UMBRIA JAZZ 2012
Perugia, July -15
Imagine that you are tourist arriving in Perugia, a town half-way between Florence and Rome, and twenty kilometres from Assisi. Imagine that it is July and Umbria Jazz is in full swing. The first thing that strikes you in this normally tranquil town is the festive spirit and the crowds of joyful young people in its streets.
If it is morning and you pass along Corso Vannucci, the town’s central, you will probably encounter an enthusiastic crowd following a marching band from New Orleans past the historic palaces and churches of the centre. From early afternoon until late at night you can enjoy free concerts while relaxing with a beer and something to eat in the gardens at the end of Corso Vannucci which look out across the plain towards Assisi. The highlight of the day takes place at comfortable new Arena, which sits against a background dominated by the Convent of Santa Giuliana. Here every evening, you can hear the Festival’s major groups perform. However, the spirit of Umbria Jazz doesn’t stop here. You will also find it in the eighteenth-century Morlacchi Theatre, in the small clubs located in the cellars of medieval palaces, and above all in the National Gallery of Umbria, containing one of Italy’s most important collections of Medieval and Renaissance Art. The concerts and jam sessions go on until dawn. If you are lucky, you might arrive when a gospel choir is performing in the Cathedral or in the square in front of it, next to Perugia’s famous thirteenth-century fountain. Each year Umbria Jazz features gospel choirs from Chicago and New Orleans, a homage to the profoundly religious identity of Umbria. These choirs performed in Umbria’s most beautiful churches, including The Basilica of San Francesco at Assisi and Orvieto Cathedral. And if you are interested in studying jazz, you can enrol in the Clinics which are held at Umbria Jazz each year by Boston’s Berklee College of Music. If you come to Umbria Jazz you will have the opportunity to experience what one American critic defined as “jazz Italian-style, excellent music and good taste”.
Click here for Umbra Jazz's programme.
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