Rocco Ventrella, saxophone player, composer and arranger.
Ventrella's smooth soulful style is a benchmark for European smooth-jazz, contemporary and pop saxophone players.

Latest News

Rocco's new CD, "Give Me The Groove" is out!!
You can buy it here in Rocco's music store @:

Jimi King of says:
"In these days of digital downloading, where the listener can pick and choose what tracks they want, it's rare to find a CD that offers enough quality material to make its
purchase worthwhile. This is one such CD."


A native of the South of Italy(born January 23, 1961)Rocco Ventrella grew up in Bari, in Puglia.

Ventrella began playing saxophone at age fourteen, inspired by some jazz records his father had given to him and after one year of practice he decided to enroll himself in the local Conservatory to study the clarinet.

After studying at the Conservatory, Ventrella resumed his self-directed study of the saxophone, while participating in various jazz music clinics with famous musicians like David Liebman, Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, and Eric Marienthal.

Ventrella began to gathering experience playing in numerous jazz clubs with small jazz groups and at the same time he studied piano and operated a recording studio for a time.

From 1983 until 2005 Ventrella played in the Big Band "J.S.O." of Bari where he appeared with an impressive list of artists such as: Lee Konitz, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Benny Bailey, Chet Baker, Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava, Tullio De Piscopo, Ernie Wilkins, Art Farmer, Maurizio Giammarco, Gianni Basso, Lee Konitz, Tony Scott, Dizzy Gillespie, Marcello Rosa, Giorgio Gaslini, Dusko Goykovic, Bob Mintzer.

Others collaborators included: Joy Garrison, Joanna Rimmer, Crystal White, Wendy Lewis, Orlando Johnson, Mike Francis.

In 1993 Ventrella moved to Boston where his friend Emilio Lyons "The Sax Doctor " introduced him to some of his own customers like Ricky Ford, Greg Abate, Fred Lipsius, Richard Elliot, Sonny Rollins and others. "I feel extremely blessed to have worked with people I've admired for so many years", says Rocco of the experience at that time.

On his return to Italy in 1994, Ventrella's tune "Gra├ža' s song" won the "Italian Homemix" competition, a collaboration of the European Musician magazine and Yamaha corporation.

In 1998 Ventrella began his love affair with smooth jazz music and began to record some promotional tracks to explore this new musical style. Most recently, Ventrella has recorded, arranged and produced the CD "Tribute to Grover Washington, Jr." in memory of the late, great saxophone player. The CD contains three tracks: "Winelight", "Let It Flow" and "Make Me A Memory".

In addition, Ventrella has some new recordings featuring his own compositions, including the soulful and haunting "I Receive Your Love". Many of Rocco's compositions are receiving consistent airplay on Smooth Jazz outlets, especially on the internet, where smooth jazz netcasts are introducing his masterful playing to an entirely new audience segment.

On the May 2006 Ventrella has been invited to partecipate to the "James Brown Festival" in Augusta, GA.(USA).

Today, Ventrella's smooth soulful style is a benchmark for European smooth-jazz saxophone players.

Official web site:

  • Member Since: 2006
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