Claudio Passavanti aka Sunlightsquare is an award winning producer, pianist and DJ.
He studied Orchestral Composing and Arranging at The Grove School Of Music in Los Angeles at a very young age. As a young prodigy of the piano in the local jazz scene, at the age of 21 he recorded his first solo album with legendary GRP rhythm section John Patitucci and Dave Weckl, at Chick Corea's "Mad Hatter Studios" for Rossodisera/Sony Italy.
At 23, when he went back to Italy, he quickly established himself as one of the top session players and studio producers in the music business. He collaborated with several artists such as Lucio Dalla, Ivan Lins, Zucchero, Brian Adams, Pino Daniele, as well as major labels BMG, EMI, Universal and Sugar Music. By the time he was 27 his experience had already spanned form directing orchestras on national television to arranging film scores for Academy Award winning composer Luis Bacalov. During those years he gained additional artistic recognition as member and producer of the critical acclaimed duo Eramo & Passavanti, as he received The Michael Nyman's Award For Best Performance in the 1998 edition of Festival Di Sanremo for the song "Senza Confini".
When Claudio moved to London at the age of 30 he found a new inspiration in the vibrant musical scene of the East End. He started out fresh as an in-house producer for techno label Almighty Records, until 2004 when he went solo to start his own independent label Sunlightsquare Records Ltd, named after a warehouse space in Bethnal Green, where he lived and produced his music. The label's first release was named "Urban Session" and it featured legendary drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Will Lee and vocalists Sharlene Hector (Basement Jaxx), Joy Malcolm (Moby) and Z-Star.
In 2010 his salsa version of "I Believe In Miracles" (from the CD Havana Central) became a cult success in the Latin circles worldwide, with the support of DJs Gilles Peterson, Louie Vega, Jazzie B, Tony Humphries, Joey Negro amongst others, as well as ratio stations such as Jazz FM and BBC.
Claudio's long affair with Afro-Cuban music got him to produce several recordings in Havana, in collaboration with Batá drum master Giovanni Imparato. Today Sunlightsquare Records releases several projects, including British jazz trumpet player Quentin Collins and saxophonist Brandon Allen, as well as a 10.000 downloads-a-month podcast, as well as producing remixes for record labels worldwide.
Sunlightsquare's 5th album "Britannia Shing-A-Ling", a 25 piece band live studio recording released in 2011, has been defined by BBC Music: "A Triumph" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/zg8r). In 2012 Brownswood Recordings released Claudio's Sunlightsquare remix of Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Band "Agita", feat. El Micha & Osdalgia. Earlier in 2015 Claudio also remixed for Sonzeira Brasil Bam Bam alongside heavyweights like 4 Hero, Atjazz and Alex Barck.
Sunlightsquare has also produced the main tile of the soundtrack on the feature film "Cuban Fury" (Studio-Canal/Film4) starring Nick Frost. And just recently Claudio wrote and produced 2 tracks for the film “Trash”, an upcoming British adventure drama thriller film directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Richard Curtis (Working Title Films).
Today Claudio is also a recognised DJ, performing often at Ronnie Scott's (London), WMC (Miami) and in several venues across the world, as well as contributing as a presenter for Jazz FM.
Comments by Sunlightsquare
Niiiice! Deeeep. Well done
Ha! Niiiiiiiiice :-)