Ravenna Jazz, with the 51st panoramic edition from the USA to Cuba, with a return to Europe and Italy

Ravenna Jazz will also host the grand finale of the Pazzi di Jazz educational initiative: the colossal choral-orchestral production of the “Pazzi di Jazz” Young Project (with a large cast of child musicians in the company of Mauro Ottolini, Mauro Negri, Alien Dee and Tommaso Vittorini). The “Mister Jazz” workshops, which are traditionally part of the concert program, will be led by two masters of creative vocalism such as John De Leo (May 5) and Petra Magoni (May 8). The seminars will be held in the center of Mousiká and will be accessible to all instrumentalists. Ravenna Jazz is organized by the Jazz Network in collaboration with the Department of Culture of the Municipality of Ravenna and the Department of Culture and Landscape of the Emilia-Romagna Region, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and under the auspices of Anci Emilia-Romagna.

At the Alighieri Theatre, Ravenna Jazz 2024 does things on a grand scale, hosting leading figures in international jazz and blockbuster orchestral productions. Abdullah Ibrahim is the pinnacle of African jazz: in 1960 it was the first jazz LP made by black artists in South Africa, his country of origin. The most evocative aspect of his art is solo performance, and that’s exactly what he’ll be heard on May 9: a context that elevates his style from stark rhythmic definition, sumptuous and iterative, to melodic patterns of pulsating sweetness. , strongly evocative.

Series jazz: the original productions with the Italian jazz orchestra directed by Fabio Petretti become a fixed and eagerly awaited event, renewed every year with a different thematic musical project and with new guests. Singer John De Leo and pianist Rita Marcotulli are invited to the inauguration of the festival (May 3), standing out from the orchestra for a tribute to Elvis Presley, whose songs will be reworked in jazz-symphonic form. Between rock ‘n’ roll and high-profile pop, Presley himself discovered the potential of his own repertoire translated into opulent arrangements. “Pazzi di Jazz” Young Project is also an original production that is updated year by year: Harry Belafonte’s repertoire is at the center of this mammoth orchestral and choral work with a number of very young performers prepared and directed by established musicians such as director and arranger Tommaso Vittorini , trombonist Mauro Ottolini, saxophonist Mauro Negri and beatboxer Alien Dee (May 13).

The great live performances organized in Alighieri are accompanied by the “Ravenna 51° Jazz Club” concerts: a program embedded in the pleasant environment of clubs and small theaters in and around Ravenna. And even though the rooms are small, the artists on stage have a wide international reputation, in addition to the space for local talent. The Teatro Socjale of Piangipane confirms itself as a stage reserved for voices: it will host three events with groups led by musicians, all singers, all different nationalities. On May 5, Cuban cellist and singer Ana Carla Maza, accompanied by Norman Peplow on piano, will perform: Caribbean Seductions and Passions on a String Tip. His project “Caribe” is a throwback to the Cuban descargas (jams) of the 1950s, with rich and joyous detours to Caribbean rumbas, Argentine tango and flirtations with Brazilian samba and bossa nova.

On May 7, it’s the turn of Musica Nuda, namely Petra Magoni (vocals) and Ferruccio Spinetti (double bass), who in 2023 celebrated the 20th anniversary of their timeless successful duo. Magoni and Spinetti keep reviving the magic of their interpretations of unreleased songs, international covers and classic French songs. On May 12, Jazzmeia Horn, one of the brightest promises of US-made jazz, will take center stage. The young singer from Dallas made the front page of jazz news in 2015 with her victory in the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, which suddenly revealed her talent on the international stage: the perfect modern incarnation of the great African-American divas who established the canons of jazz song.

The Cisim stage in Lido Adriano is for the most surprising listens and for the unconventional artists. And these are the protagonists of the four concerts that will take place in this club. Anonima Armonisti (May 4) is an a cappella vocal septet that, with the addition of Alien Dee, brought polyphonic harmony singing to a new dimension, completely without instrumental accompaniment, bringing it into contact with beatboxing. Right from the name “Django Forever” and from the whole string ensemble, the trio of the German guitarist Joscho Stephan clearly shows its commitment to gypsy swing, gypsy jazz, which was in vogue in the 30s. With Josh suddenly sounds (May 6) the revived classical canon of this music, which has its tutelary deity in Django Reinhardt.

Duo Opez joins guitarist Massi Amadori and double bassist Francesco Giampaoli. Their music is simultaneously dense and rare, sensual and spiritual, melancholic and evocative. Their “Social Limbo” inspires dance steps, but as if in lysergic slow motion (May 8). Sam Paglia composes, sings and above all plays any type of keyboard. Paglia established himself as one of the most representative names of the lounge movement, which carries the exotic genre into the new millennium. In Ravenna, he leads a quintet that brings together excellent soloists from the area, among whom stand out saxophonist Alessandro Scala and trumpeter Enrico Farnedi (May 10).

Then there is a tradition now so established that it deserves a DOC label: the presence of the Ravenna saxophonist Alessandro Scala, a local hero capable of expressing the most brilliant and engaging impulses of the great school of jazz saxophonists, at Mama’s Club (11. and extended them also to funk and boogaloo.On this occasion, Scala will lead a quintet with the caliber of soloists Mauro Ottolini (trombone) and Francesca Tandoi (piano): an original festival production that confirms Scala as a leader capable of involving the best representatives of national jazz.


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