Singer, composer and arranger, she studied opera and contemporary singing and started her concert activity as a singer and musician (plectra, percussion, piano) in ethnic music research groups playing especially Balkan and Mediterranean music.
Since the '80s she has been active on the jazz scene, performing and collaborating with such great musicians as Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Ralph Towner, Joe Zawinul, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Miroslav Vitous, Joshua Redman, Cameron Brown, Billy Hart, Elliot Ziegmund, Gary Bartz, Steve Turre, Enrico Rava, Paolo Fresu, Gianluigi Trovesi, Giorgio Gaslini, Bruno Tommaso, Rita Marcotulli, Furio Di Castri, and many others, featuring at major international jazz festivals (London, Bath, Berlin, Le Mans, Nyon, Dublin, Marseille, Lisbon, Valladolid, Palencia, Umbria Jazz, Clusone, Roccella Ionica, Ivrea, Atina, etc.). She toured France, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland and New York, where she performed several times (among others: Birdland and Performance Garage with choreographer Roberta Escamilla Garrison with whom she often collaborates).
Between '94 and '97 she worked on the "Nauplia" project, about the encounter between music from Naples, Mediterranean music and Jazz, documented by two lucky CDs, Nauplia and Fore Paese; the latter was commissioned and produced by the "Suor Orsola Benincasa Univeristy" of Naples.
Between '94 and '97 she worked on the project "Nauplia", about the encounter between the music from Naples, and the Mediterranean and Jazz music, documented by two lucky CDs, Nauplia and Fore Paese; the latter has been commissioned and produced by the "Suor Orsola Benincasa Univeristy" of Naples.
Since '96, she is collaborating with the English composer Colin Towns: with his "Mask Orchestra" Big Band she recoreded two CDs, and performed in Salisbury and in London at the London Oris Jazz Festival (November 96), at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London with the Mask Symphonic Orchestra (70 elements) and the participation of Norma Winstone (March 98), at the Berlin Jazz Festival (November '98), at the festivals in Bath, Cologne and Graz (April '99).
At Umbria Jazz '98 she presented her project Phone featuring John Taylor, Gianluigi Trovesi, Enzo Pietropaoli, Federico Sanesi. Among their most important performances, the group played in Weimar, in occasion of WEIMAR 1999.
Very important is the CD recorded with the group Triboh featuring Rita Marcotulli and the percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan.
In 1997 the trio with John Taylor and Ralph Towner was founded, with whom she recorded the Verso CD, toured Italy and Europe (January/February 2001) performing in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Ireland and England. Thanks to this successful tour, the name of Maria Pia De Vito was enlisted in the 49th DOWN BEAT CRITICS POLL 2001 in the "BEYOND ARTIST" category. This important recognition placed Maria Pia on an international level (her name is seen more and more in specialised magazines and her music is often played by several broadcasters) and - in that list, her name appears near those of artists such as Caetano Veloso, Joni Mitchell, Cesaria Evora, Olu Dara, Carlos Santana, Uri Caine and Marisa Monte.
In 2001 she imposed herself also on the Italian scene, winning the POSITANO JAZZ prize.
In the last years, she was protagonist of different projects, like "Il Brutto Anatroccolo" ('97) on music by Giorgio Gaslini, Benito Urgu as recitant voice and with the Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna; "Gesualdo" about Gesualdo da Venosa, by and with Tino Tracanna and Corrado Guarino, and "Oltre Napoli, La Notte" by Bruno Tommaso, feat. Trovesi, Minafra, Pietropaoli, Lama, Maras and strings orchestra; "Il Celeste Specchio" ('98), by contemporary composer Carlo Boccadoro, "Lettera da Orsara" ('99), by Bruno Tommaso with the Orchestra Jazz del Conservatorio S.Pietro a Majella of Naples.
She steadely collaborates with sculptress and video-maker Marisa Albanese; together they produced three videos, "Strappi d'Acqua", "Color Pelle" and "Festina Lente" which have been projected in museums and exhibitions (Istituto Italiano per gli studi Filosofici - Naples '92; Rassegna Video Castel Sant'Elmo - Naples; Castel San Pietro - Bologna '94; Fiera Internazionale d'Arte Contemporanea, Ripa-arte - Rome; Incontri Internazionali del Cinema di Sorrento, section Video '94; Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Contemporanea - Palazzo Parissi, Montepandone (Florence); Festival Internazionale del Video d'Autore - Corto Circuito '97, Naples).
For "Orphani", an art book by Marisa Albanese, she recorded "A Nulla", suite for voice and loop machine. The "Orphani" performance ("A Nulla" video-projection and live performance) was presented in July at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Rome within the exhibition named "Le Tribu dell'arte" by Achille Bonito Oliva.