he has been invited to perform as soloist at the “Maynard Ferguson Tribute” at the Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis (Usa), now released also in dvd (2007) and since 2009 he is part of the Yamaha European Trumpet All Star group performing the “Bill Chase Tribute” all around the world.
Moreover, in 2014 Andrea accepted to join the authoritative “Board of Directors” of the International Trumpet Guild and has been elected until 2019 by official votation of the ITG international members, then confirmed again until 2021 in the Advisory Council. He performed as soloist at the ITG Conferences in 2008 (Banff Center, Canada), 2010 (Sidney, Australia) and 2012 (Columbus University, Georgia, USA), 2015 (Columbus, Ohio, USA) and 2019 (Miami, Florida, USA). In 2018 he joins the team of artists/clinicians of the "World & European Brass Association" founded by Otto Sauter, based in Germany with worldwide concerts.
In 2008 he received the Visa O-1 for Extraordinary Ability in the Arts from the United States of America Government.
In 1999 Andrea recorded his first solo CD entitled "Mattia's Walk & Tribute to Maynard Ferguson" released by the Italian label Splasc(H) Records. His second solo CD, "Ricordo di...Napoli" a tribute to Neapolitan Italian music, was released by the Italian label, Fonotecnica, in 2001. During his USA 2005 Tour he recorded with the Artisan Brass the “Romantic Celebration” suite for jazz trumpet and brass quintet, dedicated to him by the Grammy-Nominated composer Brent Pierce. In 2008, the italian classical composer Antonio Giacometti dedicated to him the soloist part of “Antarctica”, symphonic poem for soloist trumpet and wind ensemble. In 2010 new recordings have been released: his new CD “Flamingo” (ACM Records, USA) recorded at the LMP Studios in Claremont (CA, USA) and the “Earth Games 2012” suite (Summit Records, USA), dedicated to him by the italian composer Nicola Ferro. In 2020 the new album “OperiAmo”, containing jazz elaborations of Giacomo Puccini’s most famous arias, has been released in duo with pianist Riccardo Arrighini.
The “More Than Just Friends” cd recorded with the Dani Felber Big Band (Switzerland) won the prestigious “Swiss Jazz Award” in 2009, while the “Portrait of Dani” album, released by Dani Felber in 2015 and including Andrea’s solo performance of the “This is For My Friend Andrea Tofanelli” composition, won a Platinum Record in Switzerland.
As session man, Andrea has recorded more of 500 albums from Pop to Jazz and soundtracks, many of them winners of Golden and Platinum Records in Italy and above.
About videos and movies, Andrea appeares as a trumpet player in the Italian movie “Le ragazze di San Frediano”, and plays in the pop music videos “Lorenzo, Raccolto 1997” (Polygram), “Pavarotti & Friends 2000, For Cambodia and Tibet” (Decca), “Ti Adoro” with Pavarotti (2003) and also in the “Maynard Ferguson Tribute Concert” jazz dvd (2007). On 2008 has be released in Italy the “Jazz Istruzioni per L’Uso” dvd, where he performs as soloist. On 2009 he appeared playing soloist and lead trumpet in all the 12 dvds of the “La Grande Storia del Jazz” collection released by the Espresso-Repubblica magazine.
He recorded a lot of soundtracks for Italian movies, and also composed and performed the original soundtrack for the Italian movie “Il Segreto degli Alberi” (2012) together with pianist R. Arrighini.
He also has been performing in Italy in many RAI, MEDIASET, LA7, TMC and SKY networks TV shows (more than 100 to date) and recorded several TV commercials for some of the most elite recording studios in Italy.
Starting from 2006 he collaborates with the Paul Anka orchestra, both in Europe (European Tours 2007 and 2008) and in the USA, and performed with Gino Vannelli in his Italian Tours 2012 and 2016.
