Umbria Jazz 2024: the full program | Umbria Jazz
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Umbria Jazz 2024: the full program



12 stages, 87 bands, 580 artists, 238 events, about 330 hours of music.

Apart from the impressive numbers, what matters is the BEAUTY of the Festival, which is formed by the musical quality, the formula and the locations. With the 2024 edition, Umbria Jazz opens a new cycle, in line with the formula of the 50th anniversary it celebrated last year, and always paying attention to the search for quality.

The program has been signed by Artistic Director Carlo Pagnotta, with the support of Maestro Manuele Morbidini and the consultants Enzo Capua and Annika Larsson: it is a mix of great names and young emerging artists, pop stars and orthodox jazzmen, musicians from Italy and all over the globe, music for large spaces and more intimate situations, free concerts (the majority) and paid events. Besides concerts, there are activities of music education (the seminars of Berklee College of Music of Boston), events for children (UJ4KIDS) and a competition for emerging bands (Conad Jazz Contest).



The Festival formula, confirmed as successful over the last thirty years, offers a full immersion in music, with Perugia as the backdrop. The program starts at noon with the marching band’s parade and ends late at night with the intimate dimension of the jazz club. From the streets of Perugia – the stage of the parade by Funk Off – to the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, from the Teatro Morlacchi to Piazza IV Novembre, from Giardini Carducci to Via dei Priori, from the Terrace of the Mercato Coperto to the Arena Santa Giuliana.



The Festival venues are known for their specific musical identity. The Arena Santa Giuliana – the largest venue – is the stage for the major events, both pop/rock and jazz. The Teatro Morlacchi – the hub of the city’s cultural life – hosts the most orthodox jazz concerts: it’s the festival for purist fans. The Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria is the precious and intimate chest of sophisticated and “chamber” jazz music prone to research. The outdoor stages of Piazza IV Novembre, Giardini Carducci and the Terrace of the Mercato Coperto are dedicated to more popular genres and to an audience who wants to listen to great soul, blues and swing music. The midnight club at the Secret Bistrot is the music for night owls with a passion for jam sessions – the ageless jazz ceremony.



Following the music thread of Umbria Jazz means also exploring one of Italy’s most beautiful historical city centers, with tours through the five main streets (Vie Regali), alleys, squares, churches, museums, and monuments ranging from the Etruscan period to the Renaissance and beyond. What makes Umbria Jazz unique is this clash between contemporary music and historical sites.



Good music is the perfect soundtrack to people who want to enjoy Umbrian food in the restaurants of the old town: the one at the Arena before and after the night concerts, the two regular ones, Bottega del Vino and La Taverna, plus the Priori Secret Garden for the aperitif. The Terrace will be a “swing bar” (6.30 and 10 pm) with the Sticky Bones. Another food area open from noon till late at night is at Giardini Carducci, just a few steps away from the free concerts stage.



As usual, alongside the Festival, the Clinics of Berklee College of Music of Boston (from July 9 to 21 at the Secondary School “San Paolo” in Viale Roma) offer students from all over the world the opportunity to improve their skills with professors and one of the most prestigious teaching methods in the world (this year is the 37th edition). 



The 11th edition of the CONAD JAZZ CONTEST for emerging bands proves the Festival’s attention to youth, in the hope of discovering and supporting the future’s jazz musicians. Ten bands – nine selected by a technical jury and one by the online audience – will perform at Giardini Carducci. Participants must be over 18 and under 28 years of age. Winners will receive a cash prize and a series of support in the early stages of their careers.



UJ4KIDS is the successful synthesis of game, culture, creativity, and sociality for children and kids (and their families). The goal is to promote musical culture and, specifically, the knowledge of jazz. Fondazione Umbria Jazz wholeheartedly runs this project in collaboration with the local school institutions. UJ4KIDS will take place in the garden area of the Arena Santa Giuliana (July 14-21).



In addition to Berklee, Umbria Jazz opens its program to the Conservatory “Francesco Morlacchi” to promote jazz at the highest level of musical education. Three concerts, performed by students and professors of jazz courses at the prestigious institution, will be held on July 15, 16 and 17 at the Conservatory’s Auditorium.



