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Umbria jazz Winter

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From the moment of its birth in 1973, Umbria Jazz was clearly different from the other Italian jazz festivals.

While jazz was usually to be heard in small clubs and occasionally in theatres and concert halls, Umbria Jazz took the music into the historic town squares of Umbria to audiences of up to twenty thousand young people, and every concert was free. The music of the New World was performed in the setting of Umbria’s medieval towns and spectacular scenery, and it was this unusual combination which gave the Festival its special appeal.

The Festival’s fame soon spread amongst both musicians and the public, but it was to be the victim of its own success as it eventually attracted crowds which were bigger than its venues could hold.

When the Festival stopped because of this in 1978 one critic wrote: “Was it a utopia? Yes, but what a magnificent utopia it was!”.

In its short life it had attracted many great musicians, including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Weather Report, Gil Evans, Bill Evans, Charles Mingus and Keith Jarrett.

Several years later, in 1982, the Festival was revived in a new form which reflected the public’s changing approach to the music; there was a greater interest in   its artistic value and less interest in the festival as a mass event. The Festival established itself in the town of Perugia, and the combination of music and spectacular historic settings continued. Today, most of Umbria Jazz tales place in the town’s medieval centre.

UMBRIA WINTER JAZZ 2015  from December 30, 2015 to January 3, 2016

Last modified on Monday, 16 November 2015 15:22

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