Giovanni Di Domenico & Oriol Roca

© Silvano Magnione
© Joan Cortès
© Joan Cortès


Italian piano player Giovanni Di Domenico (Akira Sakata, Nate Wooley, Arve Henriksen, Jim O’Rourke) and Spanish drummer Oriol Roca started playing together twenty years ago. It’s not only friendship what kept them playing through the years in so many different musical situations in the french, belgian and italian jazz improv scene next to Jeroen van Herzeele, Brice Soniano, Manolo Cabras or Alexandra Grimal. They understand music in a very similar way.


An incessant search for new sounds, the joy for exploration combined with an unorthodox musical background brought them together as a duo on 2010, digging into the sound possibilities of their acoustic instruments, density and space, a kind of “live research” on new textures and colors through what it’s mostly improvised music.


Now, after the studio album “Sounds Good” (Spocus, 2012) and the live one “Live in Centelles” (Whataboutmusic, 2015) they bring you Ater, their 2° studio album together. In this new album they focused on minimal touches and slow unfolding structures, fluxes of psychedelic layers superimposed on a mesmerizing drums and cymbals forest.



GIOVANNI DI DOMENICO: piano, fender rhodes, electronics
ORIOL ROCA: drums & percussion



“Frenetic rhythms, spastic melodies, yet oddly tuneful. I’ve been poking around drummer Oriol Roca‘s music for a couple years now, and he always finds a way to gain interest, and pianist Giovanni di Domenico is an excellent foil for Roca on this recording.” Bird Is The Worm (USA)


“Oriol and Giovanni are among those who explore divergence, without forgetting the elements that are typical of the canon and that can be complemented in absolute harmony with them. They do not go on stage with a period costume, but they make music of their time. They are free and have the discipline to be so. They fell on their feet and made us jump. Athletes of the soul.” Carlos Pérez Cruz, El Club de Jazz (Spain)


“Improvisation or composition? Surely a little of both – some stop/go moments are simply too well coordinated to be freely improvised. Pieces are short, delicate, often melancholic without getting sappy. Sounds Good is an unpretentious and quite convincing meeting.” François Couture, Monsieur Délire (Canada)




“We will have to keep an eye on this trio, they share the same freedom that Henri Threadgill had during the 70s and 80s.” Candido Querol, B-Ritmos (Spain)


Vrak is a French-Catalan trio (first prize in Concurs de Jazz de Barcelona 2007) leaded by french flute player Etienne Lecomte. Together since 2006, Vrak Trio has developed a very personal universe combining 20th century written and oral music with influences of avant-garde, European jazz improv, electronics, contemporary and traditional music.


Vrak Trio’s first album TLS-BCN Live (Label Manivelle 2008) was recorded live at Mandala Jazz Club (Toulouse) and at Jamboree Jazz Club (Barcelona). Two years later, new original music is recorded on the second album 37 Avril (Label Manivelle 2010).


Over the years, the trio has collaborated with many other musicians, visual artists and dancers in different side projects. On 2011 The Crossroad Project included Spanish guitarist Jaime Pantaleón, Polish saxophonist Radek Knop and Finish video artist Mia Makela. The album Crossroads Project (Label Manivelle 2011) was recorded live at Théâtre de la Scène Nationale de Narbonne.


Spanish dancer Anna Rubirola was invited to collaborate on Vrak’s project Miró Dansant, a tribute to the catalan abstract surrealist painter Joan Miró. The project explores through movement and music a series of Joan Miró’s pictures, working methods and his approach to instant creation. The album Connivence (Label Manivelle 2015) features new originals, improvised fragments and music extraits from Miró Dansant. This album also celebrates the 10th anniversary of the band.


On 2015 the Barcelona-based MUT Trio joins forces with Vrak Trio to revisit the legendary album by Carla Bley and Charlie Haden The Ballad of the Fallen. This protest album is based on revolutionary songs from Spain and Central America traditional songs and free jazz. This work conveys a message of hope. At the time of multiple revolutions in the world, Vrak Trio and Mut Trio gather to offer a reflection on the actual moment, offering a link with the entourage and the current situation, based on today’s popular music that evoke the same problem and the same optimism as the 1983 record.


