The sound of jazz across the Brennero border
Austria–Italy: the ever-growing importance of creating cultural bridges in a time characterised by realpolitik building new borders is not lost on us. This new scenario had nothing to do with our choice of focusing on two countries linked to South Tyrol for the 2016 Südtirol Jazzfestival Alto Adige, yet the result is the same. Jazz from all the corners of the world and the province will echo across valleys and mountains, rising and falling across the province and whittling down borders for 10 days starting on Friday, 24 June.
There are still a good three months to go to the grand festival opening, yet we’ve been feverishly preparing the event over the last months and are happy to say that the programme is as good as finalised.
Klaus Widmann, President and Creative Director of the Südtirol Jazzfestival Alto Adige says that, “We pulled out all the stops to truly reflect the spirit of the festival, creating a programme packed with surprises and rising stars as well as featuring tried-and-tested solutions. We’d like to offer another nice all-round experience: great sounds hailing from different jazz experiences performed in unique locations. Discovering yet another side of South Tyrol.”
Unique sounds in unique locations
The Jazzfestival will take centre stage for the 34th time this year. Just like in the previous editions, it will tour the whole of South Tyrol. The festival will run between Friday 24 June and Sunday 3 July and, over the course of 10 days, the quirky musical event will traipse across 60 locations in 20 South Tyrolean municipalities, more than 100 musicians trailing in its wake to perform in 80 concerts.
In line with this year’s selected countries, most of the musicians come from Austria and Italy, but musicians from Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, and the USA also make an appearance.
Widmann declares that, “This is the third time we have a specific focus on a country or combination thereof. It has proven a successful initiative, allowing us to improve our knowledge about jazz trends in various countries.” Moreover, in a year riven by refugee crises and new borders, he adds that, “maybe our festival and music will contribute to the creation of new links and bridges.”
A programme packed with surprises
The opening concert will already knock guests over with its surprisingly nostalgic and rural location for our modern province, as well as featuring the perfect embodiment of our new Italian-Austrian outfit.
In a concert hall strewn with apple crates belonging to the Fruit and Vegetable Cooperative, Fruchthof Überetsch, sumptuous serenades from Southern Italy dance around the unique charm of the Viennese lyrical heritage… and modern jazz, of course. The event, "Kinzelbinder's Melting Orchestra", symbolises the commingling of cultures and music bursting from the hearts of the Viennese acoustic duo, "Die Strottern", and thrumming in the souls of the Neapolitan trio "ASSURD". The opening concert offers a glimpse into what a mountainous music hall should sound like, a prelude to the now traditional mountain concert hosted by the Comici Hut at the foot of the Sassolungo, at 2,154 m altitude.
The “culture meets economy” conference
The “culture meets economy” conference will celebrate its 10th edition this year. The first edition was organised by the creators of the Jazzfestival; now, EURAC, the European Academy, and the Free University of Bolzano organise it every year. Following the scientific debates on Wednesday 29 June, conference and festival attendees alike are in for quite the experience. On that same evening, they’re all invited to the Bolzano Trade Fair to attend a musical Blind Date: 20 festival performers will gather in small groups and hold brief concerts to showcase the talent of young jazz musicians.
Bressanone will be home to Jazz and Wine. There will be a musical, oenological excursion and events in the city centre where concerts, bars and the old prison grounds of the city will feature of a selection of white wines from the Valle Isarco.
Barley and malt connoisseurs are also taken care of with a beer tasting session at the Batzenhäusl in Bolzano, featuring Italian beer king Lorenzo “Kuaska“ Dabove.
Jazz on the mountains and...
The musical journey will take you to unique places across South Tyrol: mountains are part and parcel of the offer, but cities and villages also tag along with their typical squares, extraordinary buildings as well as local lakes, which are well worth a visit during summer.
Moreover, jazz echoes across the mountain huts and guesthouses from Val Venosta to Val Badia: an explosion of sound from the Feltuner Hut and the Renon Earth Pyramids to Fanes, from the Messner Mountain Museum in Solda across Monte San Vigilio and, for the very first time, resounding on the Passo delle Erbe.
Water ripples to the sound of music on Carezza Lake and the Lago di Fiè thanks to the “Water Music” projects: music and song rise from piers and boats.
The “Jazztronomy” project promises an out-of-this-world experience at the planetarium in San Valentino in Campo.
This edition will once again feature the live musical accompaniment of a black-and-white film. A project in collaboration with the Filmclub Bolzano, the chosen film is “The Lodger” by Hitchcock.
Art meets Jazz – the Museion project
Art meets jazz on three days: on both Saturdays you can visit the Museion Passage for a matinee, while on Thursday, 30 June, a full jazz day will take place at the Museion.
The event starts at 11 am with a performance by a jazz trio in the Museion Passage; it is then followed by a solo concert at 6 pm with American trumpeter, Peter Evans, who is best known for his transversal improvisational music. After having taken part in the guided visit, guests can attend two concerts from 9 pm, an event uniting two trios, respectively from Italy and Austria, before they close the evening with a joint performance.
The Euregio project also crosses borders and celebrates its 3rd edition. The festival travels all the way to Luserna, an old German-speaking community in Trentino, while northern and southern Tyrolean musicians will perform in Bolzano. The project features the 15-year-old pianist from Schwaz, Jakob Zimmermann, and his trio. The band won the 2015 Innsbruck BTV-Jazz-Nachwuchs-Preis prize for rising stars. Concertmaster Andreas Marinello will lead the South Tyrolean and other musicians from the festival into a musical bonanza of sheer delight.
If waiting until the festival officially kicks off is simply much, fear not! You can already look forward to a jazz prelude during the Bolzano Film Festival, running between 13 and 17 April 2016.
The Architecture Festival, from 20 to 22 May 2016, will feature new pieces by Lois Andivalfarei and has that certain… je ne sais jazz.