Turin Jazz Festival features more than music

Six-day event kicks off with tribute to Gillespie and Mingus

Turin Jazz Festival features more than music

(By Kate Carlisle)Turin, April 26 - This year's Turin Jazz Festival is much more than music. The second annual jubilee from April 26 to May 1 brings together six days full of free events - concerts, meetings, exhibitions, theatre performances, conferences, presentations and street music, all in the centre of Piedmont's capital city. It is "a network of sounds, images, and words with some of the biggest names of international jazz," the event organizers said. It all kicks off on Friday with a tribute to the jazz masters, Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus in the city's Piazzale Valdo Fusi square. Some 17 accomplished Italian jazz musicians will play works by virtuoso bass player, pianist, bandleader and composer Mingus and one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie. Shortly after, the American jazz ensemble Mingus Dynasty that was formed in 1979 following the death of the master and which features many musicians Mingus recorded or played with will perform, followed by one of the most important Italian jazz formations, the Torino Jazz Orchestra. The opening day will wind up with the performance of an original composition by the Enrico Rava Quintet and Orchestra at the city's gracious Regio di Torino theater. Born in the northeastern city of Turin, Rava is arguably one of Italy's best-known jazz musicians. Young musicians will also be heard as the nights come to life at the FTJF Fringe festival. New productions, DJ sets, world music and shows will lighten up the Po riverwalk and the Savoy city's streets. The round of alternative concerts are being organized in collaboration with the Nantes Jazz Festival and the Paris Conservatory and will feature over 100 musicians, some 'undiscovered" like Nguyen Le, Mieko Miyazaki, Tineke Postma, Prabhu Elouard, Eric Legnini, Maurizio Giammarco, Flavio Boltro and Mauro Negri. There are also many non-musical events, that will weave together the whole cultural fabric of the city. Writers, filmmakers, artists and additional exhibitions will open windows to the vast world of jazz and its performers. Produced in collaboration with the Cite' de la Musique of Paris, the 'Turin meets France' project is a multimedia show with photographs of pioneering Manouche guitarist and composer, Django Reinhardt taken by French photographer and filmmaker Guy Le Querrec. A Festival highlight will be a five-day workshop based on small-group jazz ensembles hosted by the prestigious Juilliard School of New York, running April 26-30 in collaboration with the Conservatory of Turin. High school students will also get the chance to learn from renown artists, such as the talented pianist Stefano Battaglia, founder of the jazz group Triplicity and Theatrum. At last, music will be truly moving with the double-decker red bus tour featuring the rhythm of Jazz music by vocalist Didie Caria and guitarist Damir Nefat.

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