Giuseppe Prestipino Giarritta, professionally known by his pseudonym Pino Presti, is an Italian bassist, arranger, composer, conductor and record producer from Milan. He is a 5th-dan black belt in Shotokan Karate.
Presti was very young when he first entered the music business. He started as a bass guitar player, than gradually began as an arranger, composer, orchestra conductor, and producer. Among his collaborations in different genres of music like jazz, pop, funk, soul, and Latin music are Mina (the most famous Italian pop singer), Gerry Mulligan, Astor Piazzolla (with whom he has performed on 24 recordings as a sideman, including the well known composition Libertango), Quincy Jones, Wilson Pickett, Shirley Bassey, Franco Cerri, Maynard Ferguson, Stéphane Grappelli, Severino Gazzelloni, Aldemaro Romero, and Tullio De Piscopo among others. He is considered one of the most important Italian arrangers/conductors.
Son of an accomplished violinist, Arturo Prestipino Giarritta, Presti began studying piano and music theory at the age of 6. When he was 17, he started his career performing as vocalist and bass guitarist in clubs as well as working in recording studios as an instrumentalist. Although he had a contract with Durium of Milano as a singer, he decided to concentrate only on performing music. He recorded hundreds of songs with major Italian artists such as Mina, Giorgio Gaber, Ornella Vanoni, Gino Paoli, Bruno Lauzi, Fabrizio De André, Sergio Endrigo, Mia Martini, Franco Battiato, Adriano Celentano, Milva, Pino Donaggio, Gigliola Cinquetti, Caterina Caselli, Bobby Solo, Fausto Leali, Michele, Ivan Graziani, Loredana Berté and many others.
After backing Mina as a bass guitarist in studio and on tour for many years, Pino Presti arranged and conducted many of her songs. He also backed her as a singer, as in “Flamingo” and other tracks. From 1971 up until her last public appearances at Bussoladomani in 1978, Presti arranged and conducted 86 of Mina’s tracks, including the hits “Grande grande grande”, “E penso a te”, “L’importante è finire”, “E poi”, “Città vuota”, “La pioggia di marzo”, “Fiume azzurro”, “Domenica sera” and others, and albums such as Mina, Cinquemilaquarantatre, Frutta e verdura, Amanti di valore, Baby Gate, La Mina, Singolare, Mina con bignè, Mina Live ’78.
More on Pino here.