As it has been happening for several years, big bands from all-grade schools (university colleges to high schools) perform on the stages of Umbria Jazz. They are not only American bands. This program is a crucial section of music in the squares because these orchestras play good music in a dimension of cultured amateurism, and tomorrow’s professional jazzmen grow among those sections.



In recent editions, Umbria Jazz has been resuming one of its historical traditions: the night-time jam sessions to round off a day of music. Any self-respecting jam session starts after midnight and goes on until people want to play. Its heart is the house band, a quintet that has already performed in Perugia and Orvieto, led by saxophonist Piero Odorici. This is the resident band of Umbria Jazz, and all the other musicians can join. These experienced jazzmen are among the top players of their instruments. This band can recreate live, at the Secret Bistrot, the fervent atmosphere beloved by night owls.


The ARENA SANTA GIULIANA is the venue of the rockstars: the great Lenny Kravitz, the ageless legend of Toto, and the best black music of Nile Rodgers with his Chic. The Arena is also the stage for the opening concert of Vinicio Capossela in memory of Sergio Piazzoli – a great friend of his – on the 10th anniversary of the death of the promoter from Perugia. Moreover, a massive series of female voices: Raye has won six BRIT Awards, Laufey won a Grammy Award, Fatoumata Diawara is the spokesperson of a young rising continent, the American star of jazz vocalism Veronica Swift, and Lizz Wright, a singer-songwriter whose voice has been associated to “barrel-aged bourbon”.

Jazz music is always present at the Arena: the Gil Evans Alumni will perform a creative remake of the big bands led by Evans – also at Umbria Jazz – in the 70s and 80s with “Gil Evans Remembered”; the all-star quartet of Chris Potter, Brad Mehldau, John Patitucci e Jonathan Blake; Hiromi with her thrilling Sonicwonder band. The sounds of the South American continent find space with Cuban musicians Roberto Fonseca and Chucho Valdés (the latter celebrates the 50 years of Irakere), Brazilian star Djavan, and the spectacular Pacific Mambo Orchestra. A separate chapter will be Cha Wa, the heirs to the culture of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indians. There’s no need to introduce Richard Galliano – beloved by the Italian public – who returns with the New York Tango Trio.

The TEATRO MORLACCHI is the site of the jazz concerts. There is no digression on other genres. It’s that part of the program for jazz purists. Charles Lloyd, the great guru of contemporary jazz, plays with his quartet, including piano star Jason Moran. The most excellent Italian trumpeters will perform at the theater: Enrico Rava with the Fearless Five, Paolo Fresu with the Devil Quartet, and Fabrizio Bosso with the “About Ten” project featuring Paolo Silvestri. There are also three important Italian pianists: Alessandro Lanzoni with special guest Francesco Cafiso, a tribute to Bill Evans by Dado Moroni in trio with Eddie Gomez and Joe La Barbera, two musicians whose career has been related to Evans, and the piano solo of Danilo Rea.

Speaking of piano, two American artists from different generations will perform in trio: Kenny Barron and Christian Sands. Something Else! celebrates the genre known to history as soul jazz: seven musicians led by Vincent Harring. Guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel leads a quartet of high artistic level, perfectly set in contemporary jazz.

 The more niche projects are set to perform at the GALLERIA NAZIONALE DELL’UMBRIA: experimental and original jazz music for curious listeners. A selection of pianists will perform here: Micah Thomas, Marco Mezquida, Enrico Pieranunzi, Rita Marcotulli, Giovanni Guidi, Franco D’Andrea, and Ramberto Ciammarughi.

