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Zu (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Background information
OriginRome, Italy
Years active1997–present
  • Jacopo Battaglia
  • Massimo Pupillo
  • Luca T. Mai
  • Stefano Pilia
Past members

Zu is an Italian instrumental band from Rome. While their line-up of baritone sax, bass guitar and drums is typical of a jazz band, their hard-driving sound is indebted to punk rock and heavy metal and, according to AllMusic, "defies easy categorization".[1] Zu have collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and been described as "masters at adapting to their guests' musical backgrounds".[2]


Hailing from Ostia (a town near Rome), Zu are an atypical trio consisting of drums, bass, baritone saxophone and electronics. Formed in Rome in 1997, they began as composers and performers for theater productions. The band is composed of three members: Luca Mai on baritone saxophone, Massimo Pupillo on bass and Jacopo Battaglia on drums.

Zu have released fourteen albums, including two live albums and two splits. They have played at festivals in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. In 2006, the band toured with the super group Fantômas Melvins Big Band.

The members are also active in the Italian folk-jazz group Ardecore.


Zu performing

Zu's music is instrumental and features virtuosic drumming, powerful bass and distorted saxophone. Many of the band's albums are billed as collaborations with a guest musician (such as Mike Patton, Buzz Osborne, Mats Gustafsson and Nobukazu Takemura). Often, a collaborator will join them at live performances as well. Members of the band also collaborate with other musical projects, many of which exist only as live performances.


John Zorn described the band as creating "a powerful and expressive music that totally blows away what most bands do these days".[3]

In 2009, Carboniferous was voted Album of the Year in Rock-A-Rolla magazine's Best of 2009 poll.


Zu live at Roadburn Festival 2017
  • Luca T. Mai – baritone saxophone
  • Jacopo Battaglia – drums
  • Massimo Pupillo – bass
  • Stefano Pilia – guitar


Major collaborators[edit]


Singles and music videos[edit]

  • "Carbon" (2009)
  • "Soulympics" (2009)
  • "Goodnight, Civilization" (2014)
  • "Cortar Todo" (2015)


  1. ^ Steve Leggett. "Zu | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ Jason Lymangrover (9 February 2009). "Carboniferous - Zu | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  3. ^ "ZU (band)". Zuism.net. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2020.

External links[edit]