On 2018 Vrak Trio started an exciting new collaboration with French guitarist and improviser Noël Akchoté (a key figure on free improvisational music, and best known by his solo work and memorable collaborations with Derek Bailey, Sam Rivers, Lol Coxhill, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, Han Bennink and many others). Original music by all members was planned to be played on Vrak and Akchoté’s first meeting, in which they recorded the album Live in Centelles (Label Manivelle 2018) during the concert at Cicle de Jazz i Músiques Improvisades de Centelles (Spain).



ETIENNE LECOMTE: flute, electronics


NOËL AKCHOTÉ: electric guitar

ORIOL ROCA: drums, percussion



“Somewhere between avant-garde jazz and Zen philosophy.” El País (Spain)


“Vrak Trio flees from encumbrances and holds absolute freedom when it comes to sculpting its cathartic discourse.” Miguel Ángel Sánchez Gárate, B-Ritmos (Spain)


“Going from blunt and almost danceable rhythms, to dislocated fragments where the trio seems to have found a space and an eccentric language, somewhat cold and spooky, in which they navigate with absolute tranquility.” Jack Torrance, Tomajazz (Spain)



GIOVANNI DI DOMENICO & ORIOL ROCA · Live at Festival de Jazz de Vic 2016 by Carlos Pérez Cruz (concert + audio interview)

Giovanni di Domenico & Oriol Roca – Live at 18 Festival de Jazz de Vic 2016

Concert + interview from May 2016 with Spanish journalist Carlos Pérez Cruz ( discussing the recent album Live in Centelles with pianist Giovanni di Domenico, the duo background, Japan, free improvisation and more… Click here to listen to the whole interview




VRAK’ TRIO & NOËL AKCHOTÉ – Live in Centelles


Artist : Vrak’ Trio & Noël Akchoté

Release Date : March 11, 2018

Label : Label Manivelle

Format : Digital

Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Etienne Lecomte. Artwork & Photos by Noël Akchoté. All Compositions as indicated (Copyright controlled). Produced by Noël Akchoté & Label Manivelle – VRA-007 © Label Manivelle / Noël Akchoté Downloads 2018 (All Rights Reserved)


Buy album:

Live in Centelles is the fifth album by french-catalan Vrak’ Trio (leaded by french flute player Etienne Lecomte) in collaboration with guitarist Noël Akchoté. Together since 2006, Vrak’ Trio has developed a very personal universe combining 20th century written and oral music with influences of world music, avant-garde jazz, electronics and rock.


Live in Centelles was recorded live during the Jazz Centelles Festival (Spain) at Casal Francesc Macià on March 11th 2018 and features new originals, improvised fragments and “Tales of Rumi” by Charles Lloyd. 



  • Etienne Lecomte: flutes, electronics
  • Laurent Guitton: tuba
  • Oriol Roca: drums, percussion
  • Noël Akchoté: electric guitar


BAD MUSIC JAZZ #145 by Martí Farré (interview)

Audio interview (in catalan) on Bad Music Jazz radio show hosted by Martí Farré. Focused on the second album in duo with Giovanni Di Domenico Live in Centelles recently released onthe label Whatabout Music, we also discuss my 2010 solo album La Tomba dei Giganti or the upcoming album by Bad Currency.

