Bassist / composer Carlo Mombelli was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1960. He started playing bass at the age of 16 after studying classical piano. 7 years later, one of South AfricaÙs most important jazz guitarist Johnny Fourie asked him to join his band together with Duke Makazi on saxophone and Kevin Gibson on drums. In 1985 Carlo started the group Abtractions to play his music and asked Johnny Fourie to join the band. Carlo has since recorded and performed around the world with among others, Egberto Gismonti, Lee Konitz, Mick Goodrick, Barbara Dennelien and Charlie Mariano. He contributed and played music on the recording tribute for Jaco Pastorius, Basstorius together with Charles Benavent, Dave La Rue and Mathew Garrison. In 1998 and 99 he held a teaching post at the Richard-Strauss Conservatoire in Munich, Germany.
In Johannesburg where Carlo resides, he was Composer-In-Residence at Wits University in 2004 and can also be heard on many South African recordings including Marcus Wyatt, Johnny Fourie, Tlale Makhene, Simphiwe Dana, Sibongile Khumalo and Miriam Makeba. Many ballets have been choreographed to Carlo's music with performances in Johannesburg, the Hague, as well as in Denmark and the Ramallah Dance festival. His composition commissions include Observations from the hideout, commissioned by the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet and music for the 1943 silent film Meshes in the afternoon by Maya Deren which he performed live to film at the 2003 Grahamstown Arts Festival. Carlo composed music for many films, written books published by STE publishing and has recorded several CD's of his own works. Carlo completed his Doctorate in composition at Wits University, Johannesburg. Carlo Mombelli & The Prisoners of Strange - live at Fort West was recorded in 2004 and first released as a DVD and now with digital download of the audio tracks through the main music sites.