In Italy, Andrea has accompanied many famous artists from all over the world including big names such as George Michael ("Pavarotti & Friends for Cambodia and Tibet 2000," released on video and CD by Decca), Burt Bacharach, Joe Cocker, Tom Jones, Michael Bublè, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gloria Gaynor (Italian Tours from 2003 to 2010), Carl Anderson, Randy Crawford, Amy Stewart, Donna Summer, Matt Bianco, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, The Gibson Brothers, Samantha Fox, Imagination, Patrick Hernandez, Tony Hadley, Paul Young and Petula Clark. He has also performed and/or recorded as lead trumpet and soloist with a rainbow of very famous Italian artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, Jovanotti, Fiorello, Adriano Celentano, Claudio Baglioni, Gianni Morandi, Renato Zero, Elio e le Storie Tese, Demo Morselli Big Band Orchestra, Antonella Ruggiero, Toto Cutugno, YuYu, Irene Grandi, Fausto Leali, Articolo 31, Gino Paoli, Tullio De Piscopo, Ivana Spagna, Andrea Mingardi, Francesco Baccini, Dirotta su Cuba, Rossana Casale, Jenny B. and with some of the most important italian jazz big bands as the Demo Morselli Big Band (Rome), Torino Jazz Orchestra (Turin), Barga Jazz Big Band (Lucca), Massimo Nunzi Orchestra Operaia and JIPU Big Band (Rome), PMJO Parco della Musica Jazz Orchestra (Rome), PM Jazz Lab (Rome), Paolo Tomelleri Big Band (Milan), Antonella Ruggiero Big Band (Pesaro), Friuli-Venezia-Giulia Big Band (Udine), Vincenzo Genovese Big Band, Guacamaya Big Band (Florence), Sardinia Jazz Orchestra (Sassari), Paolo Tomelleri Big Band (MI), All Times Big Band (Perugia), New Sugar Kitty’s Big Band (Piacenza), Di Gregorio Big Band (Pesaro), Bansigu Big Band (Genoa), Gerardo Di Lella Big Band (Rome), Biba Band (Milan), “Italian Youth Jazz Orchestra” (Siena).
About classical music, in 1988 Andrea won the national auditions for the European and Italian tour of the "Orchestra Giovanile Italiana" (Italian Youth Orchestra) as well as the "Teatro Comunale del Giglio" of Lucca, and he was selected as a finalist in Rome for the ECYO (European Community Youth Orchestra). In 1989 he fulfilled his military compulsory service playing in the Italian Air Force Band in Rome. He still collaborates with some prestigious Italian symphonic orchestras as the “Orchestra Regionale Toscana”, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, the “Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Emilia-Romagna A. Toscanini”, the “Orchestra Filarmonica del Teatro Regio di Torino”, the “EUR Spettacoli” and the “Orchestra da Camera Lucchese.”
From jazz to classical to pop music, Andrea has performed in the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, Norway, England, Germany, Luxemburg, Norway, Poland, Malta, Sweden, Finland, France, Russia, Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Scotland, Poland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Serbia, Hungary, Egypt and Principato of Monaco.
