Singer, composer, arranger, Maria Pia De Vito has studied opera, contemporary singing, music theory and harmony. She started her musical career in 1976 as a singer and guitarist (and, later, as a pianist) in groups that were ethno-oriented, specialising in music from the Mediterranean and the Balkans.
Since the 1980s she has been active on the jazz scene, performing and collaborating with such great musicians as John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Ralph Towner, Joe Zawinul, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, Joshua Redman, Gary Bartz, Cameron Brown, Steve Turre, Art Ensamble of Chicago, Billy Hart, Elliot Ziegmund, Enrico Rava, Gianluigi Trovesi, Giorgio Gaslini, Bruno Tommaso, Paolo Damiani, Paolo Fresu, Rita Marcotulli, Enzo Pietropaoli, Furio Di Castri and many others, featuring at major jazz festivals (London, Bath, Birmingham, Berlin,Weimar, Cologne,Graz, Le Mans, Nyon, Dublin, Marseille, Lisbon, Valladolid, Palencia,Umbria Jazz, Clusone, Roccella Jonica, Ivrea, Rome, Atina etc) as well as performing in France, England, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ireland, United States (New York: Birdland and Performance Garage with choreographer Roberta Escamilla Garrison)
Between 1994 and 1997 she has been particularly working on the encounter between the music from Naples, her native town, and improvisational music. The fruit of this research produced two outstanding CDs, Nauplia and Fore Paese; with the latter being commissioned and co-produced with the "Suor Orsola Benincasa Univeristy" of Naples. Maria has also collaborated with English composer Colin Towns, recording with his "Mask Orchestra" on the CD Nowhere and Heaven, and performing with the band at Salisbury and the London Oris Jazz Festival (November 96). Maria perfromed once again with Colin Towns this time with the Mask Symphonic Orchestra and Norma Winstone at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, March 98)) in a special event. A well as performances at the Berlin Jazz Festival 98, and Cologne, Graz, (April99), Bath and Birmingham. Maria recorded with Colin Towns for Still Life with the Mask Quintet, and Dreaming Man With Blue Suede Shoes with the Mask Symphonic and Norma Winstone.
Maria's last recording as a leader was Phon which featured the talents of John Taylor, Gianluigi Trovesi, Enzo Pietropaoli, F.Sanesi, which was presented in July '98 at the Umbria Jazz Festival . She has performed in the trio Triboh with Rita Marcotulli and Arto Tun boyaciyan, producing an album of the same name. She is protagonist of other projects, like Il Brutto Anatroccolo by Giorgio Gaslini with the Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna; Gesualdo by Tino Tracanna, about the music of the madrigalist Gesualdo Da Venosa and Oltre Napoli, La Notte by Bruno Tommaso, which featured Trovesi, Minafra, Pietropaoli and a string orchestra. This is as well as Lettera da Orsara by Bruno Tommaso with the Orchestra Jazz del Conservatorio S.Pietro a Majella of Naples. Il Celeste Specchio, a project of classical contemporary music by Carlo Boccadoro.
Maria is also part of a trio with John Taylor and Ralph Towner, which has only previously been performed in a live capacity when they toured Italy in the summer of 1998 and again in the spring of 1999. In January 2000 the trio once again formed and recorded their debut album, Verso on Provocateur Records, which oozes beauty due to the care and commitment they place in their music.
For her debut album as leader on Provocateur Maria recorded Nel Respiro and released it June 2002. The album features Ralph Towner, John Taylor and Patrice Heral and combines Marias wide ranging musical interests and experience in different genres. These include sounds and rhythms inspired by music from Eastern Europe, India, Africa as well as music from renaissance and contemporary classical music, poetry and vocal experimentation.