Five days of music from noon to the early hours of the morning, ninety events, seven locations in the historic centre of Orvieto, thirty bands, more than one hundred and fifty musicians, a representation of Italian jazz of the highest level.
The numbers say a lot, of Umbria Jazz Winter scheduled from December 28 to January 1, but not enough.
Two identifying traits of the Orvieto event are present this year as well, as in all the previous twenty-six editions.
The first. Music of different genres but always of a high standard. The festival’s artistic proposal has never deviated from the search for quality, often combined with original formulas and the presence of emerging musicians on the Italian and international scene.
The second. Music diffused at different times and venues, in some of the most beautiful and important locations in the historic centre, in an ideal symbiosis of art, culture and quality of life. Few cities like Orvieto, a complex and fascinating stratification of three thousand years of history, lend themselves so well to this operation which translates into the formula that has made Umbria Jazz an event of unique charm.
Musically, Umbria Jazz Winter tries to hold together two diverse characters, only apparently antithetic but which, on the contrary, manage to intertwine with each other and create an inimitable product. On the one hand, UJW is a festival aimed at an expert and curious public, interested in enjoying music that requires commitment and attention. On the other hand, the festive atmosphere that distinguishes the New Year period also provides a fun-filled soundtrack, suitable for everyone, ideal as the backdrop for convivial occasions. At Umbria Jazz Winter, culture, tourism and the art of good living add up and blend together.
Furthermore, almost all the artists are “in residence” and so can be heard several times during the five days of the festival, with some of them proposed in diverse formations and projects.
The formula of the festival is, by now, well known to its most frequent visitors and has remained virtually unchanged over the years, due to the simple fact that it has proved to work.
Describing it is like recounting the “path” of the music along the different locations of the historic centre and at all hours of the day.
The Teatro Mancinelli is the venue for prime-time concerts and is what could be called the main stage; the Emilio Greco Museum hosts the midday concerts, in a cosy and refined environment for the more intriguing proposals; the halls of the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, including the Sala Etrusca dedicated to pianists, are the afternoon venues; non-stop music, from noon to late night, is hosted in the Palazzo dei Sette where jazz and food and wine, another excellence of Umbria, find a captivating symbiosis. Also at the Palazzo dei Sette, for those who want to stay up late, there is nothing better than the jam sessions which have been one of the most identifiable rituals of jazz since its origins, starting around midnight with the house band and continuing fthrough to the early hours. Finally, jazz lunch and jazz dinner at the Ristorante San Francesco. As always, the Funk Off band parades through the streets of the Città della Rupe. In this case, the location is the city itself.
Two central moments have always characterised the festival.
The first is the afternoon gospel concert that follows the New Year’s Mass in the Duomo. The religious songs of African-American tradition are a fixed presence in the festival programmme.
The second is the evening that greets the arrival of the New Year with the New Year’s Eve Dinners and the concerts before and after the stroke of midnight.
Orvieto and Umbria Jazz await the people of jazz with the aim of confirming an event that is at the centre of the cultural life and tourist attraction of the coming winter.