Italian jazz

Italian jazz

Italian jazz. James Reese Europe's military concerts in France in World War I in 1919 are claimed to have introduced Europeans to a new, "syncopated" music from America. Yet, Italians had an even earlier taste of a new music from across the Atlantic when a group of "Creole" singers and dancers, billed as the "creators of the cakewalk" performed at the Eden Theater in Milan in 1904. The first real Italian jazz orchestras, however, were formed during 1920s by musicians such as Arturo Agazzi with his "Syncopated Orchestra" and enjoyed immediate success. [Mazzoletti] In spite of the anti-American cultural policies of the Fascist regime during the 1930s, American jazz remained popular. (Even Romano Mussolini, Benito's son, was a great jazz fan and then prominent jazz pianist.) Also, in 1935, American jazz great Louis Armstrong toured Italy with great success. [Mazzoletti]

In the immediate post-war years jazz took off in Italy. All American post-war jazz styles, from be-bop to Free Jazz and Fusion have their equivalents in Italy. The most gifted exponents of jazz music in this period (from 1940s to 1960s) are musicians like Gorni Kramer, Lelio Luttazzi and Franco Cerri, and great singers like Natalino Otto and Jula de Palma. The universality of Italian culture ensured that jazz clubs would spring up throughout the peninsula, that all radio and then television studios would have jazz-based "house-bands," that Italian musicians would then start nurturing a "home grown" kind of jazz, based on European song forms, classical composition techniques and folk music (for example, in Sicily, where Enzo Rao and his group Shamal have added native Sicilian and Arab influences to American jazz). Currently, all Italian music conservatories have jazz departments, there are dozens of jazz festivals each year in Italy, the best-known of which is the Umbria Jazz Festival, and there are prominent publications such as the journal, "Musica Jazz". In Italy, today, it is virtually impossible to find a medium-sized city without a jazz club.

Notable contemporary Italian Jazz Musicians include Paolo Fresu, Enrico Rava, Enrico Pieranunzi, Gianluigi Trovesi, Massimo urbani and the many members and collaborators of the Italian Instabile Orchestra.

Italy has also many young and promising jazz musicians like Stefano di Battista, Rosario Giuliani, Flavio Boltro and Stefano Bollani.



*it icon cite book
last = Mazzoletti
first = Adriano
year = 1983
title = Jazz in Italia. Dalle Origini al dopoguerra
location = Rome
id = ISBN 88-7063-704-2

*de icon cite journal
last = Cerchiari
first = Luca
date = 1988
publisher = Institut Mathildenhöhe
title = Jazz in Italien
journal = Exhibit catalogue: That's Jazz. Der Sound des 20. Jahrhunderts
pages = 469–476
location = Darmstadt
id =

External links

* [ Umbria Jazz Festival] In Perugia, generally in July. The largest such event in Italy.
* [ Siena Jazz] The first and still most prestigious Italian jazz school, hosting the most rich specialized library and sound archive of the country, and organizing a Summer festival (July 24th/Aug 8th).
* [ Running updates on jazz events in Italy]
* [ Jazz museum in Genoa]
* [ Italian jazz singer]
* [ "Italian Jazz: Twelve Essential Recordings"] by Thierry Quénum ( [] )

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