Jazz in Sicily | About Jazz

from Gerlando Gatto | 26/May/2023 | Editorials, Jazz in Sicily, News, Close up

Dear friends, the “A Proposito di Jazz” team is pleased to inform you of a new initiative that we hope will be of interest to you, our investigation on: Jazz in Sicily.
Indeed, the island has many paradoxical aspects, but there is one that closely concerns our microcosm. There is no doubt that Sicily is one of the most beautiful lands to visit: a splendid climate, a traditional cuisine of great depth, historical, artistic and naturalistic beauties on which it is not necessary to spend more words. In the face of all this, the working situation is dramatic… and not from today. Our director belongs to that category of people who, at the end of the 60s, were forced to settle in Rome to find satisfactory working conditions.
From a jazz point of view, today as yesterday, Sicily is a fertile land of talents: there are really many Sicilian jazz musicians who have made themselves honor beyond the Alps. And yet, despite the difficult working conditions referred to above, many artists, even after experiences lived elsewhere, have preferred to return to their homeland to settle there permanently.
Here this investigation tends to discover what are the “secrets” that have so strongly conditioned many musicians… but also to give you an account of what is important happening on the island. Of course, without any claim to completeness.
It therefore seems appropriate to begin this adventure by presenting the third edition of Sicily Jazz Festival which will be held in Palermo from 23 June to 2 July.
This will be followed by a vast series of portraits, record reviews, interviews that we have conducted on a large scale by bringing many musicians who live in Sicily closer together without neglecting those, and they are a minority, who have made a different choice.
Enjoy the reading! (Marina Tuni, APdJ editorial staff)

The third edition of the Sicilia Jazz Festival will take place in Palermo from 23 June to 2 July, promoted and organized by the Sicilian Region – Department of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment, the result of collaboration with the Municipality and the University of Palermo, the the Brass Group and the Sicilian Conservatories of Music
The event seems to have all it takes to repeat the success of the previous years; in fact, as we have often underlined especially in recent times, a Jazz Festival in our opinion is justified only if in a very close relationship with the territory in which it is located. In short, not only music but also the enhancement of everything that the territory itself represents, therefore space for local talents, strong references to cultural traditions, archaeological remains, products of the earth and so on.
Here, the Sicilian festival fully responds to this type of peculiarity: as regards local talents, the jazz departments of the “Vincenzo Bellini” conservatories of Catania, “Arcangelo Corelli” of Messina, “Alessandro Scarlatti ” of Palermo, “Antonio Scontrino” of Trapani, and “Arturo Toscanini” of Ribera in which the names of Paolo Damiani and Nicky Nicolai stand out as special guests.

As for the locations, this third edition of the Sicilia Jazz Festival also wants to address the enhancement of particularly significant places to rediscover them in their historical and cultural fullness as music is a universal language, understood by all without age and gender limits, without limits of origin and race. Proof of this is the other important novelty of this year constituted by the fact that some shows will be held at Palazzo Butera, to further enhance the historical and monumental beauties of Sicily.
But none of this would make complete sense if it weren’t accompanied by a musical program of a certain level.
Also from this point of view, the Festival has nothing to envy to other situations thanks to the careful choice of the organizers who have provided a truly excellent cast for the Sicilian capital. But the goodness of the Festival does not play only on the big names, since more than 100 concerts will be offered, including 10 original orchestral productions staged in some sites in the historic center of Palermo such as Palazzo Butera, Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri, the Monumental Complex Santa Maria dello Spasimo, the Real Teatro Santa Cecilia and the Teatro di Verdura of Villa Castelnuovo. There are also 4 world premieres of specially commissioned unedited productions.
But let’s see, albeit broadly speaking, what the SJF offers us with specific reference to the “stars” of primary magnitude: opening on Friday 23 June at the Steri with Marcus Miller, non-subscription; Diane Schurr’s concerts will follow, all at the Teatro di Verdura, on 24 June; Bob Mintzer on June 25; Gregory Porter on June 26; Anastacia on June 27; Al McKay – Earth Wind & Fire Experience on June 28; Judith Hill on June 29; Dave Holland on June 30; Manuel Agnelli on 1 July; The Manhattan Transfer on July 2nd.
All these concerts will be accompanied by the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra conducted, each time, by Carolina Bubbico, Giuseppe Vasapolli, Dave Holland, Bob Mintzer, Domenico Riina, Antonino Pedone, Gianna Fratta and Vito Giordano.
During the presentation press conference, some data were also presented to signify the importance of the event. In particular, an increase of 104% for subscriptions made with as many as 955 from 2023 to 3 May should be noted; and again the box office receipts (SIAE data) of € 88,802.00 in the first year, € 147,643.22 with an increase of 66.26% in the second year and € 129,741.00 as at 3 May for the third year; the total number of events was 56 in 2021, 100 in 2022 with an increase of 78.57% and 107 in 2023 with an increase of +7% compared to the previous year; the number of working days of resident musicians is 693 in 2021, 1,118 in 2022 with an increase of 61.33% and 1,365 in 2023 with an increase of 22.09%; the number of absolute premieres should not be overlooked either, with an increase of 33.33% in 2023.
In short, all the premises are in place for this year’s edition to be a great success as well.

Gerlando Gatto

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