(…) Pioner del nou free jazz comtal, l’avantguardista avant la lettre Oriol Roca (Barcelona, 1979) és avui un dels bateries més sol·licitats de la parròquia funàmbula del jazz nostrat. Ha posat les baquetes al servei de projectes com el Libera de Giulia Valle, el trio de Joan Díaz, la Free Spirits Big Band i l’Slow Quartet de David Mengual, el Bad Currency de David Soler i la Piccola Orchestra Gagarin de Paolo Angeli, entre molts d’altres. A Oriol Roca també se’l coneix per les seves col·laboracions a l’altra banda dels Pirineus, a França i al Benelux, entre altres indrets. Menys conegut, però, és el seu vessant com a creador, de líder d’un seguit de propostes com ara per exemple el duet que manté amb un vell amic de l’escena italiana: el pianista Giovanni di Domenico. Al programa d’aquesta setmana parlem amb Oriol Roca del seu duet amb Di Domenico i d’altres fites de la seva prolífica biografia. (Listen to the complete interview)


Live in Centelles

Artist : Giovanni di Domenico & Oriol Roca

Release Date : October 1, 2015

Label : Whatabout Music

Format : Digital

Produced by Giovanni di Domenico and Oriol Roca
All compositions by Giovanni di Domenico and Oriol Roca
Recorded live at Casal Francesc Macià (Centelles, Spain) on April 13th 2014 Recording engineer: Dave Bianchi. Mixed and mastered by Dave Bianchi and Oriol Roca at Dry Town Studios (Barcelona) Whatabout Music 2015


Buy album:

Live in Centelles is Giovanni di Domenico & Oriol Roca second album recorded live at Cicle de Jazz i Músiques Improvisades de Centelles on April 13th 2014 at Casal Francesc Macià.



  • Giovanni di Domenico: piano
  • Oriol Roca: drums





El atleta que salta con pértiga y se eleva unos metros sobre el suelo lo hace con la certeza de que allá abajo queda un colchón que amortiguará su caída. Acelera a la carrera durante unos metros, posiciona la pértiga para impulsarse, gira su cuerpo en el aire y procura sobrepasar el listón sin derribarlo. Ese es su itinerario, la partitura de su recorrido. El músico que improvisa cuenta con el colchón de su experiencia, con el bagaje de exploraciones fallidas en las que aprendió a desarrollar algunos mecanismos de defensa, pero si cae lo hará con todo el equipo. No hay más itinerario programado que, quizá, el del tiempo pactado y alguna obsesión sobre la que se ha dado vueltas antes, pero no hay partitura del recorrido. Caer de pie sin derribar el listón no depende tanto de automatismos como de la capacidad para evitarlos.

El espectador de atletismo se eleva con el salto y salta si el listón no cae. El espectador de un concierto puede elevarse en ocasiones por la exhibición atlética de un músico, pero la elevación tiene consecuencias más duraderas si esta exhibición lo es más de emociones profundas que de músculo virtuoso. También si el listón de sus expectativas quedaba a una altura que los músicos superan con holgura. Depende, claro, de dónde quedara puesto el listón previo. En el caso del dúo entre el romano Giovanni di Domenico y el barcelonés Oriol Roca, el mío no estaba precisamente bajo, pero en la apertura del Festival de Jazz de Vic ese listón se veía minúsculo desde allá arriba.

Discurrido un siglo de historia del jazz, ha habido tiempo más que suficiente para el establecimiento de patrones lingüísticos y estéticos concretos. Se pueden reproducir y, en esa reproducción, vestir con pequeños detalles propios. No es muy diferente a la rutina del atleta. Es una opción. Legítima. Muy frecuente. Muy defendida. Hay otras, no necesariamente antagónicas pero sí divergentes, también complementarias. Oriol y Giovanni son de los que exploran la divergencia, sin olvidarse de los elementos que son propios del canon y que pueden complementarse en absoluta armonía con ellos. No suben a escena con traje de época, sino que hacen música de su tiempo. En la pegada de Oriol no hay sólo tradición jazzística, aunque pueda ser tan “tradicional” como un Paul Motian, y en la relación de Giovanni con el piano hay tanto una actitud punk como una obsesión circular y minimalista, electrónica si me apuran, así como un toque de indudable elegancia jazzística.

