Dave Lucado has made Cortona his adoptive home. By joining the Trasimeno Big Band his life was further enriched...
For me, living in Cortona has meant enjoying the refreshingly different culture, community, cuisine and natural beauty. But after a while, I realised that I missed some of the things I’d left behind in my previous life, most notably TexMex and playing music. I’m a trombone player and I’ve performed in some form or fashion for over 50 years in everything from symphony orchestras to wedding bands to pure unadulterated funk projects. But my first love has always been jazz and specifically Big Band jazz from the 40’s. In August of 2018, I happened upon a free concert in the courtyard of MEAC where I heard the familiar sounds of Count Basie’s unmistakable classics echoing into Piazza Signorelli from the brass, saxes and rhythm section of The Trasimeno Big Band.
While enjoying the final few tunes of the performance, I started feeling nostalgic for my time playing in big bands years ago. Once a performer, always a performer and as a Leo there are few experiences that cause my adrenaline to surge more than performing. At the close of the performance as the band was loading out, I managed to identify the maestro who I would later come to know as Emanuele Ragni. Using a combination of my “extensive” Italian vocabulary (not), sign language and pantomime I hoped I had managed to communicate that I was a trombone player looking for a gig. Emanuele graciously took my number but I honestly wasn’t sure if I had been successfully communicated my desire to play in his band. Fast forward to November of the same year and I received a text message inviting me to try out for the recently vacated Bass Trombone slot and following my successful audition, I have proudly been the only non-Italian member of the amazing 18-piece Trasimeno Big Band.
The band’s home is Tuoro sul Trasimeno and we rehearse twice a month in the community theatre there. During the winter months, we learn new music for the coming season and each year we select a theme for our concerts. Our last season highlighted the work of the legendary trumpeter and crooner Chet Baker and after a COVID hiatus, the 2022 season will feature swing music (and we hope swing dancing) from the golden era of the 40’s. Most of our performances are in late summer in the main squares of small towns nearby. In past years, our schedule has included an August performance in Cortona and we hope that tradition will continue this year.
The relationships and experiences with this amazing group of musicians has been invaluable to me. By taking something as significant to me as music and experiencing it in the context of my adopted Italian home, my life here has been enriched in a way I never imagined.
David Lucado, 07/07/2022 18:43:00