One of the distinguishing features of the programme of Umbria Jazz Winter #25 (Orvieto 28 December – 1 January) is the high level and originality of the artists appearing.
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One of the distinguishing features of the programme of Umbria Jazz Winter #25 (Orvieto 28 December – 1 January) is the high level and originality of the artists appearing.

One example of this is “IN MY MIND – MONK AT TOWN HALL”, JASON MORAN’S tribute to Thelonious Monk to mark the centenary of his birth: as well as offering a fresh look at the music of Monk’s landmark 1959 Town Hall concert in New York, the concert will also feature images plus audio of Monk himself speaking. (The Monk connection continues in another event on the programme – a “Monkfold” test, during which a Downbeat journalist will quiz Moran about Monk’s music).

Another example is represented by one of the most creative guitarists of recent years in jazz (and not only jazz), MARC RIBOT, appearing with his TRIO and with THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS, a project bringing together the Philly Sound of the 70s and the sound of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time band.

Making her first ever appearance in Italy is vocalist JAZZMEIA HORN, acclaimed in America as one of the rising stars of jazz; two years ago she won the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, and before that the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Competition.

Arriving from New Orleans are two artists who are fine representatives of the traditions of the birthplace of jazz: LITTLE FREDDIE KING, a blues singer and guitarist firmly rooted in the music of the southern United States, and classic vocal quartet THE MYSTICS.  And from South Carolina there is THE BENEDICT GOSPEL CHOIR, a group comprising no less than forty members and whose performances are guaranteed to be  powerful and spectacular.

Italian jazz is well represented this year. The TRIO DI ROMA is a historic Italian group that was founded in the Italian capital in the mid-70s and was the starting point for the artistic careers of DANILO REA, ENZO PIETROPAOLI and ROBERTO GATTO. Rea will also be appearing in a duo with GINO PAOLI, with special guest FLAVIO BOLTRO. A special part of the programme is reserved for MARIA PIA DI VITO, who will be appearing in a duo with RITA MARCOTULLI; with JULIAN OLIVER MAZZARIELLO and ENZO PIETROPAOLI in a tribute to the songs of Joni Mitchell entitled “So Right”; and with HUW WARREN, GABRIELE MIRABASSI and ROBERTO TAUFIC in a project called Core/Coração which bridges the music of Naples and of Brazil.

More Italian jazz will be provided by the trio of GIOVANNI GUIDI (who will also be performing solo), FRANCESCO BEARZATTI and MICHELE RABBIA; by THE FABRIZIO BOSSO QUARTET; by THE LICAONES, a band that brings together some of Italy’s most original players (FRANCESCO BEARZATTI, MAURO OTTOLINI, OSCAR MARCHIONI and PAOLO MAPPA); and by the trio of RICCARDO BISEO, MASSIMO MORICONI and GEGÈ MUNARI.

And of course, there will also be the Tuscan marching band FUNK OFF, a regular feature of Umbria Jazz at both the winter and summer editions of the festival.

Completing this special anniversary programme are the classic jazz of saxophonist LUCA VELOTTI,  for many years a member of the orchestra of Paolo Conti; the ironic and original SUGARPIE & THE CANDYMEN; and the quartet led by Orvieto saxophonist FILIPPO BIANCHINI.

And on a final note, there will also be performances given by the winners of the JAZZ CONTEST and of the BERKLEE SUMMER SCHOOL AT UMBRIA JAZZ CLINICS 2017, a reminder of the importance that Umbria Jazz gives to the newer generations of musicians.