Lejos de la mecánica de la predicción, el itinerario musical de Giovanni di Domenico y Oriol Roca ofreció en la apertura de Vic momentos de belleza singular, enmarcados por una sincronización perfecta de voluntades y deseos compartidos. Se ven poco porque la distancia y las agendas son así, pero hay entre ellos sintonía de hermanos. Crean partituras impredecibles, porque hay en el italiano un nervio que salta a la mínima sugerencia y que el catalán sabe reconducir e interpretar con una lógica apabullante. Son libres y tienen la disciplina para serlo. Cayeron de pie y nos hicieron saltar. Atletas del alma. Carlos Pérez Cruz, El Club de Jazz (May 2016)


El baterista Oriol Roca no sólo está desarrollando una interesante carrera dentro de nuestro país en grupos como MUT Trío, o junto a Giulia Valle y David Mengual por citar algunos. También tiene un reconocimiento más allá de nuestras fronteras con grupos como VRAK’ Trio, la Piccola Orchestra Gagarin, o con el pianista Giovanni Di Domenico, tal y como ocurre en Sounds Good, publicada en 2012 en el sello belga Spocus Records. En esta grabación se incluyen siete improvisaciones, más dos temas compuestos por cada uno de los músicos. Roca y Di Domenico establecen una relación musical entre iguales. Esto no quiere decir que no haya momentos en que uno de los dos sea quien se erija en la voz cantante, sino que van cediendo ese papel cuando no están en un plano de igualdad. Los temas resultan sumamente variados. “Hermafrobeat” resulta muy animado. “Music Not Going Anywhere” es una de las joyas del CD: su título no es únicamente una declaración de intenciones, sino la mejor descripción que se puede hacer a la exploración sonora de ambos músicos. “Neve Marina” casi se podría calificar de música programática. “Song For Masha” es un precioso tema de Oriol Roca. En “Don’t Doubt Here Doubt There” ambos músicos dan una buena lección de cómo trabajar con la tensión musical. “Avoid A Void” es otro tema muy bonito con el piano goteando sus notas, mientras que “H.I.M.R.” es una composición de Di Domenico solemne, lírica, en la que el espacio y el silencio son elementos fundamentales. Pachi Tapiz, Tomajazz (April 2014)


A short record of piano/percussion avant-jazz between Giovanni di Domenico (Arve Henriksen, Nate Wooley, Jim O’Rourke) and Oriol Roca. Di Domenico is here in acoustic mode – and so is Roca. Improvisation or composition? Surely a little of both – some stop/go moments are simply too well coordinated to be freely improvised. Pieces are short, delicate, often melancholic without getting sappy. Roca often restricts himself to a few percussion instruments and get the most nuances out of them.Sounds Good is an unpretentious and quite convincing meeting. François Couture, Monsieur Délire (April 2014)


Questa collaborazione con il batterista Oriol Roca sposta il suo baricentro su quelle movenze contemporanee che erano appena accennate in “Ghibli” e “Seminare Vento”. “Soundabout” vi introduce ad un clima quasi Ligetiano, per poi comunque rientrare in una “pensosità” espressiva coadiuvata da effetti percussivi che rendono il linguaggio sospensivo; in “Sounds good” trovate tutto il polistilismo di Giovanni: gli spazi atonali, la ricerca di un giusto equilibrio tra silenzio e note, le percussioni che si muovono sommessamente sullo sfondo, e, in quantità minori l’amebluement trasversale di Satie e le angolature di Monk; in “Avoid the void” si avvertono persino brevi scampoli di minimalismo; ma la cosa che colpisce è il validissimo tocco pianistico che segue canoni di raffinatezza che appartengono al mondo degli esecutori classici. Ettore Garzia, Percorsi Musicali (January 2013)


Frenetic rhythms, spastic melodies, yet oddly tuneful.  I’ve been poking around drummer Oriol Roca‘s music for a couple years now, and he always finds a way to gain interest, and pianist Giovanni di Domenico is an excellent foil for Roca on this recording.  Totally random, but would be interested to learn if the song “Hermafrobeat” sends anyone else’s cats into a crazed tailspin like it does mine. Dave Summer, Bird Is The Worm (October 2013)