Roberto Spizzichino was born in Rome, Italy on January 10, 1944. His only sibling is a younger sister. Roberto's formal schooling was in chemistry. He taught himself to play the drums, and by age 18, he was teaching drums and playing jazz at a professional level.
In Italy in the 70s, Roberto played drums with the likes of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Dexter Gordon, and Buck Clayton, to name a few.
In 1977, Roberto Spizzichino, who had become fascinated with the old K Zildjian cymbals, went to Istanbul to find the cymbal factory closed. At that point, he knew what he wanted to do.
In 1980, he began hammering Italian-made B20 blanks (80% copper, 20% tin). Through experimentation, Roberto Spizzichino was able to develop cymbals in his own unique way, emulating the "best of the best" old Ks. These cymbals became very popular with jazz drummers internationally. These great cymbals did bear the "SPIZZ" logo.
In 1988 Roberto Spizzichino began an affiliation with Bespeco International, Italy. After a couple of years, Bespeco permitted him to again work on B20 cymbals. In 1989 Roberto visited the Wuhan factory in China in search of cymbal-making material. While he was there, some prototypes were made, and a small series of Wuhan Spizz cymbals surfaced. This was done without Roberto's permission or endorsement. He had no control over the making of these cymbals and did not wish to be associated with them. Always look for the R. Spizzichino logo stamped on Roberto's cymbals. This is your assurance that the cymbal has been crafted by Roberto himself. There are some inexpensive cymbals in circulation that Roberto had nothing to do with. These cymbals may be marked with the word "SPIZZ". Roberto actually sold the rights to the name "SPIZZ". Again, true Spizzichino cymbals are stamped with the R. Spizzichino logo
In 1991, Roberto Spizzichino moved to Pescia, Tuscany. It was there, in Pescia, that he has remained, working on his own. Until a few years ago, Roberto worked with B20 bronze from a supplier in China. Many cymbal factories buy material from China because it is very inexpensive. However, the material became so inconsistent that Roberto was throwing away about 50% of what he received. He found a new source of material in Turkey, and for the last 3 years, Roberto has been using Turkish bronze. He has never stopped experimenting, always looking for improvements.
Roberto Spizzichino's dedication over the years has earned him the respect of musicians and other "large" cymbal companies alike. His classical cymbals are being used by many of the finest orchestras in the world. His jazz cymbals are "highly-sought-after" and coveted by professional musicians worldwide.
Roberto Spizzichino died of leukemia on November 21, 2011.