Since jazz music is the art of encounter, there are stimulating duo projects: Francesco Bearzatti and Paolo Birro pay tribute to Billy Strayhorn, French musicians Vincent Peirani (who will also perform in solo) and Émile Parisien, Miguel Zenón and Luis Perdomo with “El Arte del Bolero”, Gianluca Petrella and Pasquale Mirra with the unusual trombone-vibraphone-electronics formula. Last but not least, the trio of guitarist Eleonora Strino, the Italian-French quartet Weave4, the Pieranunzi-Mirabassi-Bulgarelli trio with the project “Racconti Mediterranei”, the trans-generational trio Eddie & The Kids led by young guitarist Edoardo Ferri featuring veterans Enzo Pietropaoli and Fabrizio Sferra. A sui-generis reinterpretation of Louis Armstrong is performed by the “My Louis” quartet of trumpeter Mirco Rubegni.


Music for everyone, with popular genres and high quality. Irony, rock ‘n’ roll, swing and vintage vibes characterize the music of the Italian trio Lovesick and the British band Ray Gelato & The Giants, an audience favorite at Umbria Jazz. The United States brings Louisiana’s strong colors with Cha Wa, the cheerful soul of Sammy Miller & The Congregation, and the Detroit blues of Thornetta Davis, who, for her voice and stage presence, is the heir to the charisma of the queens of the blues. Mitch Woods is a pianist with brilliant technique who has received many accolades in the main American blues and soul competitions. His loyal Rocket 88’s play with him.

The Italian acoustic trio Accordi Disaccordi starts from gypsy traditions and plays sophisticated and ambient music; the quartet led by clarinetist Nic Gori, a true instrument virtuoso; pianist and singer Lorenzo Hengeller, an elegant entertainer and storyteller; the Sticky Bones recall the Early Jazz; the renowned Funk Off have been the unmissable Festival marching band for twenty years. Lastly, the stage of the Piazza IV Novembre hosts the “cultured amateurism” of the youth orchestras from universities, cultural institutions and schools, coming mainly from the USA: Utah State University Jazz Band (Logan, Utah), University of Montana Jazz Band (Missoula, Montana), Utrechtse Studenten Bigband (Utrecht, Netherlands), John Hersey Jazz Band (Arlington Heights, Illinois), University of Delaware Jazz Band (Newark, Delaware), Jazz School Studio Band (Berkeley, California), Kansas University Jazz Band (Lawernce, Kansas), Antares Flare (Rotterdam, Netherlands). The Tribunal Mist Jazz Band is an unusual orchestra formed by lawyers and jurists.

The Resident Band, with Piero Odorici and Daniele Scannapieco, is the midnight club quintet, open to jam sessions. It is jazz music for night owls and perfect to round off a day of music. In addition, there are ten bands in the Conad Jazz Contest and the ones formed by the best students of the Berklee seminars.



Also this year, Umbria Jazz will have two special premieres on Thursday, July 11.  The first one is at 6.30 pm: “UJ4KIDS presents Bourbon Street al Borgobello”, a jazz “white night” featuring the music schools of Perugia. The second one is at 9.30 pm: the Italian Army Band will perform in Piazza IV Novembre.


UJ4KIDS 2024

Now in its sixth year, thanks to its success, UJ4KIDS has earned a special place in the Festival’s architecture. It is a festival within the festival, focused on youngsters who are the true protagonists. It is a daily section (July 14-21) with an intense program of educational activities, workshops, recitals and entertainment. Fondazione Umbria Jazz started collaborating in 2018 with local authorities, public schools and private music schools to promote jazz music for each age group and its introduction in schools. This is how you educate the future audience and a new generation of musicians. UJ4KIDS stands as a service and reference activity for public schools with musical orientation, music schools and professional associations, teachers, families, pediatricians and musicians.

The declared intent is to make children and teenagers the protagonists of music events for once and show the results of the work done for years in our region through entertainment and dissemination: it is considered an instrument of cultural and social growth. From July 14, as in the past two years, the garden area of the Arena Santa Giuliana will host a full calendar of activities for the youngsters to promote an approach to jazz music and its instruments besides the knowledge of the voice and body. There will be activities for all ages, including babies and pregnant women, for which dedicated music activities have been scheduled with the support of the Associazione Culturale Pediatri (Cultural Association of Pediatricians) through the project called “Nati per la Musica”.