Starting in 1984, Trovesi began a project that continued into the early '90s called "Les Boìtes a Musique." It was a series of live performances that included prerecorded tapes and electronic processing by L. Mirto and, eventually, percussionist Tiziano Tononi. In 1991, Trovesi joined the Italian Instabile Orchestra, a conglomerate of some of the best players in Italian modern creative jazz that went on to record many outstanding albums for Leo Records and ECM. That same year, he founded the Gianluigi Trovesi Octet, which mixed jazz with folk musics and European classical. Trovesi also co-led a band with Paolo Damiani called Roccellanea.
Over the years, Trovesi has toured extensively and performed at festivals and venues across Europe, the Middle East, India, and North America with the Giorgio Gaslini Quintet, the Gianluigi Trovesi Octet, the Italian Instabile Orchestra, and other bands. He has also received many prestigious awards, such as Best Italian Musician in Musica Jazz's 1988 and 1992 competitions and Best Italian Group, awarded to his Octet in 1992 and 1996. Several of his albums were voted Best Italian Disc, including Dances (1985), From G to G (1992), an album that also garnered Down Beat magazine's highest rating of five stars, and Les Hommes Armés (1996).
He has toured, recorded, and performed with countless renowned improvisers, jazz musicians, and musical experimenters, including Anthony Braxton, Misha Mengelberg, Steve Lacy, John Carter, Han Bennink, Mark Dresser, Tony Oxley, Günter Sommer, Horace Tapscott, Evan Parker, and Kenny Wheeler. Toward the end of the '90s, Trovesi was active in a touring duo with Gianni Coscia, called Radici, and in a trio with P. Vaillant and R. Tesi. The beginning of 1999 saw the release of his stunning Around Small Fairy Tales on the Soul Note label.
He continued to release a fascinating series of albums in the 21st century, including In Cerca di Cibo on ECM and Round About a Midsummer's Dream on Enja (both in 2000). Since then, many of his albums have been on ECM including Fugace (2003), Round About Weill (2005), Vaghissimo Ritratto (2007), and Profumo di Violetta (2008). In 2011, Trovesi paired with accordionist Gianni Coscia for yet another well-received ECM date, Frere Jacques: Round About Offenbach. The following year, he joined Ensemble FisFüz for Papillons. In 2016, Trovesi collaborated with Israeli pianist Anat Fort for Birdwatching on ECM. ~ Joslyn Layne