He partecipated to many important international festivals as the “North Sea Jazz Festival” in Rotterdam, “Japan Band Clinic” in Hamamatsu, “Pori Jazz Festival”, “Autostadt Jazz & Blues Festival” in Wolfsburg, “Oulu Jazz Festival”, “Escenica Festival” in Madrid, “Printemps Musical Festival, Luxembourg”, “Rowan Jazz Festival” in Philadelphia USA, “Musek Am Syrdall, Saison Musicale, Mensdorf”, "San Francisco Making Waves Festival”, “Luxemburg Blues’n Jazz Rallye Festival”, “Festival Internacional Jazz San Javier”, “Winterthur Out in the Green Festival”, “San Sebastian Jazz Festival”, “Lichtenstein Little Big One Festival”, “The Tower Music Festival” and “Four Seasons Festival” in London, “Malta Festival”, “Wien Festival” and “Edimburgh Festival”, "Ascona Jazz Festival" Svizzera, "Western States Jazz Festival" USA, Scottish Festival of Trumpets, ”Umbria Jazz Festival”, “Herr Nilsen” Jazz Club in Oslo, Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival”, “Vicenza Jazz Festival”, “Roma Jazz Festival”, “Woodstock der Blasmusik”, Blechbläsertag Schleswig-Holstein in Lübeck, “Musikprob Blas & Brassmusikfestival” in Pfullendorf, CIMVO Curs Internacional de Musica Vila de L’Olleria and many others, performing many prestigious theatres and concert halls like the “Wien Opera House”, “Concertgebow” in Amsterdam, “Radio France” and "Palais De Congrés” in Paris, “Usher Hall” in Edimburgh, Blues Alley in Washington-USA, “Touhill Performing Arts Center” in St. Louis-USA, "Heineken Music Hall" in Amsterdam, "Queen Elizabeth Hall" in Antwerp, “B1 Club” in Moscow, "Hartwell Arena" in Helsinki, “Philipshalle” in Dusseldorf, “Tempodrom” in Berlin, “Mohegan Sun Arena” USA, "Hala Sportova”, “Belgrade Youth Center” and Radio Studios in Belgrade, “Hannover Expo”, “Banff Center” in Alberta-Canada, "Kongresshaus" in Zurich, Ludwigshafen Theatre, “Estoril Casinò” in Lisbon, Music Academies in Poznań and Lodz and Radio Opole in Poland, “Sporting Club” in Principato of Monaco, “Auditorium”, “Casa del Jazz” and “Auditorium del Foro Italico” in Rome, Siddis Brass Festival in Stavanger and many others.
As a teacher, since 2004 Andrea is Professor of classical and jazz trumpet at the "Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicali "O.Vecchi - A.Tonelli" in Modena, Italy. Moreover, he is also Professor of Jazz Trumpet and Brass at the Jazz Department of the prestigious “Scuola di Musica di Fiesole”. He was the assistant at Maynard Ferguson's seminar during the Vicenza Jazz Festival 2003 and also collaborates with Italian Brass Week (where he gave master classes with the first chairs of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass section, Allen Vizzutti and the Canadian Brass international artist Jens Lindemann). As international jazz and trumpet educator, Andrea has given master classes and clinics all over the world, like in the USA at the California State University Northridge in Los Angeles, San Diego State University (California), Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Christian University (Oklahoma), Rowan University (Pennsylvania), Riverside City College, Fullerton College (California), International Trumpet Seminar at the Grand Valley State University (Michigan), First Baptist Church of Decatur in Atlanta (Georgia), Canton High School, Region 7 School District in Winsted, Southington High School, Manchester High School and Hall High School in West Harford (Connecticut), in Japan at the Japan Band Clinic, and about Europe in Norway (Norges Musikkhøgskole-Norvegian Academy of Music), Luxemburg (Musique Militaire Grand-Ducale Philarmonie), Germany (Amburgo, Schramberg e Offenburg), France (Nice), Spain (Teror Festival de Trompeta Isole Canarie, CIMVO Curs Internacional de Musica Vila de L’Olleria), Poland (Music Academies in Poznań, Lodz and Szczecin, Zespół Szkół Muzycznych nr. 1 in Warsaw, Letnia Akademia-Summer Brass Academy in Opole) and Switzerland (Zurich, Mennedorf, Ermatingen). He also gave hundreds of master classes all over Italy, teaching for many years at the “Italian Brass Week” together with the most important names of the international brass world, at the “Baceno Brass Festival” and “Corsi Internazionali di Bosa Antica”. He also appears in Clint "Pops" McLaughlin book "Embouchure - The Pros Talk" and for an instructional video on trumpet playing.
From 2000 to 2010 he has been the Artistic Director of the "Dean Benedetti Jazz Festival" in Torre del Lago Puccini.
Andrea Tofanelli is a YAMAHA international artist and clinician since 2003.