The first UJW to be held in the new millennium revolved around the fascinating theme of tango, and to offer their interpretation of the many faces and mysteries of tango music, the Festival welcomes a variety of diverse musicians from different parts of the globe. Richard Galliano, the very best of the maestro Piazzola’s students, was there with his accordion. Then there was the different Latin sax sounds of the Cuban musician Paquito D’Rivera, and the Italo-American Joe Lovano. The Quintet for New Tango also featured, led by Piazzola’s favourite pianist Pablo Ziegler; the powerful vocals of Julia Zenko; and a company of dancers who had taken their tango onto the stages of Broadway.
However, the pure sounds of jazz were also well represented nonetheless, with the Gil Evans Band going down memory lane, led once again by the great jazz artist’s son, Miles Evans, playing together with some of the soloists in a fitting tribute to the maestro, such as the trumpet player Lew Soloff, the keyboard player Delmar Brown, and the guitarist Hiram Bullock. The stars of that year’s UJW also included an up-and-coming star and superb pianist, Jason Moran, and a solid Italian presence in the form of the trio made up of Giovanni Tommaso, Stefano Bollani and Roberto Gatto, plus two great sax players, Rosario Giuliani and Daniele Scannapieco. Finally, the blues-woman Linda Hopkins, and two excellent organists, Jimmy McGriff and Lonnie Smith, completed the line-up.