Umbria Jazz: discovering new music and ancient landscapes

Born in 1973, Umbria Jazz was clearly different from the other Italian jazz festivals. Umbria Jazz took this music into the historic town squares of Umbria to audiences of up to twenty thousand young people, and every concert was free.
The festival had attracted many great musicians, including Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Weather Report, Gil Evans, Bill Evans, Charles Mingus and Keith Jarrett.
In 1982, the Festival took place  in the town of Perugia, exactly the town’s medieval centre. Ten days of music: from traditional jazz to the most recent avantguarde and many of these concerts are free. Every year in mid-July, though since 1992 a Winter Festival sprung up from the main festival (between Christmas and New Year in the Etruscan town of Orvieto).
A true paradise for the tourist: Perugia is twenty kilometres from Assisi and half-way between Florence and Rome!
Merge yourself with the flow of  the dancing crowd following a marching band from New Orleans past the historic palaces and churches of the centre!!!

You can see the performances and the highlight of the day at comfortable new Arena, which sits against a background dominated by the Convento di Santa Giuliana.  You will also find some events and concert in the eighteenth-century Morlacchi Theatre, and of course in the small clubs set in the cellars of medieval palaces!!!

The concerts and the jam sessions go on until dawn. While are you swinging to and forth, take your time to go and visit the National Gallery of Umbria, containing one of Italy’s most important collections of Medieval and Renaissance Art.
Look for the gospel choirs arriving from Chicago and New Orleans performing in the Cathedral or in the square in front of it, next to Perugia’s famous thirteenth-century fountain! You can find this deeply moving music also in other sites, including The Basilica of San Francesco at Assisi and Orvieto Cathedral.

Are you interested in studying jazz? Enroll yourself in the Clinics which are held at Umbria Jazz each year by Boston’s Berklee College of Music. And not to mention the wine, the oil, the food you can eat and drink here in Perugia! What are you waiting for?


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