Umbria Jazz 22 returns to the 2019 formula, leaving behind two years of cancellations (2020) or reduced editions (2021). The numbers: 260 events in ten days, eleven different locations (not counting the historic center covered by the marching band), 90 bands for a total of about 500 musicians.
Lots of jazz, and much more, because the Festival by vocation is open to a heterogeneous audience: anyone can find the “sound” best suited to their tastes. The formula remains the one that has been progressively refined over the past two decades: Arena Santa Giuliana as the main evening stage for the big events, with “encroachments” also in the pop/rock area; afternoon concerts at Teatro Morlacchi for great jazz: a purist fan’s paradise; Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria in a refined chamber dimension for location and program schedule; night club in Via della Viola with resident bands and jam sessions. The same space is open for evening concerts, including performances by LetterOne Rising Stars Jazz Award winners.
Free outdoor concerts also return, with a novelty: in addition to the traditional stages in Piazza IV Novembre and Carducci Gardens, another one opens in Piazza Matteotti, all dedicated to swing. Umbria Jazz boosts its identity as a festive and inclusive event, not just for connoisseurs. After all, Umbria Jazz was born this way, in 1973: music in the squares and free. Finally, good music as a pleasant soundtrack for those who want to enjoy Umbrian cuisine in restaurants in the historic center: the one open in the Arena before the evening concerts, and the two regular venues: Bottega del Vino and La Taverna. UJ4KIDS, a successful synthesis of play, culture, creativity and sociability for children and young people (and their families), also resumes fully.
The main stage, the Santa Giuliana Arena, is the venue for the big evening events. They range from various genres:
- JAZZ: a music icon, Herbie Hancock leader of a stellar quintet; The Comet is Coming, an unconventional band from London’s seething scene; Diana Krall, vocal star; Samara Joy & Pasquale Grasso Trio, new talent among jazz singers;
- ROCK: guitar legend Jeff Beck, one of the greatest soloists in history, with Johnny Depp as special guest;
- SOUL: the Memphis project that Dee Dee Bridgewater dedicates to her city, one of the capitals of black music; Incognito, which after thirty-five years remains a distinctive acronym of British nu soul;
- BLUES: the revelation of recent decades, Christone “KINGFISH” ingram;
- BRAZIL: Marisa Monte’s refined vocals; Gilberto Gil’s enthralling samba, who brings his children and grandchildren, his family of musicians, to the stage; new guitar talent Pedro Martins;
- CUBA: Cimafunk, or the synthesis of traditions and new trends; Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola , just piano and voice to sing the melodies of the Island;
- SONG: Tom Jones, one of the most beautiful voices ever; Joss Stone, sophisticated pop with soul “pronunciation”; Jamie Cullum, classy songwriter, singer, composer and pianist with a jazz soul;
- FUNK: Cory Wong, phenomenon of the moment, inextricable synthesis of jazz, rock, soul, funk, with energy and funk; Funk Off take the stage and meet Mark Lettieri, fine guitarist and member of Snarky Puppy.
Morlacchi Theater is the place dedicated to fans of “orthodox” jazz in its various declinations. The Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria has carved out a role for itself as an ideal space for chamber-based artistic offerings: acoustic jazz, almost all Italian, often research-based, small bands, a focus on unusual formulas.
Music and good food are, together, a piece of the Umbria Jazz formula with concerts at Ristorante la Taverna, Restaurant Stage at the Santa Giuliana Arena and Bottega del vino.
Opera: Luigi Marazzi