Roberta Gambarini is a jazz singer from Italy.
Gambarini was born in Turin, Italy, where she attended jazz concerts, clubs, and festivals with her parents. Her father played the saxophone, and she grew up hearing jazz in the house, and learning by listening to records. Her first instrument was clarinet when she was 12, then piano. When she was 18, she moved to Milan to pursue a career as a vocalist. In Milan she worked in radio and television without making progress on her ambition.
Gambarini moved to the U.S. in 1998 and won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. A few weeks after her arrival in America, she entered the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and came in third behind Jane Monheit. She was invited to sing in New York City, where she met Benny Carter and James Moody. Moody became her teacher, mentor, and friend.
Her album So in Love was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
In 2004, she started touring with the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band, performing with James Moody, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath, Paquito d'Rivera, and Roy Hargrove. From 2006–2007 she toured with her own trio, as well as the Hank Jones trio. She sang at the premiere of "Cannery Row Suite", a piece by Dave Brubeck commissioned for the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Her debut album, Easy to Love (Groovin' High, 2006) was nominated for a Grammy Award. You Are There was a collaboration with Hank Jones.
- 2007: Easy to Love, nominated for Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album
- 2010: So in Love, nominated for Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album
- Apreslude with Antonio Scarano (Splasc, 1991)
- Easy to Love (Groovin' High, 2006)
- Lush Life (55 Records, 2006)
- You Are There (EmArcy, 2007)
- So in Love (Grooving High, 2009)
- The Shadow of Your Smile (Groovin High, 2013)
- "Pratt Brothers Big Band-Introducing Roberta Gambarini (CAP985) As guest
- Jazzt in Time, Guido Manusardi Quartet (Splasc, 1989)
- Sixteen Men and a Chick Singer Swingin, Pratt Brothers Big Band (CAP, 2004)
- Dizzy's Business, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band (MCG Jazz, 2006)
- Under Italian Skies, Andrea Donati (Kind of Blue, 2009)
- I'm BeBoppin' Too, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band (Half Note, 2009)
- Emergence, Roy Hargrove (EmArcy, 2009)
- Swing '85, Paul Kuhn (In+Out, 2013)