Gianluca Baldo died of a sudden heart attack at age 47 on August 9, 2008 in Spain. He was a talented musician who specialized in frame drumming and world percussion and was also a visual artist.
Gianluca Baldo was born in Italy but lived in Spain with his wife and son. Baldo’s work as the founder of international frame drum festivals began in 2005 with his establishment of Frame Drums Europe and its annual frame drum festival, European Frame Drummers Meeting, which was held in Barcelona in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
Gianluca Baldo's work as the founder of international frame drum festivals inspired several other organizations to form, many of which hold similar annual frame drum festivals: Tamburi Mundi, Tamburi Mundi Iran, North American Frame Drum Association, Inc., Caravansary, Greek Frame Drums Meeting, and Japan Frame Drum Association.
Biography (in his own words):
My love for music started very early. Thanks to my father I started listening to music when I was 3 (surely earlier but I cannot of course remember). Expecially Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Listz and many others were playing in every room of our house. I was totaly fascinated by how powerful music can be, how deep it can reach you and discovered probably the first emotions of my life. Music can move you, music can take you somewhere else.
I had no specfic interest in any kind of music till I was turned 14 and discovered the music of Oregon and especially Ralph Towner. Something changed. I remember long hours spent in the garden of my house listening to Oregon and Towner in my headphones. I was alone, rounded by trees and plants, with no sounds from outside except that insipiring music.
I started playing guitar when I was 12 but I had only brief and not regular studies. Some years later I discovered percussions and since then I played different percussions instruments but, again, without a regular education.
In 2004 I met frame drums and Glen Velez and could not resist the fascination of those ancient and spiritual instruments. Since then I have been lucky enough to study with Glen, both in workshops here in Europe (I organized some of them) and take private classes in New York.
I also studied ghatam with Ghatam Suresh and will go to Chennai (India) in 2008 to continue my ghatam and konnakol classes with him. I got some kanjira classes by Ganesh Kumar and studied percussions in ancient music with Pedro Estavan, advanced frame drums techniques with Zohar Fresco.
In 2005, together with my friends Paolo Cimmino and Andrea Piccioni, I founded the Frame Drums Europe association with the aim of promoting and spreading the extraordinary reach European (Mediterranean) frame drums culture.