Simone Mongelli

English (United Kingdom)Italian - ItalyGreek



Born in Milano (Italy), MA in Ethnomusicology at the University Of Bologna. Since 2005 he has been living in Greece, where in 2007 he obtained the degree in traditional percussions at the F. Nakas Conservatory of Athens, with Petros Kourtis. In Italy he had been studying classical percussions for 3 years, jazz drums for 6 years, and had started to study Italian and Mediterranean traditional percussions on his own. In 2006 he attended a masterclass with Misirli Ahmet. In 2010 he attended a workshop with traditional Italian percussionist Raffaele Inserra.

He founded in Italy the “ethno-jazz-rock” band “Juba Lane”, which in 1999 won the Italian National Jazz Contest “Fiesole Jazz”, with Stefano Bollani in the Jury. He also founded the trio “Le Bal Masqué” and the “Marsa Project” quartet, playing modern arrangements of Italian and European traditional tunes. With these bands, where he was active also as arranger and composer, and with other bands with which he used to perform (“Radio Dervish”, “Il Paese delle Mille Danze”, “Shlomot”, “Gnawa from Casablanca” – Morocco, “Touareg from the Ahaggar” – Algery, and various other), he performed in concerts and festivals in Italy, Bosnia, France, Palestine, Greece, Malta, Spain, Albania, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, USA.

He performed in the Italian tour of the musical “Gianburrasca”, with Marco Morandi, with music by Nino Rota, and took part in many studio recordings in Italy, Malta, Bosnia, and Greece.

In Italy, besides private lessons, he used to teach drums in a Music School for three years, and he was active in seminars and workshops on percussions in Music, Primary and Secondary schools. He served as artistic director of the Italian Traditional Music Festival "Le Vie della Musica" for three years.

He wrote and directed three theatre performances, based on improvisation and on the meeting of different artistic languages, with musicians, dancers, actors and street artists, which were presented in Italy and abroad.

In Greece he used to perform with Petros Kourtis, in his percussion team “Drumvoice” as well as in other projects. He is member of the percussion band “Echodrasi”, directed by Nikos Touliatos, with whom he also has a free improvisation duo-project. In 2010 they released their first recording (All'improvviso – On Impulse), voted by magazine "Difono" as 2nd best Greek jazz album of the year, and started experimenting collaborations with other musicians. He collaborates with composer Nikos Mamangakis.
He runs with Armando Illario several projects around Southern Italian traditional and Early music, with which he is active in workshops and concerts.
He gives seminars and private lessons in percussions and body percussion.

He started dealing with body percussion in 2008, and attended classes with Max Pollak, Thanos Daskalopoulos, Keith Terry, and the “Stomp” members Leela Petronio and Simone Clarke. With Thanos Daskalopoulos he has founded in 2009 the body percussion project “Kantu Korpu”, which took part in 2011 in San Francisco's International Body Music Festival.

In Greece he performed with several bands, playing rock, reggae, Greek and Italian traditional music. He collaborated with the “Lykio Ellinidon” and played with renowned musicians and singers of the jazz, modern and folk scene, such as David Lynch, Giorgos Kotsinis, Grigoris Kapsalis, Maria Farantouri, Thanos Mikroutsikos, Zaharias Karounis, Yiota Nega, Giorgos Kontogiannis, Vasilis Lekkas, Eleni and Souzana Vougioukli, Marios Papadeas

He played percussions in the theatre play “The Dead Brother”, directed by Sotiris Hatzakis, with performances in Greece and abroad.

Since 2009 he has been teaming up with VivaBiancaluna Biffi and Armando Illario in a trio project about medieval and Renaissance music, already presented in some European festivals.



Fiesole, 8 luglio 1999.

"We certify that the band Juba Lane […] is the winner of the first edition of the Fiesole Jazz contest for its capability to blend different languages in a creative and active way. Our jury appreciated in particular the research on timbre and the good instrumental technique, and believes that the music project that has been shown has further development possibilities."

The Jury: Stefano Bollani, Andrea Cavallari, Luigi Onori.